Angie's List: Budgeting for Braces: 'It was very expensive'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Braces can hit your wallet hard, but if you start planning early, financing for the orthodontist can be easy.

Kelsey Vergon and her two brothers have all wore braces or retainers.

"When I got the braces they hurt a little bit at first but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be," Kelsey Vergon said.

Kelsey's parents were surprised by the cost.

"Orthodontia can be expensive. My husband always jokes that that's his motorcycle in their mouths. The motorcycle that he won't have now for a while. They were all about the same and the total was right around $18,000 between $18-20,000 for all three. So it was very expensive," Tamara Vergon said.

While you are financially planning for braces, don't forget there could be dental work involved before the braces are put on.

Angie hicks, of Angie's List, stresses asking question before the procedure.

"Do they need any teeth pulled or a deep cleaning? Also, don't forget a lot of times after braces there is a retainer that children need to wear as well and if they lose it, you're going to add that to your bill as well," Hicks said.

Retainer are another hidden expense.

"All patients get retainers when the braces come off. Most patients get removable retainers and they wear the top retainer full time for about six months to a year and I have them wear the bottom retainer every night," Orthodontist Dr. Robert A Stoner said.

In total, braces can cost anywhere from $4-7,000, but it's important not to pick your orthodontist based on price alone.

"Also check the credentials of the orthodontist. How long have they been practicing? Are they are member of the American Board of Orthodontists? And do they accept your insurance. These are all important factors in making your decision," Angie Hicks, of Angie's List, said.

Also noteworthy, not all orthodontists are going to charge the same price so be a savvy consumer and shop around.
In addition, ask if the price of braces is negotiable.