How much are braces in Canada?

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 01 Aug 2023

dental insurance braces coverage canada

Braces can be a life-changing investment for those seeking to improve their oral health and gain confidence in their smile. While the benefits of having braces are undeniable, the cost of the treatment can be a significant financial burden for many Canadians. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors that affect the price of braces in Canada, financial assistance and dental insurance coverage options, tips to save money on braces, and the process of getting braces.

Understanding the Cost of Braces in Canada

Before diving into the details, it’s essential to understand the average cost of braces in Canada. According to current estimates, braces cost between $3,000 to $10,000 for a treatment plan. Several factors affect the price of orthodontic treatment.

Factors Affecting the Price of Braces

The Patient’s Age

Treating children between the ages of 6-10 can be considerably less expensive than treatment plans for adults. Early intervention can reduce the cost of braces.

The complexity of the case

A case that is more difficult to treat will cost more than a simple treatment plan. Issues like misalignment, overcrowding, and bite problems that require extensive treatment can be more expensive.

The type of braces

Traditional metal braces are usually the most affordable option, while clear braces and aligners like Invisalign can cost more. Other types of treatment can be more complicated than metal braces, which can increase the costs.

The duration of the treatment 

The longer the treatment period, the higher the cost. A more extended treatment plan means more visits to the orthodontist. The orthodontist will charge you for every visit, which adds to your bill.

It’s important to note that the cost of braces isn’t just about getting straight teeth. It’s also about improving oral health and function. Braces can correct bite problems that can lead to jaw pain, headaches, tooth decay and gum disease.

Types of Braces and Their Costs

Many options are available for those needing braces, each with a different cost. Here are some of the most common types:

Metal Braces

The most common type of braces are metal brackets and wires. The cost ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. While metal braces are the most noticeable option, they are also durable and effective. They work well for most orthodontic issues, including misalignment and bite problems.

Ceramic Braces

Like metal braces, the brackets are made of clear or tooth-coloured materials, making them less visible. Their wire is usually translucent, so it’s difficult to see. Ceramic braces cost around $4,000 to $8,000. They are a popular choice for those who want a less noticeable option but still need the durability and effectiveness of metal braces.

Lingual Braces

These braces are placed behind the teeth, making them virtually invisible. They can cost up to $10,000. Lingual braces are an excellent option for those who want the most discreet treatment possible. However, they can be more challenging to clean and adjust, and they may not be suitable for severe cases of misalignment.


A series of clear aligners that gradually shift teeth into place. The cost ranges from $4,000 to $7,000. Invisalign is an increasingly popular option for those who want a virtually invisible option. However, they may not be suitable for severe cases of misalignment, and they require a high level of commitment to wearing the aligners consistently.

Financial Assistance and Insurance Coverage for Braces

Braces can be a significant investment in your oral health, but thankfully, many financial assistance and insurance options are available to help cover the cost of braces. Here are some additional details on what options are available:

Dental Insurance Plans

Many dental insurance plans offer insurance for orthodontic treatment with varying degrees of coverage. It’s essential to check with your provider to see what is covered and what the limitations are. Some plans may only cover a specific percentage of the cost, while others may set a lifetime maximum limit.

For example, some dental insurance plans include orthodontic insurance, which may cover up to 50% of the cost of braces, while others may only cover up to a certain dollar amount. It’s important to understand the specifics of your plan so that you can plan accordingly.

Government Assistance Programs

The Canadian government offers programs to assist low-income families in paying for dental care, but braces are not included in these programs. One exception is the federal government’s Canada Dental Benefits program. However, programs are available to cover a significant portion of the costs of braces for eligible people. Eligibility for these programs varies depending on income level, age, and individual circumstances.

Canada Dental BenefitTax-free payment of $260, $390, or $650  for each child under 12 you can use for braces. The eligibility criteria are on their website.
Dentalgrants.orgUp to 30% discount for dental services, including braces. The eligibility criteria are on their website.
Smiles4Canada.caServes Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Ontario and the Prairie provinces-most of the cost of braces is covered for children under 14 (18 in Manitoba). The eligibility criteria are on their website.
Smile for a LifetimePays for most of the cost of braces. Works like a scholarship program. The eligibility criteria are on their website.

Payment Plans and Financing Options

Many orthodontists offer payment plans or financing options to help spread out the cost of treatment over an extended period. These plans may include low-interest rates or no interest at all, making it more manageable for families to pay for braces.

For example, some orthodontists may offer a payment plan where they will spread the cost of braces out over 24 months with no interest charges. Others may offer a financing option where the cost is spread out over a more extended period, such as five years, with a low-interest rate.

Researching and comparing different payment plans and financing options is essential to find the one that best fits your budget and needs. Some orthodontists may also offer discounts for paying in full upfront, so it’s worth asking about that option as well.

Overall, while the cost of braces can be daunting, many options are available to help make it more affordable. You can decide how to pay for your orthodontic treatment by researching and understanding your options.

How to Save Money on Braces in Canada

While the cost of braces may seem overwhelming, there are ways to save money in the long run. Braces are a significant investment in oral health, and finding ways to reduce the cost can make a big difference.

Comparing Orthodontist Prices

It’s essential to shop around and compare prices from different orthodontists to ensure you’re receiving a reasonable cost for treatment. When comparing prices, ask your orthodontist what they include in the cost, such as x-rays, retainers, and follow-up appointments. However, it’s essential to remember that the cheapest option may only sometimes be the best, as the quality of care can vary. Consider the orthodontist’s reputation and experience level before making a decision.

Another factor to consider is the location of the orthodontist. Orthodontists in larger cities may have higher overhead costs, leading to higher treatment costs. Consider looking for orthodontists in smaller towns or suburbs to save money on treatment.

Seeking Treatment at Dental Schools

Dental schools often offer orthodontic treatment at a lower price, as students are learning and under close supervision from licensed orthodontists. This option can be a great way to save money on treatment while still receiving quality care. However, this option may have longer waiting times and offer a different level of personal attention than a private practice.

When seeking treatment at a dental school, be sure to ask about the qualifications of the supervising orthodontist and the experience level of the students who will be providing treatment. While the cost may be lower, ensuring you’re still receiving quality care is essential.

Taking Advantage of Promotions and Discounts

Orthodontists may offer promotions and discounts on treatment, such as referral programs or seasonal specials. Be sure to ask your orthodontist if any ongoing promotions could help reduce the cost of treatment. Some orthodontists may also offer financing options, allowing you to spread the cost of treatment over a more extended period.

Another way to save money on braces is to consider alternative treatment options, such as clear aligners. Clear aligners are often less expensive than traditional braces and can provide similar results for certain orthodontic issues.

Overall, there are several ways to save money on braces in Canada. By shopping around, considering alternative treatment options, and taking advantage of promotions and discounts, you can reduce the cost of treatment and still receive quality care for your oral health.

The Process of Getting Braces

Now that we’ve covered the cost of treatment and ways to save money let’s dive into the process of getting braces.

Initial Consultation and Assessment

The first step in getting braces is an initial consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, the orthodontist will assess your teeth and determine the best course of treatment. They will also provide information on the type of braces best suited for your case and give you an estimate of the cost of treatment.

The initial consultation is an essential step in the process as it allows the orthodontist to evaluate the condition of your teeth and determine the best approach to correct any issues. They may take X-rays or impressions of your teeth to understand your bite and alignment.

It’s important to note that not everyone is a candidate for braces. Sometimes, the orthodontist may recommend alternative treatments.

Installation of Braces

Once you’ve decided on a treatment plan, the next step is the installation of the braces. This appointment can take up to two hours, as the orthodontist must affix the brackets to your teeth and attach the wires. This process is generally painless, but you may experience discomfort or soreness in the following days.

The orthodontist will first clean and dry your teeth before applying a bonding agent to the surface of each tooth. They will then attach the brackets to each tooth and secure them with dental cement. Once the brackets are in place, the orthodontist will thread the wire through each bracket.

Regular Adjustments and Checkups

After the installation, you must visit the orthodontist regularly for adjustments and checkups. These appointments usually occur every four to six weeks, during which the orthodontist will adjust the wires to nudge your teeth into the correct position.

During these appointments, the orthodontist may also make other adjustments to your braces, such as adding additional appliances to help with alignment.

Attending these appointments as scheduled is essential to ensure the treatment progresses as planned. Missing appointments can prolong the treatment time and may result in additional costs.

Aftercare and Retainers

After your braces are removed, you’ll likely need to wear a retainer to ensure your teeth stay in their new position. The retainer can be removable or fixed; you should wear it as the orthodontist directs. Aftercare is crucial in maintaining treatment results and avoiding future dental or orthodontic problems.

During your orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits and avoid hard, sticky, or sugary foods that can damage the braces or teeth. The orthodontist may also recommend additional treatments, such as teeth whitening or gum reshaping, to enhance the appearance of your smile. Getting braces requires patience and commitment, resulting in a beautiful, healthy smile that can last a lifetime.

The Bottom Line

While the cost of braces can seem daunting, it’s important to remember that the investment in your oral health is worth it. Many Canadians can receive the treatment they need with the various financial assistance and insurance options available. You can save money on braces by comparing prices, taking advantage of promotions, and seeking treatment at dental schools. Finally, by getting braces and caring for your teeth, you can maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications