The cost of adult braces

Yes, those are my actual teeth in the header. I know they were gnarly and my self-esteem suffered because of it.

My teeth have been extremely crooked since my adult teeth came in. This was exacerbated by the fact I grind my teeth leading to a cross-bite. My dad did have dental benefits through his employer but never wanted to spend so much money on my teeth.

Fast forward to when I was aged 29, I decided that it was finally time to get braces.  I hadn’t been to the dentist in 15 years and felt so vulnerable confiding in my orthodontist. I’m so grateful that she was understanding and caring. I had been so embarrassed with my teeth for years. I never smiled with teeth. I never laughed wholeheartedly because that would mean losing control and opening my mouth.

This was also the time when I accumulated debt with The Ex. I don’t feel guilty about getting my braces. In fact, I credit the braces with getting my confidence and self-esteem back so I could end that toxic relationship and move forward with my life goals and live the way I wanted. Who knew I could achieve that with 16 months in braces?

5th adj


Cost breakdown:
$8490 quote from orthodontist minus 50% coverage from my benefits = $4245
I used $1250/year of my health spending account towards braces. I did this for 2 years.
$4245 minus 2 x $1250 = $1745
I also won a $250 credit from my orthodontist through a contest.
$1745 minus $250 = $1495 Actual cost out of my pocket

I was very grateful to have good orthodontic coverage that allowed me to have $8490 braces and only pay $1495 for them. I know not everyone has work benefits but having them was absolutely key in being able to afford braces. I just wish I had done it sooner! $1495 may still seem like it’s a lot of money and it is. But the confidence that I got from that is priceless.



December 2018 Goals

  • Pay $2000 towards debt
  • 20 No Spend Days
  • Put potential bonus towards RRSP so as not to be in the 36% tax bracket

I can’t believe it’s December already. I admit I have the winter blues. I’m using my SAD lamp and taking vitamin D but on some days, I’m just not feeling it. I get angry when I have to drive into work when traffic is bad due to snow and think about the money The Ex owed me which I have written off ($30K). I don’t want him in my life and he was taking forever to make payments but it would help in sending my husband back to school or we could take a honeymoon. Oh well. I know good ole karma is taking care of him right now.

November 2018 Goals Review

  • No unnecessary spending. I’m in austerity mode now. I’m so tempted to put my credit cards in the freezer. I’m aiming for 30 no spend days. Fail! But I had 20 no spend days which might be the highest I’ve ever had.
  • It’s a 3 paycheque month so that means I can put up to $4500 towards debt. That’s just my pay alone. PASS!

No Spend November was a semi-success if I’m to stretch the truth. I succumbed to several Black Friday sales unfortunately. I picked a bad month to try this and am going to try again for December.