Article at a Glance
- There are four main options to consider for braces – traditional metal braces, clear and ceramic braces, removable teeth aligners like Invisalign, and lingual braces.
- Your child may also need an orthodontic appliance as part of their treatment plan.
- The cost of braces will vary based on several factors, but there are always ways to make braces affordable!
You just learned your child needs braces and your orthodontist has explained the types of braces available. How do you decide which option to choose? To help you make this important decision, we’ve compiled a guide explaining the types of braces and their cost.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces have come a long way over the years. Though they still consist of metal brackets attached to the teeth connected by metal wires, the brackets are smaller and lightweight. Your child can choose different colors to match their school, sports team, or special event.
Teeth are moved into alignment gradually with traditional metal braces. The wires connecting the brackets are replaced every three to ten weeks. This option gives your orthodontist more control over your child’s progression and changes are more noticeable earlier in the process.
If you choose traditional braces, you can expect the initial application to take one to two hours and this includes the cleaning and drying of your child’s teeth prior to application. Your child’s mouth will be a bit tender for up to a week after getting braces and for a few days after each adjustment, but it can generally be treated with over-the-counter pain medication.
Clear and Ceramic Braces
If you’re concerned about the aesthetics of traditional braces and looking for something lower profile, invisible ceramic and clear braces may be right for your child. They function exactly like metal braces, but the brackets are either tooth-colored or clear to blend with the teeth. Your child can expect much the same experience with clear and ceramic braces as they would have with traditional metal braces.
Removable teeth aligners, like Invisalign, are a relatively new option for straightening teeth. There are some significant differences between traditional braces and removable aligners. Removable aligners may not be appropriate for everyone, but they can be effective for many teens and adults.
Invisalign involves a series of clear trays that fit over the teeth. Detailed 3D imaging is done to create a series of trays custom for your child’s teeth. Each tray is worn for a week and then replaced with a new one. Orthodontic follow-ups are done every four to ten weeks for monitoring and to receive new trays.
When choosing Invisalign, your child can expect some minor discomfort the first day or so of a new tray. The trays need to be removed whenever your child eats or drinks and it’s critical that they brush their teeth and trays before wearing them. Trays need to be worn for at least 22 hours per day to be effective.
Lingual braces are an alternative that allows your child to have the benefits of traditional braces without the appearance of metal brackets and wires. The metal brackets are placed on the backs of the teeth, so they are not visible when smiling, talking, or eating. They are also beneficial for some activities like playing wind instruments and sports. However, lingual braces can be difficult to adjust to and are tougher to clean.
Orthodontic treatment can involve more than braces. Your orthodontist may prescribe an orthodontic appliance to help with your child’s treatment. These can include mouthguards for sports, palate expanders to make more room in the mouth, and elastics to help move the jaw for bite correction.
The Price of Braces
There’s not as much disparity between the types of braces and cost as you might think. While the overall costs of orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient, there are some general price points that can help you determine what to expect with each type of braces.
- Traditional braces usually cost between $1800 and $5500.
- Ceramic braces range between $4000 and $8000.
- Invisalign braces average between $4200 and $5500.
- Lingual braces cost between $8000 and $10,000.
You have many options when it comes to paying for braces, and in the end, the cost is worth it to give your child a smile that will last their lifetime. If you have dental insurance, it may cover some of the cost of braces. For those who have flexible spending accounts (FSA), braces are an excellent use for those funds. Many orthodontists also have dental savings plans that can help defray the cost of treatment and payment plans to spread the cost out over a period of time.
If you’re looking for affordable braces, The Smile Center can help. We offer different types of braces including traditional metal braces and Invisalign. Contact the clinic nearest you to make an appointment.