How To Budget For Your Child's Braces

The price of orthodontic treatment can be quite a lot for cash strapped parents, and it can be hard when you find out your child is going to need treatment.

There are lots of things to consider before your child begins an orthodontic treatment and here, we give you some tips on budgeting for the treatment programme. 

Start saving early.

This seems silly, but it is important to begin saving for your child’s orthodontic treatment as soon as you can. This may not be possible (for some parents) and that’s not the ideal position, but it is one a lot of parents find themselves in.

If you can save a small amount of money for dentistry etc from the time your child starts school, you will find you will have some cash to cover it when the time comes. 

Encourage your child to look after their teeth properly.

This is vital as if your child has well-brushed teeth and ones that are healthy, they’ll save themselves expensive treatment later. If your child doesn’t brush their teeth properly, you’ll find they will need fillings and some dentists will suggest cleaning too. Start off well and it will save the pennies in the years ahead. 

Talk to your dentist about what to expect.

The cost of orthodontic treatment varies hugely depending on your teenager's needs and the best way to figure out how much it will cost is to discuss the plan with your dentist.

Before you go to an orthodontist, do your own research and your dentist should be able to give you an idea of what may be needed in terms of treatment.

Shop around and ask for price lists.

Once you know the work that may be needed, you should spend some time getting recommendations from other parents and doing your homework. Don’t be shy about asking for payment plan options - these are usually the best solution for parents who haven’t been able to save before the treatment begins.

A payment plan usually means paying a certain amount of money every month for a period of time that covers the expense of the treatment.

Girl brushing teeth
If your child doesn’t brush their teeth properly, you’ll find they will need fillings and some dentists will suggest cleaning too.

Ask about the HSE treatment scheme

While there have been lots of reports about the holdups in the HSE orthodontics scheme, it is always good to find out if your teenager is entitled to the scheme.

It may be that it takes too long for the treatment to begin so you’ll decide to go private but for some people, this won’t be possible. Especially if your child is a candidate for small surgeries and considerate orthodontic work.  

Consider the treatment

The treatment your child needs will dictate the price but if you are on a budget you may have to avoid more expensive options such as Invisalign braces. The more traditional metal braces will be a good bit cheaper and again, if your teenager needs some teeth pulled, small surgeries or extensive treatments that aren't the norm, it will cost more. 

Cancel the treats

This may be the only way some people can gather the money to spend on the orthodontic treatment - by stopping those morning coffees or a trip to a restaurant every week.

The luxuries may have to cease until you have some money to start your child’s treatment and while it seems silly, even a small amount of saving helps. For example, stop drinking your morning latte and you could save €3 every day – over a week that is €21 and over a month that adds up to €84. 

Remember the treatment will only run for so long and though it is a huge expense you’ll be delighted when your teenager has a beautiful smile and one they can be proud of. 


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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