Orthodontics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monday, I brought Punk #1 to the orthodontist.  He’s got an underbite and some crooked teeth, but I didn’t realize how off it was until I saw the pictures they took.   Some of the closeups could be inspiration for a Halloween mask.

It look like he started with a small underbite that made his teeth line up wrong, which–as they grew–accentuate the wrong.   Now, it’s very, very wrong.

Next week he goes in to get his top teeth done.

At a cost of $5800.

If we pay up-front, they’ll knock 5% off, bringing it down to $5500.  That covers everything, all of the follow-ups, broken hardware, every stage the whole way through.  If we pay monthly, it will be $1450 down and $200 per month (interest free) for almost 2 years.

Almost six grand.

Fortunately, we knew this was coming, so we’ve been saving for this for a few years.

Unfortunately, we’ve only been saving $50-100 a month.  We can’t wait much longer.  With an underbite, you have more options if you do the work before the kid is done growing.  I’d really like to avoid jaw surgery for him, so we have to make things happen.

Our braces account has $3100 in it.   My HSA account has $875.  That’s from my last job, so that’s as big as it gets.  That leaves us almost exactly $1500 short.

I hate the idea of touching our emergency fund, although it does have enough money in it.

We’ve also got some money tucked away in an account leftover from my mother-in-law dying last year.   I think that’s where we’re going to come up with the difference.

How else could we save money?

We could shop around, but this isn’t something I want to give to the lowest bidder.  I want to do it right, and I know several people who have had braces put on by this office, either by this orthodontist or her father.

I asked about a cash discount and got turned down.

That’s it.  Next week, I burn $5500.  Hope the kid eventually appreciates it.

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