If you are planning to get braces in the near future, then a good way to look ahead is to save money. A good idea is to visit several orthodontists (or dentists) for quotes and feedback. This allows you to have a better understanding of how much your braces will cost, compare prices and get a feel of who you are most comfortable with. Most orthodontic practices will allow a monthly plan or similar for flexible payments.
For a bit of perspective, I have wanted braces ever since 2008. During that time I was still in high school, and knew that once I could afford to do so, I would love to have braces. Patience and determination is definitely a huge part in saving money. For what may seem like thousands of dollars, know that each bit of it counts. My own treatment costs more than the average, as every individuals situation is different. I have previously written about tips on saving money and how to spend less, if you would like to check out some more tips.
1) Shop smart and cook more.
This one is mostly from my own experience, as I ate out a bit too frequently in 2015. Whether it was the odd sushi box or noodles. It’s good to eat out every so often, but sometimes it can add up significantly, if it becomes too frequent. The ingredients for pasta can be bought for under $15, which is the price of one plate of pasta at a cafe. However, you will have left overs for the next 2 meals and save another $30. When you go grocery shopping, try to compare prices of similar products for the best option and shop on days when there are discounts.
2) Differentiate between need and want.
Self control is very important, because it’s easy to tell yourself “I’d love to buy that dress” or “I want those headphones”. Most things we don’t need, and the ability to make the sacrifice for a while, to save (especially if you’re on a tight budget) will be worth it in the long run. For example, groceries is definitely a weekly need, but shopping for clothes is a want. Toiletries are a monthly need, but monthly subscriptions are a want. When I go out to shop for my weekly things, I like to make a list and stick with it. It also keeps me on my budget and makes sure I don’t spend anything I don’t need.
3) Work for it.
There’s no easier way to explain it. Braces are an investment. If you are going to pay for braces on your own, you need to have a job to pay for it. For half a year, I worked at a cafe on Saturday and Sundays, while juggling another job during the week to save up. After saving enough, it was rewarding to be able to drop the shifts, and have my weekends free. Once you have your braces on you will really appreciate those extra hours of work. Having a steady income means you can pay monthly for your braces, without having to pay one off.
4) Take care of your teeth.
Believe it or not, right before starting my braces journey, I hadn’t had my teeth cleaned at the dentist for nearly eight years (guilty). I went to the dentist at the beginning of the year to have my teeth cleaned before my procedure and had 4 fillings done in that month. Note: you should generally have your teeth cleaned 1-2 times a year. I hadn’t realised that my teeth required fillings but the price added up after having them done. Make sure to brush your teeth after having sweet foods and floss daily. A filling can add up hundred of dollars to your braces treatment.
5) Choose a good orthodontist.
Having your treatment with someone you can trust is extremely important, considering you will be paying a lot of money for the procedure. Some orthodontists provide free consultations and some require payment. Personally, I saw a few paid and free to compare prices. Initially, I went to my dentist in Sydney to get braces. However my situation was more complex, and he referred me to a specialist orthodontist. He gave me the quote that the previous orthodontists and dentists all gave me. I knew he had patients flying in from Perth and other various places. They also had flexible payment options which was really convenient. I believe that you will save a lot of money from choosing someone who will take care of your teeth well and ensure your braces goes smoothly and successfully.