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View Full Version : Budget Buster! DD might need braces...lots of questions!!!


traces7
07-18-2011, 09:42 PM
Found out today that our 12 yr old DD should probably have braces. I kind of have been thinking that the last year or so. Her last 2 baby teeth, the upper canines are not coming in correctly. They are too high up. The dentist says they will probably not come down all the way or in the correct spot. He said she will probably need braces, about $6,000, we'd have to have 25% down payment, payments would be $200-$250 per month! :eek: I'm not sure we can afford that! :guilty: Money is so tight right now. We barely make the payments we do have. DH doesn't even want her to get them. I would like for her to get them if we can possibly do it, because I know how hard it is to be self conscious about something. (She already is self conscious with them the way they are now). :sad1:
Has anyone not gotten braces for their kids when they should have had them? Did you regret your decision? The dentist did say it would be easier to do it now and guide them into the correct spot as they are coming in vs. trying to move them after they have already grown in incorrectly.
We made an appt. for an ortho consultation with another dentist at the same office as our dentist (they aren't orthodontists, but do orthodontic work). We'll also maybe get an opinion of another orthodontist. Which one would be cheaper do you think?
Any other advice or suggestions from anyone who has been through this?
Thanks! :goodvibes

Lehuaann
07-18-2011, 09:47 PM
Yikes, is that what they cost nowadays? :eek:

I haven't dug into this too much, however, I did save this link from another thread regarding reduced-cost orthodontic treatment from local dental schools. Perhaps you may find it useful.

http://www.orthodontist-dentist.com/dental_school_orthodontics.html

traces7
07-18-2011, 09:53 PM
Yikes, is that what they cost nowadays? :eek:

I haven't dug into this too much, however, I did save this link from another thread regarding reduced-cost orthodontic treatment from local dental schools. Perhaps you may find it useful.

http://www.orthodontist-dentist.com/dental_school_orthodontics.html

Thanks for the link I will check into it. The nearest one to us is 50 miles away, but might be worth it if it works out!

Lehuaann
07-18-2011, 09:57 PM
Thanks for the link I will check into it. The nearest one to us is 50 miles away, but might be worth it if it works out!

You're welcome. I have friends who used to drive several miles for low price orthodontia -I believe every other week- so I know it's been done.

Good luck. :goodvibes

roliepolieoliefan
07-18-2011, 10:01 PM
Found out today that our 12 yr old DD should probably have braces. I kind of have been thinking that the last year or so. Her last 2 baby teeth, the upper canines are not coming in correctly. They are too high up. The dentist says they will probably not come down all the way or in the correct spot. He said she will probably need braces, about $6,000, we'd have to have 25% down payment, payments would be $200-$250 per month! :eek: I'm not sure we can afford that! :guilty: Money is so tight right now. We barely make the payments we do have. DH doesn't even want her to get them. I would like for her to get them if we can possibly do it, because I know how hard it is to be self conscious about something. (She already is self conscious with them the way they are now). :sad1:
Has anyone not gotten braces for their kids when they should have had them? Did you regret your decision? The dentist did say it would be easier to do it now and guide them into the correct spot as they are coming in vs. trying to move them after they have already grown in incorrectly.
We made an appt. for an ortho consultation with another dentist at the same office as our dentist (they aren't orthodontists, but do orthodontic work). We'll also maybe get an opinion of another orthodontist. Which one would be cheaper do you think?
Any other advice or suggestions from anyone who has been through this?
Thanks! :goodvibes


I know you say money is tight and yes in reality this is just cosmetic but for a 12 year old girl who's already self-conscious, the investment for braces could be huge.

There isn't anything you could cut corners on? My 13 year old son got braces last year. We are lucky that my husbands insurance paid for some . But his orthodontist was very accomodating with his payment schedule.

I would be really careful having someone treat my child for orthodontics that isn't board certified. You will still pay "big money" and the outcome may not be what you and her have hoped for..

We got several consultations also. They are free around here. Plus out of three orthodontist all 3 had a different plan of treatment with all different prices also.

Teeth are a huge part of an appearance IMOP. My husband and I both wore braces as a child. My son has them and I'm expecting my 7 yo DD will need them in the near future also.

Good Luck!

krcit
07-18-2011, 10:14 PM
I agree with the pp. I would only use a board certified orthodontist for braces. Get a few consultations, they should be free. Good luck.

Lehuaann
07-19-2011, 12:37 AM
I would be really careful having someone treat my child for orthodontics that isn't board certified.

I just want to add that the dental schools-universities that operate these programs are overseen by board certified, experienced, and licensed orthodontists/dentists who closely supervise the students.

junglejoy
07-19-2011, 04:04 AM
That's about our ortho charges for braces and all three kids have to have them. Yikes!

I do have friends/neighbors who drive to a larger town where they're saving about 20% of the cost, but the kids miss so much time from school already, it's difficult to justify that cost savings to me by adding in an extra hour drive each appointment. I also have to figure in the time lost from work and cost of gas. So we go with the local ortho and are very happy with the work he's done. Our oldest just had her braces removed six months ago and she couldn't be happier with the results.

Good luck with your decision. We put off purchasing a new car to pay for the first kid. Luckily now we have dental insurance that covers part of the cost so it's not such a bad deal for us anymore.

traces7
07-19-2011, 05:47 AM
I know you say money is tight and yes in reality this is just cosmetic but for a 12 year old girl who's already self-conscious, the investment for braces could be huge.
That's why I am leaning toward doing it. I don't want her to have to feel badly about herself.

There isn't anything you could cut corners on? My 13 year old son got braces last year. We are lucky that my husbands insurance paid for some . But his orthodontist was very accomodating with his payment schedule.
I'm going to ask when we go for the consulations, maybe the payments could be made lower too somehow. We do have insurance, but they only pay $1000 I think (which is better than nothing). I have to check into this too yet.

I would be really careful having someone treat my child for orthodontics that isn't board certified. You will still pay "big money" and the outcome may not be what you and her have hoped for..
The office we go to has many orthodontic patients, but I will check and make sure that they are board certified. How do you find this out?

We got several consultations also. They are free around here. Plus out of three orthodontist all 3 had a different plan of treatment with all different prices also.
I think we will get a couple consultations also. There aren't any other orthodontists in our town. There are some within 20 miles though. Which might get difficult getting to appointments,etc.

Teeth are a huge part of an appearance IMOP. My husband and I both wore braces as a child. My son has them and I'm expecting my 7 yo DD will need them in the near future also.

Good Luck!


Thanks for all the advice! :goodvibes

traces7
07-19-2011, 05:50 AM
That's about our ortho charges for braces and all three kids have to have them. Yikes!
Double yikes! Glad I only have one!

I do have friends/neighbors who drive to a larger town where they're saving about 20% of the cost, but the kids miss so much time from school already, it's difficult to justify that cost savings to me by adding in an extra hour drive each appointment. I also have to figure in the time lost from work and cost of gas. So we go with the local ortho and are very happy with the work he's done. Our oldest just had her braces removed six months ago and she couldn't be happier with the results.
Yeah, I don't know if I could justify the time off work and drive for the next nearest orthodontists. We'll see though.

Good luck with your decision. We put off purchasing a new car to pay for the first kid. Luckily now we have dental insurance that covers part of the cost so it's not such a bad deal for us anymore.
That's what my husband said! I need a new car and if we got braces for DD, we'd have to put that off.

momof5boys
07-19-2011, 06:29 AM
She may not need full braces. Get a couple of consults. My DS (now almost 17) had phase 1 treatment when he was 11. No way were his canines goning to come in without help. His upper jaw was too narrow. His 2 front teeth had a buck tooth look, it was pretty bad. We ended up with an upper palate expander and braces on just his 4 upper front teeth. 1 year later everything was off. They still wanted to do full braces but my son refused, he was thrilled with the way his teeth looked. Even as he grew nothing has moved and he still has a wonderful smile! Total cost was $1800.

traces7
07-19-2011, 06:55 AM
She may not need full braces. Get a couple of consults. My DS (now almost 17) had phase 1 treatment when he was 11. No way were his canines goning to come in without help. His upper jaw was too narrow. His 2 front teeth had a buck tooth look, it was pretty bad. We ended up with an upper palate expander and braces on just his 4 upper front teeth. 1 year later everything was off. They still wanted to do full braces but my son refused, he was thrilled with the way his teeth looked. Even as he grew nothing has moved and he still has a wonderful smile! Total cost was $1800.

That's what I had been hoping, that maybe she'd only need them on the top. They did say her bottom teeth need it too for crowding, but we'll see. The top are the worst. So maybe we'll get lucky and only need those. We are going to get a couple consults I think.

ProudMomTo3Boys
07-19-2011, 06:58 AM
I just took my 15 yo son yesterday for a consultation. I was actually shocked when he told me it would be $4900. I was expecting close to $6000. Our insurance doesn't cover much either. I regretted waiting this long for him but we just didn't have the money to do it earlier.

dimimi
07-19-2011, 07:19 AM
I just put braces on our 12 year old son. (Our 17 year old already had them.) We did learn to price around. Just in our town, both with equal satisfaction from people I called, the price difference was over $1000. Where we live, your price is determined by how long you will wear the braces. One doctor said 10 to 12 months and the other doctor 12 to 14 months. With both of my kids, with 2 different doctors, you go to the orthodontist once every 6 to 8 weeks, so it wouldn't matter if you had to drive a while, you only do it every other month.

I would recommend you check on the treatment plan. For example, some use permanant retainers, some let you choose the type of retainer, some don't have hours that are convenient for working parents or kids in school, etc.

BellePrincessBelle
07-19-2011, 07:47 AM
As someone who had horrible teeth until adulthood I move heaven & earth to make the money for my kids to have braces. I would go naked before I'd let my kids go through what I did. You can look into cutting cable, cell phones, etc to get the money.

bear_mom
07-19-2011, 08:19 AM
Check around, our ortho doesn't require a 25% down payment and actually had 4 different payment options:

1 - 3rd party, no down payment, low monthly payment, but interest
2 - Higher down payment (20%'ish) and then lower monthly payments (~$110/month), through the orhto, no interest
3 - Lower down payment (10%'ish) and then higher monthly payments
4 - Pay upfront, 5% savings.

Emily

mjkacmom
07-19-2011, 08:22 AM
Dd14 has had braces on for over 3 years, after years with the palate expander. $6300, all paid for. I have a consult for dd8 and ds13 next week. Dd might get away with just a retainer (already molded), and at first glance, ds13's teeth look perfect. However, his bite is definitely off, so his teeth will get crooked as he ages. If the price is the same as dd14, I'm going for another consultation, because his teeth are SO much better than hers were.

Dd10 and ds8 will also definitely need braces, dd for her bite, ds for crowding. Crooked teeth really gross me out (I've know DH since middle school, he didn't have braces, because his teeth were okay, but now in his mid 40's, his bottom teeth are so crooked - I joke that I was mislead).

When I started having kids, I knew I would provide them love, food, shelter, and braces. Most orthodontists will work with you - if you can't afford that monthly payment, ask for an extension. You really don't want to go to far away - emergencies will happen. My dd goes at least every 3 weeks.

HugsForEeyore
07-19-2011, 12:37 PM
As someone who had horrible teeth until adulthood I move heaven & earth to make the money for my kids to have braces. I would go naked before I'd let my kids go through what I did. You can look into cutting cable, crll phones, etc to get the money.

Same here. I had badly crooked teeth with dracula fangs. Even worse for me, I had parents who had the money but refused braces for me. They simply weren't going to pay or bother with it, period. They never once saw it as their responsibility as parents. I was told it was my problem and I had to learn to deal with the teasing better, and not let it bother me so much. Also never had a date in school, no surprise. :sad2:

I absolultely know that my crooked teeth hampered my ability to sell myself in job interviews. I couldn't complete with my peers who all looked good and had great smiles already. In professional job settings, you actually don't see hardly any younger people with badly crooked teeth anymore - to get those good jobs with benefits, you need that winning smile just to enter the door.

And sadly, like it or not, teeth are a class and status issue. Crooked teeth says "low class" to the world and you can't hide it. I became acutely aware of how my teeth made people treat me as "inferior" and "not as good as them" and shut doors to opportunities. :mad: I was very angry at my parents for a long time for leaving me looking like that, unable to enter the world of professional-level jobs. I was embarrassed and humiliated by my poor smile, and there were no quick easy fixes to straightening my teeth so I could look like everyone else.

Eventually as an adult, I knew I had no choice but to finally get braces. I had to go into debt (almost $10,000, since I didn't have a good job with insurance) to pay for surgery and 3 and a half years of braces just so I could get a real job (I was a nanny for many years, only thing I could get). Best thing I ever did - fixing my teeth changed my entire appearance and people treated me 1000% better. And I finally landed a decent job. :teeth:

A kid with noticably bad teeth will be at a disadvantage in so many ways in life, in our appearance-obsessed society, I can't emphasize that enough!! Almost every parent I knew found a way to pay and straighten their kid's teeth so their child can compete and suceed later in life.

BellePrincessBelle
07-19-2011, 01:13 PM
Same here. I had badly crooked teeth with dracula fangs. Even worse for me, I had parents who had the money but refused braces for me. They simply weren't going to pay or bother with it, period. They never once saw it as their responsibility as parents. I was told it was my problem and I had to learn to deal with the teasing better, and not let it bother me so much. Also never had a date in school, no surprise. :sad2:

I absolultely know that my crooked teeth hampered my ability to sell myself in job interviews. I couldn't complete with my peers who all looked good and had great smiles already. In professional job settings, you actually don't see hardly any younger people with badly crooked teeth anymore - to get those good jobs with benefits, you need that winning smile just to enter the door.

And sadly, like it or not, teeth are a class and status issue. Crooked teeth says "low class" to the world and you can't hide it. I became acutely aware of how my teeth made people treat me as "inferior" and "not as good as them" and shut doors to opportunities. :mad: I was very angry at my parents for a long time for leaving me looking like that, unable to enter the world of professional-level jobs. I was embarrassed and humiliated by my poor smile, and there were no quick easy fixes to straightening my teeth so I could look like everyone else.

Eventually as an adult, I knew I had no choice but to finally get braces. I had to go into debt (almost $10,000, since I didn't have a good job with insurance) to pay for surgery and 3 and a half years of braces just so I could get a real job (I was a nanny for many years, only thing I could get). Best thing I ever did - fixing my teeth changed my entire appearance and people treated me 1000% better. And I finally landed a decent job. :teeth:

A kid with noticably bad teeth will be at a disadvantage in so many ways in life, in our appearance-obsessed society, I can't emphasize that enough!! Almost every parent I knew found a way to pay and straighten their kid's teeth so their child can compete and suceed later in life.

:thumbsup2 ITA. I sadly see so many of my kids friends parents refuse braces because "they can't afford it" or they "don't see the problem", but they have the latest, greatest electronic gadgets. I'm sorry but your child has buck teeth or their bite is so bad I can see it across the room, they need braces. The overall appearance of straight teeth does not mean they don't need braces.

ProudMomTo3Boys
07-19-2011, 01:19 PM
Same here. I had badly crooked teeth with dracula fangs. Even worse for me, I had parents who had the money but refused braces for me. They simply weren't going to pay or bother with it, period. They never once saw it as their responsibility as parents. I was told it was my problem and I had to learn to deal with the teasing better, and not let it bother me so much. Also never had a date in school, no surprise. :sad2:

I absolultely know that my crooked teeth hampered my ability to sell myself in job interviews. I couldn't complete with my peers who all looked good and had great smiles already. In professional job settings, you actually don't see hardly any younger people with badly crooked teeth anymore - to get those good jobs with benefits, you need that winning smile just to enter the door.

And sadly, like it or not, teeth are a class and status issue. Crooked teeth says "low class" to the world and you can't hide it. I became acutely aware of how my teeth made people treat me as "inferior" and "not as good as them" and shut doors to opportunities. :mad: I was very angry at my parents for a long time for leaving me looking like that, unable to enter the world of professional-level jobs. I was embarrassed and humiliated by my poor smile, and there were no quick easy fixes to straightening my teeth so I could look like everyone else.

Eventually as an adult, I knew I had no choice but to finally get braces. I had to go into debt (almost $10,000, since I didn't have a good job with insurance) to pay for surgery and 3 and a half years of braces just so I could get a real job (I was a nanny for many years, only thing I could get). Best thing I ever did - fixing my teeth changed my entire appearance and people treated me 1000% better. And I finally landed a decent job. :teeth:

A kid with noticably bad teeth will be at a disadvantage in so many ways in life, in our appearance-obsessed society, I can't emphasize that enough!! Almost every parent I knew found a way to pay and straighten their kid's teeth so their child can compete and suceed later in life.

I know exactly how you feel. I have the Dracula fangs, still do. I would love to get braces but insurance doesn't cover anyone over 23. Now that I have the money to do it, the kids go first.

kkmcan
07-19-2011, 02:12 PM
My dd is 1 and 1/2 years into her braces and we just finished paying hers off. The total was $5800. $1500 down, $1000 from our insurance and $175 month for 18 months. Made the last payment July 1st.

DS11 just got his braces on yesterday and for his we got a $449 break for a sibling discount. For his we did $751 down, $1000 from insurance and $150 month for 2 years. We could have done some more of down payment and less monthly or some other version. They were willing to work with us, I guess since we paid on time and had a good credit history with them.

My kids absolutely had to have braces. They were both cases of overcrowding and ds was classified as severe crowding. The poor kid had 4 adult teeth removed 3 weeks ago just to make some room for the incoming. He had no space for 2 teeth coming in side by side. NOw he's got 1 space for 2 teeth that they will try to manipulate to squeeze those teeth in. I had the same thing as a kid so he got it from me.

coastiewifern
07-19-2011, 04:51 PM
I disagree that braces are just cosmetic. Although it is something that could be put off until they are adults working and can get them for themselves. My mother needed braces as a child and never got them. Then as an adult she was putting braces on her kids and with her law career she just felt uncomfortable having braces as an adult. She just turned 60 and now has some big dental/gum problems that the dentist told her wouldn't probably be there if she had braces when she was younger.

traces7
07-19-2011, 08:21 PM
Same here. I had badly crooked teeth with dracula fangs. Even worse for me, I had parents who had the money but refused braces for me. They simply weren't going to pay or bother with it, period. They never once saw it as their responsibility as parents. I was told it was my problem and I had to learn to deal with the teasing better, and not let it bother me so much. Also never had a date in school, no surprise. :sad2:

I absolultely know that my crooked teeth hampered my ability to sell myself in job interviews. I couldn't complete with my peers who all looked good and had great smiles already. In professional job settings, you actually don't see hardly any younger people with badly crooked teeth anymore - to get those good jobs with benefits, you need that winning smile just to enter the door.

And sadly, like it or not, teeth are a class and status issue. Crooked teeth says "low class" to the world and you can't hide it. I became acutely aware of how my teeth made people treat me as "inferior" and "not as good as them" and shut doors to opportunities. :mad: I was very angry at my parents for a long time for leaving me looking like that, unable to enter the world of professional-level jobs. I was embarrassed and humiliated by my poor smile, and there were no quick easy fixes to straightening my teeth so I could look like everyone else.

Eventually as an adult, I knew I had no choice but to finally get braces. I had to go into debt (almost $10,000, since I didn't have a good job with insurance) to pay for surgery and 3 and a half years of braces just so I could get a real job (I was a nanny for many years, only thing I could get). Best thing I ever did - fixing my teeth changed my entire appearance and people treated me 1000% better. And I finally landed a decent job. :teeth:

A kid with noticably bad teeth will be at a disadvantage in so many ways in life, in our appearance-obsessed society, I can't emphasize that enough!! Almost every parent I knew found a way to pay and straighten their kid's teeth so their child can compete and suceed later in life.

Your story brought tears to my eyes. I definitely do not want my DD to go through that! I think even if one of us has to get a 2nd job we'll do it. We'll see what we hear from the consultations and go from there. I'm glad you were able to get your braces on your own.

nsmith
07-19-2011, 08:38 PM
we took both DD and DS to the graduate ortho. clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, we save over $2500 on each child.

HugsForEeyore
07-19-2011, 10:37 PM
Your story brought tears to my eyes. I definitely do not want my DD to go through that! I think even if one of us has to get a 2nd job we'll do it. We'll see what we hear from the consultations and go from there. I'm glad you were able to get your braces on your own.

I feel I should add that my case was quite severe which is why I am so passionate on this issue - I sure hope your DD's case is far more mild than what I went through! :hug: I forget the technical terms - my main problem was dracula fangs in their own rows, in front of the rest of my teeth, pointing out at 45 degree angles. There wasn't even a gap for my "fangs" to be pulled into, since the teeth behind them overlapped so much. I couldn't even open my mouth properly over the protruding canines (aka fangs), and smiling was out of the question. I would always get little kids asking me what's wrong with my mouth, since it was pretty obvious how messed up it was. :(

I been out of braces for 5 years now, and I still look in the mirror and love what I see. And I still wear my retainers almost every night!!! I am wearing them forever lol.

A nice smile is so important to every child - you'll find a way to help your DD! :grouphug: