If your dentist or orthodontist believes that your young child is starting to develop a malocclusion, then you'll want to follow these tips to reduce further issues and the overall braces' cost.
Look Into Interceptive Orthodontics
It's common to see preteens and teens with orthodontic appliances; however, child as young as six can start treatment. The earlier you start treatment, the better it will be for your pocket. Interceptive orthodontics are an early intervention method that dentists use to help young children avoid more serious treatment later on. Since children's jaws are still rapidly growing at this stage, it is easier to make changes with less-expensive treatments, like aligners and retainers. If your child has crowded teeth or baby teeth interfering with permanent tooth development, your dentist can look into tooth extraction.
Since the cost of braces can be affected by the length of treatment, it's better to fix as many little problems as soon as possible before they become bigger as the child ages. In fact, many orthodontists are willing to look at young children at a consultation without charging, so you may as well get an option early on.
Stop Any Bad Habits That May Be Exacerbating the Issues
Most young children will wean off of sucking their thumbs, but some young kids still hold on to the habit. This thumb sucking can create an overbite, so if your child has this problem, talk with your dentist about temporary appliances that deter this action. If your child breathes through his or her mouth, he or she may develop an elongated jaw and crooked teeth. Take your child to an ENT to make sure that large adenoids or a crooked septum aren't causing the problem. If you can nip these kinds of bad habits in the bud, your child may not need braces down the line after all.
Go for Standard Braces
While interceptive care and good habits can help, they are not panaceas for all malocclusions. If your child still needs to have braces later on, consider going with the standard metal braces since they are just as effective as more expensive options, like ceramic brackets and Invisalign. CostHelper even says that some insurance policies are willing to cover a percentage if you go with metal braces.
Research Low-Cost Options and Flexible Plans
You may already know that dental schools can provide affordable care for teeth cleaning, but some actually provide orthodontic services. It's worth your time to look into these schools, since the services offered by students are overseen by experienced faculty. If you want to go to a dental clinic instead of a school, look for one with flexible payment plans. The cost of braces will be much easier to handle if you can pay for it in little chunks rather than at once.