You or a family member need braces. You’ve just found out or you had an inkling all along – your bite is uncomfortable, or you don’t like to show your teeth when you smile because they just don’t look the way you would like them to. What can you do to make the cost more manageable?

First, don’t worry. Many Canadians just like you have dealt with the same concerns. Here are some things to remember when you’re facing the costs that come with a beautiful smile.

Ask your orthodontist about your payment options.

As with any new venture, it’s important to educate yourself. Many people have health insurance benefits through work that will cover a portion of the costs. You should find out the following information from your insurance carrier: Who is covered and until what age, the percentage of the coverage, and the total value of the coverage.  Many insurance carriers will allow you to increase the orthodontic option. If both parents have coverage you will be able to apply to both plans.  Just remember to contact your insurance company and have them fully explain your orthodontic coverage to you. This can substantially reduce your out of pocket costs.

Then, it’s a matter of covering the difference on your own. Every orthodontic office will have a variety of payment options that will make this easier for you or your family. All you need to do is discuss this with office and you can design a fee schedule that works for you.

Every patient and family should request an official tax receipt for any treatment fees that were not covered by insurance. Currently the CRA permit these fees to be included under medical expenses on your tax form.

Plan.

If you think you’re going to have to pay for a large chunk of your orthodontic care, planning for the cost in advance can be a lifesaver when the time comes. Just like you’d plan for your home renovation cost, plan for the scenario that you or your child needs braces.

Understand all the treatment options and costs presented by your orthodontist.

Every orthodontic office understands the concern families have regarding the cost of orthodontic treatment, particularly if there are multiple members of the family who need treatment. Not everyone can pay for braces overnight. With that in mind, talk to your orthodontist and see what they’re willing to do to in terms of planning for costs and managing your expectations. They want to see you end up with a healthy, happy smile, and are often willing to provide payment options to meet you where you are.

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