Before most people can have kids, they think long and hard about all aspects of childcare, including expenses. This includes tuition fees, clothes, shelter, food, etc. However, brace treatment is another expense that most parents have to account for. More than 3.5 million teens and children get braces every year. That means there is a good chance your child will wear them too. Unfortunately, dental care is not cheap. Kids’ braces can cost from $3,000 to $7,000. This can be very costly, especially for a low-income family. If your child needs braces, but you are having trouble raising the amount, you can explore several financing options, as highlighted below.
Medicaid Dental Benefits and EPSDT
By law, any children from low-income households qualify for full medical coverage. If your family is eligible, you will not have to pay for any orthodontic treatment costs. Keep in mind that dental and brace treatments for cosmetic purposes are not covered. But if the treatment is to correct a medical issue, then the case will be approved. In most states, orthodontic treatments are covered by Medicaid through a program called Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT). Check with the local department of Children and Family Services and confirm whether the program can cover brace treatment for your child.
Check Whether Your Orthodontist Has a Payment Plan in Place
Because these treatments can be costly, most orthodontists have payment plans in place to help patients. Talk to your orthodontist and find out what is offered. You may also want to research other orthodontists in your area. Payment options tend to differ, and you might find a payment plan that meets your needs. The earlier you start your child on treatment, the better the outcome. Between the ages of 6 and 12 is when you might start noticing your child has an abnormal bite. However, orthodontic treatment usually starts between the age of 8 and 14. At this age, the child has lost most baby teeth, and permanent teeth have started developing. This gives you plenty of time to research which orthodontists have good rates.
You can finance your child’s treatment by applying for a personal loan from a bank, online lender, or credit union. Look for lenders that provide medical loans. You will get the best rates if you have a good credit score. And the good thing about loans is that you do not have to repay all the money at once. You can spread the payments over a specific period to lessen the burden.
Low-Income Programs and Financing
If you do not qualify for the Medicaid orthodontic programs, check the ‘Smiles Change Lives’ program. If your household income is less than 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL), you may qualify for treatment. The child needs to be between ages 7 and 21. If you qualify, your child will get full orthodontic treatment for only a small fee of $650. This can be a huge relief for parents as they can start their kid’s treatment as early as possible. Ideally, the best time to start orthodontic treatment is from age 7. This ensures that any chewing problems and overcrowded teeth are fixed early.
Another way to cover your child’s orthodontic treatment is through insurance. Invest in a dental plan that includes brace treatment. This may increase your premiums, but you will be reducing the financial strain of covering the whole treatment cost on your own. When crooked teeth are not addressed in time, they can lead to other dental issues such as bad breath. According to the American Dental Association, people ought to brush twice a day to remove oral bacteria and prevent bad breath. But when you have crooked teeth, even if you brush twice a day, it can still be challenging to reach all corners of your mouth. Rectifying the issue early on prevents other oral issues and saves you money in the long run.
Financing your children’s braces ensures that you raise confident and happy kids. Do not let the situation escalate due to money issues. Explore which financing option works best for your family and use it to cover your child’s brace treatment.