While the vast majority of people who need braces wear braces as children, many people have braces into adulthood. In fact, 20% of braces wearers are adults. However, many insurance plans do not have or offer coverage to adults who need orthodontic care or braces. Because of this, it is important for people to understand how adults who need braces can afford this type of orthodontic care.
Why do Adults Need Braces?
Behind aesthetics, the second most common reason for braces is overbite. Many children have crowding and bite issues as children, and it can go untreated into adulthood, which leads to adults needing braces. Overall, adults need braces for the same reasons children do. Oral health is an important part of a person’s health and wellbeing. Poor oral health can lead to gum disease, gingivitis and even breathing and swallowing problems.
Tips to Help Your Budget
In the United States, braces can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000. Because of this, braces can seem financially out of reach or not a priority to people because of the cost. However, there are many ways that adults can budget for braces as an adult. Below is a list of some ways that people can afford braces as an adult.
- Use a flexible spending account or health savings account. FSA’s and HSA’s are great ways to save money for health expenses. These types of savings accounts offer tax benefits. Many employers and insurance companies offer these options.
- Look into lower-cost options for orthodontic care. Often, dental schools offer lower-cost services since their students need experience and hours to learn how to best perform dental care. There are many dental schools in the country. While these services are often lower cost, they are rarely lower quality services. In fact, working with dental students can provide a more thorough appointment and type of care for their patients.
- Ask about payment plans with an orthodontist. While many people need braces, a lot of people cannot afford to pay for the costs associated with orthodontic care up front or all at once. Because of this, many braces patients will utilize a payment plan offered by their dental and orthodontist’s office. This allows patients to pay for their braces over a period of time and in smaller payments, so that they can have braces while still being able to afford their other bills.
- Look into negotiating other bills. With 42.58 million housing units in the U.S. being rented by occupants, many landlords understand that tenants might have to pay rent in a different way. From offering to pay for more months at a time or even providing extra work around the property, there are ways to help lower rent in order to allocate some of that money to expenses needed for braces. Besides rent, many people also negotiate their utility bills such as phone, internet, or cable. Some consumers even switch their payment plans for their car, home, or insurance in order to lower their bills.
Paying for braces as an adult can feel like a daunting task, but there are many resources that can make braces not only possible but affordable. From negotiating other bills to lower overall monthly expenses to taking advantage of payment plans and health savings accounts, there are options for adults who want to take care of their oral health by getting braces. Braces are a great way to correct oral health issues and improve confidence by having straight and healthy teeth. With the above tips, people can have braces at an affordable price.