Four million individuals 18 and younger have braces. If your child is about to be one of them, you probably have a list of questions. First up: what is the cost of braces for kids?

This is an important question to ask. Especially if you need braces for children, not just one child. Consumer Affairs reports the average cost of braces is $4,250 to $6,750. This number depends on the type of braces, the amount of correction, the length of time, and the area in which you live.

Big cities are likely to have higher costs than smaller communities. Keep reading to learn more about the cost of braces for kids. 

Types of Braces

You may picture metal brackets when you think of braces. These are still the most common types of braces used today. However, there are several other options available. Talk to your orthodontist to find out which one is best for your child’s situation.


Instead of metal and wire, Invisalign is a system of clear molds. They’re more discrete than traditional braces because you can hardly see them. The wearer uses different molds for each stage in the alignment progression.

Progress is slow with Invisalign. It’s also not an option for those who need more aggressive correction. Some insurance policies cover Invisalign but not all.

The average cost of an Invisalign system is $3,000 to $8,000.

Metal Braces

Yes, the traditional metal brackets are still around. They’re usually the most cost-effective way to meet ortho goals. Metal braces also work faster than most other types of braces.

If your child doesn’t mind the extra hardware on their teeth, metal is likely the best option. Some Orthodontists will add some flare with a colorful rubber band on each bracket. Who says you can’t dress up your teeth?

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are, as the name states, made from ceramic. They sometimes appeal to those who don’t want obvious metal brackets on their teeth. When paired with the proper elastic ties, they’re hardly noticeable on the teeth.

Ceramic braces are usually more expensive than metal braces. On average, they range in cost from $4,000 to $8,000. They’re also more fragile and can sometimes discolor easier.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces attach to the backside of the teeth. They’re custom-made to fit each individual’s mouth. Lingual braces require wearers to visit their Orthodontist more frequently than most other types of braces.

Due to their placement, these braces can be difficult to keep clean. Some users find lingual braces affect their speech or feel uncomfortable.

While they do create a few extra challenges, lingual braces aren’t visible. Their invisibility is likely their greatest appeal. Lingual braces usually range in price from $8,000 to $10,000.

3D Printed Aligners

Aligners may be used before or after braces. Technological advances have given way to 3D-printed aligners. Some advantages to aligners made this way are:

  1. Smooth edges that don’t need to be trimmed
  2. The ability to make sets identical through digital fabrication
  3. Reduced possibility of extra attachments
  4. Elimination of errors during molding and thermoforming
  5. Fewer errors result in better-fitting aligners

3D-printed aligners may not be available everywhere. If your Orthodontist offers them, why not ask if they’re a good option for your child?

The SureSmile Advantages

Orthodontists who use the SureSmile system have a 3D computer model of each patient. Using this model, they’re able to meticulously calculate and degrees of treatment.

Without the SureSmile system, Orthodontists bend braces wires by hand. This system can result in too much or not enough correction. With SureSmile, each wire is built robotically to the optimal measurements for each specific patient.

The result is often a much shorter braces treatment. Most people who use the SureSmile system enjoy brace-free faces within 12-14 months.

Managing the Cost of Braces for Kids

Did that average cost of braces for kids make you do a double-take? If so, you’re not alone. Many people don’t have that kind of money just laying around.

You may not have to pay the full cost yourself. Here are some ideas for managing the cost of braces.

Start Saving Early

If you’re able, start a savings account for orthodontic costs when your child is born. If you put $20 aside each month, you’ll have $2,400 saved when your child is 10yrs old. That may not cover the entire cost of their braces, but it’s a great down payment.

If your child doesn’t need braces, you can take a vacation or keep saving for college. 

Check Your Insurance Policy

Many dental insurance policies have a lifetime allowance for orthodontic work. This probably won’t cover the entire cost of braces for children. Even if it covers $500, that’s money you don’t have to pay.

If you don’t have dental insurance, check your health insurance. You won’t know what’s covered unless you ask!

Discuss a Payment Plan

Most Orthodontists have payment plans available. If not, you can always ask to meet with them and create a plan. Monthly, weekly, or quarterly payments make braces more affordable for many families.

Factors Can Affect the Cost of Braces for Kids

When your child has braces, there will likely be other costs involved than just their shiny new hardware. Ask your Orthodontist to give you an itemized cost document.

This will tell you how many visits you’ll need for braces maintenance. It should also state how much you will be charged per visit.

Keep in mind your child may also need an extra visit to their dentist. Teeth are more difficult to keep clean under brackets and wires. This could result in cavities or the need for more frequent cleanings.

Your child may also need a retainer, or headgear before, during, and/or after braces. Ask about all additional costs before the metal hits your child’s mouth.

Time for Braces? TDR Can Help

The cost of braces for kids can leave some parents with sticker shock. Your cost likely depends on the amount of correction, type of equipment, and where you live. Most people opt for traditional metal braces. Your orthodontist should meet with you and your child to determine the best braces for you.

If your child wants a discreet option, talk to your Orthodontist about Invisalign, ceramic, or lingual braces.

TDR Orthodontics has been serving the greater Detroit area since 1989. We’re specialists in our field. We use updated technology to provide your family with the care you deserve.

Contact us today for a free virtual exam. Together, we can find your perfect smile.