In a recent study by Kelton, 34% of participants revealed that teeth play the biggest role in first impressions. A further 86% of women who had straight teeth reported feeling confident most of the time.
Straight teeth improve one’s appearance and confidence levels – and they also can help you to live a healthier and longer life.
Which is why if you or your child needs braces, getting them done will repay itself over time. But, what about those payments that you need to make NOW?
Well, we have some good news. There are a few ways of paying for braces that could save you a considerable amount of money.
Read on to find out what these are.
Oh, and by the way. If you are an adult wanting to straighten their teeth, it is never too late. According to research, 1.4 million adults had braces put in in 2014 alone!
So let’s figure out how you can comfortably afford to pay for those babies!
1. Shop Around
The first thing to do when looking for low-cost braces is to shop around. Most orthodontists offer a free consultation which you can take advantage of.
Once you have a few consultations under your belt you can choose the most cost-effective option.
Take note that the cheapest orthodontist may not necessarily be the best one to choose. However, you will be able to eliminate the overpriced options and possibly save a decent amount of cash by doing so. You can even ask for a braces discount, and see if the orthodontist is willing to accommodate you.
Also, always make sure that you are going with a qualified orthodontist.
Moody Orthodontics explains how many dentists may offer orthodontic work, but have only attended weekend classes or a seminar on the procedures. So always check to make sure that you are dealing with an orthodontist and not a dentist.
2. Paying for Braces Upfront Could Drop the Bill
Another way to drop the bill and get a braces discount is to pay upfront. Many orthodontists offer incentives for upfront payments.
If you can save up for the process, and then pay out a lump sum at outset, you could shave off a few hundred dollars off the total.
Another discount that some orthodontists offer is multiple child discounts. This won’t apply for adults, but if you have more than one child who needs braces, don’t forget to inquire about these discounts.
3. Negotiate a Payment Plan
If saving up for orthodontic work is going to take too long, then you may want to consider a payment plan. In some cases, this may cost extra, thanks to finance charges.
However, you may be able to negotiate and avoid these charges. If you go in with a plan of what you can pay and over what time period, many orthodontists will be happy to work with you without finance charges.
4. Hunt Down a Dental School
Do you have a dental school in your area? If so, you may want to consider this as a prospective place to get orthodontic work done!
College’s with dental programs often offer discounted rates for orthodontics. The orthodontic work is carried out by students, under the supervision of a professional.
Choosing this option can result in a massive saving, as dental school rates are generally about half that of normal orthodontists. This makes it one of the cheapest low-cost braces options.
5. Check If You Are Eligible for Smiles Change Lives
Smiles Change Lives is an organization dedicated to straightening teeth for kids from families who are not able to meet the full cost.
To be eligible for Smiles Change Lives you must meet certain minimum income requirements. These may vary depending on geographic location, but the general requirement is a yearly family taxable income under 200% of the federal poverty level.
Children must be between the ages of 10-18. They also need to have no un-filled cavities and have a moderate or severe need for braces.
The total cost that parents have to pay the foundation is a $30 application fee, and then a $650 once-off amount. This covers the full procedure from start to finish.
Thanks to this highly reduced price Smiles Change Lives may be a great option if you are in need of cheap braces for kids.
6. Utilize Your Flexible Spending Account
Some employers offer a flexible spending account, also known as a health savings account or HSA. If your employer is one of these then you can use this to save in the long run on orthodontic costs.
The trick to how to pay for braces with a flexible spending account to save you money lies in your tax return. You will not save on the actual orthodontic bill. However, you will be able to claim the expense as a tax deduction.
While this method may not sound like a big saver, you could enjoy up to 30-35% savings come tax time.
Getting a straight set of pearly whites is a sure fire way to boosting one’s self-esteem and becoming a more confident and successful version of yourself. But they come at a price.
Fortunately, with the right savvy, you can reduce this cost.
And the good news is that you are now armed with 6 top strategies that can make paying for braces a whole lot easier on your budget.
If you are on the lookout for other ways to ease your budget, check out this post on financing options that you may have overlooked for your expenses.