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Maximizing Your Tax Return: Investing in Your Child’s Smile

Maximizing Your Tax Return: Investing in Your Child’s Smile

With tax season over, many parents are considering what to do with their tax refunds. Some will consider savings or vacations; others might invest in different family needs. 

What if you made a choice that continues to give back? Investing in something that will benefit your children long-term is a good idea. Orthodontics is one of them. 

Orthodontic treatment is more than a beautiful smile–it’s an investment in their future oral health and self-esteem. In this article, we’ll explore why orthodontic care can be a wise use of your tax refund.

How Much Does Orthodontic Treatment Cost?

Whether you choose braces or clear aligners, the costs can vary widely. Factors that affect the cost of treatment include:

  • the type of treatment
  • how long it takes
  • the orthodontist’s fees.

Metal braces cost between $3,000 and $7,000, while ceramic braces or clear aligners are slightly more expensive. Understanding these factors can help you plan your child’s orthodontic care wisely.

Happy TenBrook patient smiling with her T1 Braces

The Benefits of Early Orthodontics

There’s more to early orthodontic treatment than just straightening teeth. More expensive dental issues later in your child’s life can be prevented by starting orthodontics earlier. Addressing misalignments sooner can lead to:

  • improved chewing
  • easier dental hygiene
  • less chance of chips and breaks.

Early orthodontics benefits children socially and psychologically. A straight smile can significantly boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence, positively affecting their social interactions and self-perception for many years!

Young TenBrook patient confidently smiling with a friendly member of our staff

Why Orthodontic Treatment is Worth It

There is more to orthodontics than oral health. When teeth are correctly aligned, the risk of specific oral health issues is significantly reduced. These issues include:

  1. Reduced Tooth Decay: Teeth that are correctly aligned are easier to clean. Misaligned teeth can create hard-to-reach areas where plaque and bacteria accumulate, increasing the risk of cavities.
  2. A Decrease in Wear and Tear: When teeth are misaligned, uneven wear can occur. This can result in future dental restorations being needed. Orthodontics avoids this type of wear by evenly distributing bite forces among the teeth.
  3. Lower Risk of Jaw Issues: Misalignments can also stress the jaw muscles and joints. Such stress can lead to conditions like TMJ. Correct alignment relieves this stress, promoting healthy jaw function.

When considering the cost of orthodontics, it’s critical also to consider the potential future expenses that can result from these types of dental complications.

A confident patient with a strong foundation for a bright future

Tax Returns as a Funding Opportunity

Using your tax refund for your child’s orthodontic treatment is an intelligent way to invest in their future health and confidence. Here are some tips on how to leverage tax returns effectively:

  1. Plan Ahead: Even though this tip might be too late for this tax season, it’s something to remember. Ask your orthodontist for a detailed estimate before tax season. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to set aside some funds from an upcoming tax return for orthodontics.
  2. Direct Allocation: Allocating your tax refund to orthodontic treatment costs can prevent it from being eaten up by day-to-day expenses. Your refund will serve a significant and planned purpose this way.
  3. Early Payment Discounts: Ask your orthodontist about discounts for paying the total cost upfront. Using your tax refund to pay early can reduce the financial burden and unlock cost savings that wouldn’t be available otherwise.
  4. Seasonal Promotions: Orthodontic offices often run promotions, especially during or after tax season. Combining these promotions with your tax refund can save you money, making orthodontic treatment more affordable.

By incorporating these strategies into your financial planning, you can invest wisely in your child’s dental health and future.

Additional Financial Assistance Options

While tax refunds provide a great start, other financial resources can also help manage orthodontic treatment costs:

  1. Tax Credits and Deductions: Check if you qualify for medical and dental expense deductions on your federal income tax return. These deductions can include orthodontic treatments if they exceed a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income.
  2. Charitable Programs: Some charitable organizations offer assistance with children’s orthodontic treatments. These programs often target families with limited financial resources, making essential dental care more accessible. Over the years, TenBrook’s orthodontists have donated their time to the Give Kids A Smile program to help children who cannot afford orthodontics. We’ve also helped Big Brothers Big Sisters of NJ, which chooses a child who needs braces through a lottery.
  3. Insurance Coverage: Many dental insurance plans include orthodontic coverage. Review your policy to understand what is covered and how much you can expect in reimbursement.

These options can provide additional financial relief and ensure orthodontic treatment is more accessible for your family.

Dr. TenBrook sharing a happy moment with some young members of our TenBrook community


Investing your tax refund in your child’s orthodontic treatment is a wise decision that can benefit them for the rest of their life. By addressing dental issues early, you’re improving their smile, preventing potential health problems, and boosting their confidence for years to come. It’s an investment in their overall quality of life, which is priceless!

To learn more about orthodontics, schedule a free consultation and learn more about how TenBrook makes orthodontics more affordable for families.

We’re here to help you navigate the process and make the right decision for your child’s health and happiness!

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