Dental Insurance and Orthodontics: How to Choose the Best Plan for Your Family

Life Is Better With a Smile

child eating watermelon

There are many reasons to seek orthodontic care, including the numerous health benefits of a properly aligned bite, enhanced non-verbal communication, and increased confidence. Planning ahead by finding the best dental insurance policy to help cover the costs will allow you to choose the best orthodontist and the best braces available for your family.

When Will My Child Need Braces?

When deciding how soon to have your child seen by a pediatric orthodontist, consider the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists, who advise the first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. Whether the goal is to straighten your teeth or correct the bite, the earlier the better, especially if family history suggests that there may be issues.

Some insurance policies will not cover orthodontic care that has already started. Knowing that orthodontic care is in your family’s future will give you time to save for this investment and upgrade your dental insurance.

Your child should be evaluated as early as possible if they:

• have teeth that are coming in tipped, overlapping, or rotated.
• have a noticeable overbite or underbite.
• use a pacifier or suck their thumb after age 5.

Comparing Dental Insurance and Orthodontic Coverage Options

Navigating the sometimes-confusing world of insurance coverage for braces can be a challenge. Knowing what to ask and where to find the answers is half the battle.

If you have dental insurance through work, you may start with your HR benefits advisor. If you are directly purchasing dental insurance, your agent will be able to answer these questions:

Does this plan cover orthodontic care and what are the limitations?

Some plans may not cover orthodontic treatment unless it is medically necessary. Many plans provide coverage, but a yearly or even a lifetime limit is common. If coverage that pays a significant percentage without an upper limit is available to you, that is likely the best option.

Can I use a Flex Plan or Health Savings Account to pay for orthodontic care?

Many plans allow you to use pre-tax dollars to save for upcoming expenses, which can be a great way to prepare for your out-of-pocket orthodontic expenses.

Does my dental plan cover braces for adults?

Some policies limit orthodontic benefits to patients 18 or younger. There are supplemental policies which do cover adults, so make sure you have adult coverage if you need it.

Is coverage provided as a percentage or a fixed co-pay?

If you have a managed care plan, you may need to find an orthodontist within the approved network. You may have a co-pay responsibility with or without an annual or lifetime limit.

Are invisible braces covered by my dental policy?

Top orthodontists recommend clear, invisible, or ceramic braces to their patients when appropriate. Some policies limit which types of braces are covered, so make sure to ask if your policy covers options like Invisalign.

Helping Healthy Smiles Fit Your Budget

No matter the challenges, a caring orthodontic office will do everything possible to help you afford the best care for your family, from working with your insurance company to providing affordable financing options. We want nothing to stand in the way, because life is better with a smile!

Consider and compare your options when choosing your dental plan, and when choosing a nearby orthodontist in the Annapolis area. Just as all plans are not created equal, not every team will treat you like family the way we do at Labbe Family Orthodontics. Before you pick an “orthodontist near me” you find online, stop by our office and meet the best orthodontist for you, your family, and all their bright future smiles.