Angie's List: Maximize your dental dollar - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Angie's List: Maximize your dental dollar

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WISCONSIN (WKOW/ANGIE'S LIST) -- We all want a beautiful smile, but getting one can be both expensive and time consuming. If your child may need braces, prepare to spend thousands of dollars.

Just ask Tamara Vergon, her daughter Kelsey and two sons have all worn braces or retainers.

"When I got braces they hurt a little bit at first, but it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be," Kelsey Vergon said.

The real pain was the price, Kelsey's mother was surprised at the cost.

"My husband always jokes that that's his motorcycle in their mouths, the motorcycle that he won't have now," she said. "The total was right around $18,000 for all three."

When planning for the expense of braces, Angie's List says you need to think about the entire process.

"A lot of times people think about the cost for the braces alone, but there could be dental work that needs to be done ahead of time, so keep that in mind," Angie Hicks, with Angie's List said. "Do they need any teeth pulled, or a deep cleaning?"

Also, don't forget many times after braces your children will need to wear a retainer and if they lose it, that's another expense.

"My son had taken it out and covered it with a napkin and just forgot," Vergon described. "We ran back in and we did go through the restaurant garbage and we did find it and sterilize it and it upset him so much, he never lost it again."

Vergon says another time, the dog got the retainer.

"All patients get retainers when the braces come off, most patients get removable retainers and they wear the top retainer full time for about six months to a year and I have them wear the bottom retainer every night," Dr. Robert Stoner said.

Braces will cost between $4,000-$7,000, but when selecting your orthodontist Angie's List says you don't want to rely on price alone. Check the credentials of your orthodontist.

"How long have they been practicing?" Hicks said. "Are they a member of the American Board of Orthodontists? Do they accept your insurance?"

Keep in mind not all professionals are going to charge the same price, so be a savvy consumer and shop around. Also, ask if the price of braces is negotiable.

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