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The cost of kids’ braces 

February 23, 2023
The cost of kids’ braces 

When your child needs orthodontic treatment such as braces, it can be a big investment. And while often a necessary expense, it pays to understand how much braces cost and what the different types of treatment are.  

Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about the cost of kids’ braces. 

Are kids’ braces expensive?  

It’s no secret braces can be costly – but their ability to provide your child with a confident and healthy smile cannot be underestimated. The cost of kids vary and the exact price will be determined by your orthodontist, who will take into account your child’s specific treatment needs. This includes the level of treatment your child needs, how long they will need braces for and the type of treatment you (or they) choose. 

How much do braces cost? 

As outlined above, there’s no one-size-fits-all cost for getting braces. And without a consultation with your orthodontist, it can be hard to plan for the potential costs. But as a guideline:  

  • Metal braces (traditional braces) typically cost $6,000 – $11,500 
  • Ceramic braces typically cost $6,500 – $12,000 
  • Lingual braces typically cost $9,500 – $16,000 
  • Clear aligners typically cost $6,000 – $11,000 

What age do kids need braces? 

There’s lots of discussion about when the best time for kids to get braces is. The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children visit a registered specialist orthodontists between the ages of eight to 10. This is so they can check and assess your child’s teeth and recommend any course of treatment, such as braces, if needed.  

For the majority of kids, early orthodontic treatment (for younger children with both baby and adult teeth) won’t be necessary. Much of the trusted orthodontic research out today shows that treatment as a teenager, when adult teeth have come through, is typically most effective. However, there are some cases where interceptive treatment or braces for younger kids may be needed to address developing problems, such as protruding front teeth or impacted teeth. Your orthodontist will advise if this is required for your child at their initial appointment.  

If you think your kid needs braces or you just want to find out more about their options, an orthodontist can help. Specialist orthodontists have the necessary training, experience and knowledge to determine the needs of your child and their teeth. If you need help finding an orthodontist, use our Finder tool. 

What’s cheaper: child or adult braces?  

The cost of braces isn’t based on age, rather the type and duration of treatment that is required. When it comes to braces, there’s no one size fits. This means that whether you’re a child or an adult, the cost of braces can vary.  

And when it comes to your child’s teeth (or yours!), your decision shouldn’t solely be based on cost or what’s more affordable – rather the type of treatment that will work best for their individual needs. If you need help with the cost of braces, there’s options for that too. 

Are there payment plans?  

The good news is that yes, most orthodontists offer payment plans for braces treatment – meaning you don’t have to fork out a lump sum to pay for the perfect smile in one go. The type of plan, how flexible it is, and your individual payment requirements will likely depend on your orthodontist and personal situation. Thankfully, in many cases, such details can be negotiated based on your circumstances.  

If you have private health cover, it’s important to check with your provider and see how much they will pay (if any) too.  

For more information about payment plans, read this article.   

Alternatives for braces 

While traditional metal braces remain the most common type of treatment, there are alternatives for traditional braces which you and your child may wish to look into. The different types of braces include:  

  • Metal braces  

These are the most common type of braces, made up of metal brackets attached to the teeth and connected via a thin wire. Metal braces, also known as traditional braces, are also typically more affordable than other types of braces. 

  • Ceramic braces  

These are similar to traditional braces but are made up of clear brackets, meaning that they are less noticeable. If your child is self-conscious about metal braces, ceramic braces may be a good option.  

  • Lingual braces  

These braces still use metal brackets and wires, however they are placed on the inside of the teeth, making them discreet. 

  • Clear aligner treatment  

This treatment involves a customised series of removable plastic aligners that use gentle pressure over time to move the teeth. Clear aligners are often favoured by older teens or adults, however they require a high level of self-discipline to ensure you stick to your treatment plan. As clear aligners work differently to braces, your orthodontist will determine if clear aligner treatment is suitable for your child’s individual case. 

Costs to factor in 

There’s lots of different costs involved with braces treatment. And when it comes time to receive your quote, it is important to understand what’s included and whether any payment plans are available.  You should check whether your final quote includes all of the following:  

  1. Pre-treatment assessment and records (e.g. photographs, radiographs, digital scans, impressions etc) 
  1. Braces or other orthodontic appliances (e.g arch expander, bite corrector etc) 
  1. Accessories and care items (e.g. elastics, wax, floss threaders) 
  1. Emergency care appointments (if required) 
  1. Replacement braces (if dislodged) and replacement aligners (if lost) 
  1. Post-treatment retainers (may be fixed or removable retainers – check with your orthodontist for your individual case) 

Braces are a big investment – but a positive one that can give your child (or you) confidence in their smile. For more information, you can visit our Cost Hub or search for your specialist orthodontist here.  

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