Ways to pay for orthodontic care

Orthodontic care doesn’t come cheap. Braces and other teeth-straightening methods, such as Invisalign, start at around $3,000 and go up from there. Plan ahead and look at all the options so you don’t panic when those big bills start rolling in.

Woman reading medical bill

1Insurance

Not all insurance plans cover orthodontic care, but some do. Find out where you stand early on, so you won’t be caught off guard with a denied claim. Even when plans do cover orthodontic care, they often have spending limits and doctor restrictions. Talk with a representative from your insurance company before you make any solid plans with an orthodontist.

2Flex pay

Many companies offer employees a flex spending account for medical expenses. If this is something that’s available to you, it’s a great way to help pay for that confident smile. You can set aside money from your paycheck before taxes and use that money later for medical and dental bills, including deductibles and copays if you have insurance. You usually have to use the money within a set time period — often the same calendar year — and you can adjust the amount of money taken out of each check so you don’t end up with too much set aside. Talk with an HR representative at your place of employment and find out what’s available to you.

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3Cash

You’ll probably know ahead of time if your child will need orthodontic intervention. Maybe you had braces as a kid, the dentist has given you a heads-up, or you just can’t deny that little crooked smile. As soon as you know what may be coming your way, start putting money away when you can to lessen the blow when it comes.

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4Loan

No one likes to owe money, but sometimes it can’t be helped. If your orthodontist demands up-front payment, you may need to contact a bank or other financial institution to see about getting a loan. You might also consider paying with a low-interest credit card.

5Payment plan

Talk with your orthodontist’s office about setting up a payment plan. You may need to make a large up-front payment, then pay smaller monthly installments. You’d be surprised how many offices are willing to work with you to help you afford braces for your child.

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Visit an orthodontist early. The sooner you find out if braces are needed, the sooner you can start saving.

More on orthodontics

What is Invisalign?
Preparing your child for the dentist
Is it time to visit an orthodontist?

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