Orthodontics, a.k.a. braces, currently cost somewhere between two thousand and five thousand dollars per child, depending on where you live in the U.S. Most low-income families cannot afford health care or good dental care without government assistance, and government programs do not cover orthodontia. If you are in desperate need of affordable orthodontics, several other programs can help.
One charity asks that families fill out an application with a twenty-five dollar fee to be considered for services. If your family is accepted, you may still have to pay some of the total cost for the braces and services, although it is on a sliding scale. This charity in particular asks families to contribute between two hundred fifty and five hundred dollars per child, payable in increments your family can afford. All the necessary follow-up visits are included.
Another charity provides braces to children aged eleven to eighteen on both a national and international level. The difference here is that your local chapter only accepts six patients in the spring and six in the fall. You must submit an application, and if you are turned down, you may resubmit your application as many times as you want. There is no guarantee that your child will be selected, and it is based on the lowest income families who apply first.
Many orthodontists spend years training in a dental school. Their "practice" patients are real patients who receive inexpensive or free dental and orthodontic services. If there is a dental school near you, you might want to contact them to see if they provide affordable orthodontics. Then you can ask how soon they could fit your child into their schedule. Because orthodontic devices may only be covered coursework during the fall or spring semesters, you may have a bit of a wait.
Asking Your Church or Place of Worship to Help
It is quite possible that your place of worship has a dentist or orthodontist in the congregation that might be willing to help. You might even be able to persuade your church elders to pay the orthodontist or dentist a small fee if he or she contributes his or her time and services for your child's needs. Usually, churches have special programs to assist low-income families with medical bills, rent, housing, transportation and food. You will have to speak to the church elders, your pastor or the church secretary to see if your church can help you and your child with the cost of braces.
Some clinics, such as Reed Orthodontics, also specialize in offering affordable orthodontics to those in need.