Being a parent is expensive. But you always want the best for your children, and that includes finding ways to afford the orthodontic treatment they need, even though it may be difficult. So how much do braces cost for kids? First, it's necessary to identify the type of braces for your child and the duration of the treatment. This will help you understand your options in providing the very best care for your investment.
The Right Age
According to Jorgensen Orthodontics , children are typically fitted for braces not much later than 12 years of age, after they've lost all of their baby teeth and their 12-year molars have erupted. Although the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that children receive their first orthodontic screening by the age of seven years, braces that are fitted too early can make the treatment take longer than necessary – and cost more.
During that first screening, your orthodontist will first look to identify if the potential problem is skeletal or dental. This is done with a dental X-ray. Orthodontic X-Ray packages on average, will cost Ps. 3,800. If your orthodontist identifies a dental issue, like an incorrect bite or potential for crowding during the screening exam, he can sometimes take what is called "interceptive" action to prevent the problem from playing out or getting worse. This can include fitting a palatal expander or other appliance to ensure that the permanent teeth erupt in the right position. The exam might also highlight the need to control habits such as thumb-sucking, which can cause damage to a child's mouth over time.
Types of Braces
The braces your orthodontist recommends will depend on your child's particular problem. Types of braces include:
- Traditional metal braces – Have steel ties holding the wires between the brackets in place.
- Ceramic braces – Have tooth-colored brackets, which are not as visible to other people.
- Damon braces – Do not have steel ties, as the brackets themselves hold the wires in place.
- Invisalign® (or other clear or removable aligners) – Fit over the child's teeth in a way that resembles a mouth guard.
In addition to appliances like an expander, your orthodontist might also recommend the use of headgear or a Forsus or Herbst device to use in conjunction with braces to correct problems affecting your child's natural bite.
Variations in Treatment Costs
Determining how much braces cost for kids depends mainly on the length of time your child will need to wear them. The cost of wearing braces ranges between Ps. 50,000 – Ps. 200,000 with respect to the type of braces recommended – for the following reasons:
- With traditional braces, the cost is driven by what the orthodontist will charge for the orthodontic treatment for your child's case which includes multiple visits during the time it takes to straighten his teeth over a year to three year period. The average cost of traditional metal braces is between Ps. 50,000 and Ps. 70,000. Ceramic braces cost between Ps. 60,000 and Ps. 80,000 on average.
- Damon braces are typically more expensive and can cost between Ps. 120,000 – Ps. 140,000. Since damon braces are self-ligating, you'll pay for fewer dental visits.
- With Invisalign®, your child will receive a number of aligners to use in a specific order, changing every couple of weeks. The cost is determined by the number of aligners needed to achieve the right result. The average cost of Invisalign® braces is between Ps. 100,000 – Ps. 200,000.
If your child needs to have teeth extracted or fitted with other appliances, overall cost of the treatment may go up as needed.
The way your child complies with the orthodontist's instructions matters as well, because repair and replacement affects the overall cost of treatment. Make sure your young one avoids tooth decay while wearing braces by using products such as an anticavity fluoride toothpaste.
Ways to Pay
For traditional metal braces and ceramic braces, 50% of the total cost is generally required upfront, while the remaining balance is paid off at the following dental visits. For Damon braces, fewer discounts tend to be given, due to the higher cost of the materials, coupled with the fact that it requires fewer dental visits. Orthodontists who offer Invisalign® usually require 50% of the payment upfront, while the remaining balance is paid off within the next 2-3 months of dental visits. These visits include giving dental impressions and receiving new Invisalign® aligners.
If you can handle it, pay in advance for some or all of the orthodontic treatment, which typically qualifies you for a discount. It's not just about asking, "how much do braces cost for kids?" It's about getting the right orthodontic treatment for your child, and at the right time.