Braces are very instrumental in the correction of some dental problems including a misaligned jaw and crooked or crowded teeth.
They are used by both adolescents and adults but are more common among the former.
This teeth treatment is a highly personalized one hence usually commands a sizeable cost. Therefore how much braces cost depends on several factors including age, type of braces, length of treatment, as well as insurance plan.
- Type of braces
These are the oldest types of braces and are also the most popular orthodontic treatment. This type of braces offers fast alignment of teeth but is very visible. They are usually the cheapest type of braces you can get. The cost ranges from $3000 to $6000.
Ceramic braces, which are designed to blend with the teeth, are a far less visible option but can be stained easily and ceramic brackets are more brittle. The costs of these braces range from $4000 to $8000.
This type of braces is even more hidden. These braces are totally invisible because they are installed behind the teeth. They are the most expensive type of braces owing to the difficulty of installation and adjustments if required. The cost varies from $8000 to $10000.
In this type of braces, brackets are replaced with clear plastic or elastic mold that fits over the teeth. Patients change molds as the teeth align. Each time, a mold that is slightly straighter than the previous one is used.
Unlike other braces that can only be replaced by the orthodontist, Invisalign can be removed and replaced by the patient. This makes it the most comfortable option.
Invisalign are, however, slower in aligning the teeth in comparison to archwires and brackets. In case of serious misalignment, it may be impossible to use this type of braces. The cost varies from $3000 to $8000.
Usually, the more visible braces are cheaper and these cheaper ones often aid faster teeth alignment. Hence, when choosing the brace to wear, a balance between speedy alignment and cosmetic value (e.g. visibility) is vital.
- How long you wear braces
How long you will wear braces is not just dependent on the type of braces you choose but also on the level of alignment required as well as your level of conformity with good hygiene.
Your active participation is very important to the pace of teeth alignment. Braces are used for an average of two years.
For adults who wear braces for four years, the average costs of these braces are $2,546 (one year), $5,091 (two years), $7,637 (three years), and $10,183 (four years).
For children who use braces for four years, the average costs are $2,457 (one year), $4,914 (two years), $7,372 (three years), and $9,829 (four years).
The costs above are the average costs implying you can pay higher or lower. Some factors that contribute to paying above average are avoidable. They include broken brackets and slow alignment caused by poor hygiene.
For example, you should do all you can to avoid foods that shatter or cram in your braces. Also, in case of Invisalign which can be removed each day, ensure you wear it for at least 22 hours for a fast alignment process.
Factors That Determine How Much Braces Cost
The average cost of braces treatment for children is consistently lower than the average cost for adult treatment. The cost difference is not very significant, ranging from $156 to $211 for similar treatments.
Another factor that determines how much braces cost is the location. The cost incurred on braces treatment is also impacted by your location. This is a typical thing for most consumer products. You are more likely to spend more on braces treatment if you reside in a larger urban area.
- Dental insurance
How much braces cost is also dependent on what insurance policy or plans you have. Insurance plans will help you to cover part of the cost but it is difficult to get insurance cover particularly for less visible braces. This is because they are usually tagged as a cosmetic procedure.
All of the above factors contribute to the total expenses incurred for braces treatment.
Other factors that influence how much braces cost:
Your dental condition: Your dental condition also affects or influences how much braces cost for you. Your doctor could decide you need some dental work done before braces could become necessary; this usually affects the total cost.
Duration of the treatment: The amount of time you wear the braces could also influence the cost.
So when next you want to find out how to get braces, do not forget to ask how much they cost.
Tips for braces care
- Right tools: braces significantly increase the places food crumbs can hide hence the need to use the right tools for dental care. These tools include a soft-bristled brush, floss threader, and inter-ortho brush.
- Fork and knife: when you have braces on, you should avoid biting into food as it results in food getting stuck behind braces.
- Pay attention: unconscious habits like nail-biting must be avoided.
- Avoid sticky sweets, choose chocolate instead.
- Play by the rules: ensure you follow all guidelines given by your orthodontist. A single let off can compromise the alignment process hence resulting in a longer period of alignment.