How to know if it’s time for braces

The goal of orthodontics is to correct the alignment of the teeth for a beautiful smile and healthy bite.1 Braces are often used, but new techniques using retainers and removable plastic mouthpieces can avoid the need for braces.2

When you have young children, you have a lot to think about, and straightened teeth may not be high on the list. However, experts recommend asking your dentist about orthodontics as early as possible3—certainly as soon as your child’s permanent teeth begin to appear.

You should think about orthodontic care if:4

  • As teeth enter your child’s mouth, they become tipped, rotated or out of position.
  • Your child has a pronounced overbite or underbite.
  • Your child sucks a thumb, finger or pacifier past the age of 5.

Dental insurance may help manage orthodontic care costs

Several factors can affect the cost of orthodontic care, including the recommended type of treatment and whether you have dental insurance.5 Many Humana dental insurance plans offer discounts on adult and child orthodontic care. Depending on the plan you choose, you may have a range of discounts on the cost of braces and other devices.6

Cost-saving tips:

  • Orthodontic care may not be covered if you begin treatment before you start a dental insurance plan.7 Be sure to get dental coverage before you start working with an orthodontist.
  • When making an appointment, ask if your plan is accepted and understand exactly what and how much is covered.8 This will ensure you get the savings you expect from your dental plan.9

Considering a new dental plan? Let’s find one that works for you.


  1. “Dental Braces and Retainers,”, last accessed September 30, 2019,, opens new window.
  2. “Dental Braces and Retainers.”
  3. “Dental Braces and Retainers.”
  4. “Dental Braces and Retainers.”
  5. “How Much Do Braces Cost?”, last accessed September 30, 2019,, opens new window.
  6. “How Much Do Braces Cost?”
  7. “How Much Do Braces Cost?”
  8. “How Much Do Braces Cost?”
  9. “How Much Do Braces Cost?”