Many children, teenagers and adults get braces each year. While braces leave the patient with a straight, beautiful smile, getting braces is a expensive procedure that most families have to prepare for. Developing a savings plan to finance braces is a good idea so that the cost can be paid for upfront. But how do you know how much braces will cost?

Just as each mouth is different, the final figure that you will owe the orthodontist also differs slightly. On avergage, braces cost around $5,000 per patient. However, some patients get their perfect smile for only $3,500 while others have to fork out $7,000. The cost is mostly affected by the type of braces a patient gets: traditional brackets or the newer Invisalign braces.

Traditional braces are often referred to as "railroad tracks" because the metal brackets and wires running across the surface of the teeth give a railroad track appearance. Some patients do not like to look of a lot of metal in their mouth and choose to get brackets that are the same color as their tooth enamel. This feature usually costs about $500 extra. Other patients want to avoid any metal from showing and choose to get lingual or concealed braces. These are special braces that are placed on the opposite side of the teeth (where the tongue is). Installing these braces is harder than installing traditional braces, so be sure to choose an orthodontist with experience working with concealed braces.

A recently developed alternative to metal braces is called Invisalign. These braces are made out of clear plastic that fit over your teeth. Every two weeks, the plastic molds are exchanged for a new set that move your teeth to a new postition. Many older teenagers and adults choose Invisalign because it is a lot less noticeable and can be removed for a short period of time like during meals or special events. The drawback to Invisalign is that it cannot correct major problems with bite alignment. Talk to your orthodontist to see if Invisalign is an option for you. There is no set price for a set of Invisalign braces, but the average cost is about $5,ooo.

Regardless of what type of braces that you choose, the cost will always increase if you do not take care of them. Many foods like popcorn and bubblegum can break brackets and wires, causing an additional trip to the orthodontist and a new piece of hardware. Always discuss the dos and don't with your orthodontist so that you can keep your hardware in good condition.

No matter wich style of braces you get, they are going to be an investment. Insuring that your bite is properly aligned can save you from painful dental situations in the future as well as the benefit of getting a beautiful smile! Talk to your orthodontist forspecific information regarding the cost of braces for your mouth.