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Affordable braces? Tips to help you save

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Americans are known for their pearly whites, but we pay for it—and it isn't cheap.  If you have more than one child who needs braces, you have quite an expense on your hands—but FOX 5 I-Team reporter Dana Fowle found some ways to make it a little more manageable.  

If you have two or three kids who need braces, the price tag could be about $6,000 each.  That doesn't include broken braces or lost retainers.  So, it's the type of expense you need to start planning for now.  

How do you pay for it?  You strategize.  First, negotiate.  Get a second opinion on the treatment plan and price.  If you like the more expensive doctor's strategy, ask her to meet the lower price.

Orthodontists have a variety of payment plans.  Push for a discount.  See if there is a family plan if you have more than one child who will need braces.  Also, you can get a deal if you pay in full up front, either in cash or a credit card.  Ask for a 10 percent discount, knowing that you may only get 5 percent.  

Orthodontist Michael Stewart, who runs a booming practice in Dunwoody, says the most efficient way to save is to tap into tax-free payroll deductions.  He also says that if you already have dental insurance, you shouldn't buy a supplemental dental plan.   He says it does not add up to savings in the end.

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