The beginner’s guide to affordable braces types and treatment options.
Most people aren’t born with naturally straight teeth. Our teeth, like nearly everything else about us, are determined by genetics. But, thanks to modern dentistry, we do have control over how to improve our oral health. Braces play a huge role in this. Wearing them for just a few years is the best way to get the straight healthy smile you’ve always wanted.
But, for most people, there’s a catch.
Orthodontic treatment is often expensive and for many, seems out of reach. But you won’t belong to that category because there are several ways to make getting braces more affordable. And you’re about to learn about all of them.
Shop around for an orthodontist. And take your time.
Most orthodontists offer a free initial consultation. Take advantage of it. It’s important to find one who makes you feel comfortable and offers you a good price or payment plan. You can compare the cost of the same treatments at different clinics.
The one thing you should never do is buy into the new trend of DIY braces. Ignore the online chatter that tries to tempt you into making your own braces. It could be really dangerous and cause a bunch of complications. Tooth alignment is a very precise technique and going about it in a slipshod sort of way might easily lead to tooth loss and jaw damage.
Consider taking the traditional path.
Invisalign and lingual braces are all the rage these days, but traditional metal braces are far less expensive. They’re also highly effective and much more comfortable than they used to be. It’s true that they don’t look glamorous and they are fairly visible but grit your teeth - you’ll be saving a lot of money while getting treatment that works. It’s also a good idea not to wait until you can afford the more expensive options because crowded or crooked teeth can cause complications that become more difficult, and more costly, to fix in the long run.
Wear your retainers.
For the best results from your braces, you need to follow your orthodontist’s instructions completely. If they tell you to wear a retainer, make sure you wear them for as many hours as instructed. Teeth naturally shift back to their original position over time. Wearing retainers (according to instructions) will prevent that, saving you from repeating the whole braces process twice. When it comes to affordability, prevention is always better than cure.
Ask for a payment plan.
Most orthodontists offer plans for patients who don’t have insurance. They do this by partnering with financing companies that are able to offer more flexible payment options. You could, for instance, choose between plans with little to no interest, payable by up to two years. Don’t be afraid to ask about discounts either. Many orthodontists offer them.
Explore your credit options - cautiously.
Taking out a personal loan or applying for a credit card could help you, although they do cost more in interest. Then again, they give you the option of spreading your repayments over a period of time. Be careful before going down this route though. Don’t fall for misleading credit schemes and speak to an authorized financial advisor before taking any decisions.
Consider a dental assistance program.
Dental assistance programs are designed to help low-income families get adequate dental care. They’re often funded by not-for-profit organizations like the North Carolina Dental Health Fund’s Mission of Mercy program. Also, many good orthodontists are also good people which is why you also have the option of checking out free clinics or special grants.
O% Interest House Financing
If you find an orthodontist who offers 0% interest house financing, it basically means you’ll be allowed to make payments in monthly installments that will be easier on your budget.
Orthodontic care is an investment and often, a necessary one. Your oral health impacts your overall health - it’s not just about “looking good”. But as you’ve (hopefully) realized by now, there are quite a few options open to people who don’t have money to splurge. Explore them and you should be able to get the treatment you need at a cost you can afford.