How much would braces cost without insurance

Braces for Adults and Children: Types & Costs


In terms of dentistry, the corrective measure popularly known as braces is called “medical tooth regulation”, as it regulates misaligned teeth. One can also find the terms "dental equipment" or "dental equipment". A distinction is made between two different types: removable and fixed medical tooth adjustment.

With the test winner DFV-ZahnSchutz you are protected from all costs, regardless of whether you have removable or fixed braces. The supplementary dental insurance DFV-ZahnSchutz covers up to 100% of the costs actually incurred, regardless of age and KIG level.

Types of braces

The type of tooth regulation depends on the extent to which a jaw or tooth misalignment is pronounced. A specialist decides whether the teeth are regulated with removable or fixed braces.

Brackets - fixed braces

The term "bracket" comes from English and means, among other things, "bracket". Brackets are common fastening elements for fixed braces and are used in cases of pronounced tooth misalignment. The orthodontist glues them (made of metal or ceramic) on the outside or inside of the tooth. By sticking to the tooth surface, a starting point for moving the teeth is created. The patient himself cannot remove the brackets.

External clips

The visible arch wire on the front teeth serves as an orientation plane for the arch shape. This will put the teeth in the right position. The orthodontic appliances put pressure on the teeth so that they move until the ideal position is achieved. The pressure is generated on the one hand by the brackets on the tooth surface itself and also by the arch that leads through all brackets. A "ligature", which holds the arch in the bracket with an elastic material, supports this process. There are also different colors for external brackets, depending on your personal aesthetic understanding.

Internal clasps

A form of orthodontic therapy that is not visible from the outside can be achieved with the incognito lingual technique, which is particularly popular with adults. Here, individually manufactured brackets are attached to the inside of the teeth. The teeth are then moved into the correct position with customized wires.

Removable / removable braces

Removable braces are one of the most popular shapes and are often used during tooth growth. It consists of a plastic center piece in which brackets are incorporated. The braces lie tightly against the inside of the teeth and the jaw is gently stretched. When designing the brace plate, there is a large selection of motifs and colors so that children can actively participate. Adults often forego color and rather resort to "invisible braces".


Treatment with transparent splints, the so-called aligners of the Invisalign system, is an inconspicuous and comfortable way of correcting teeth. The aligners can be easily removed for eating and oral hygiene.

Before the splints are made, a three-dimensional computer simulation is created that shows how the teeth will change and how they will stand in the end. With the Invisalign technique, even more severe misalignments of the jaw and teeth can be corrected.


For minor changes such as the correction of crooked front teeth, gaps or tilted teeth, the aligner technique can be advantageous compared to the Invisalign technique. The treatment time is shorter and therefore the costs are lower. 3-9 different aligners can be used one after the other for each treatment.

The decision as to which of the two almost invisible aligners to use depends on the degree and type of misalignment.

Types of braces: advantages and disadvantages

Fixed braces


  • very good treatment result
  • Thanks to modern dentistry, it is no longer necessarily uncomfortable to wear or visible at first glance
  • Internal braces allow invisibility from the outside and a lower risk of tooth enamel decalcification


  • possible problems with pronunciation
  • The brace cannot be removed and inserted by yourself
  • Brackets make dental care more difficult (plaque can get stuck in niches)

Loose braces


  • can be removed and inserted by yourself
  • Daily brushing of teeth and cleaning of the braces are easily possible
  • can be taken out for eating or exercising (stress and relaxation for teeth, muscles and jaw alternate)


  • only suitable for the treatment of slight misaligned teeth
  • possibly initially speech disorders and slight pressure pain (these inconveniences usually disappear after a few days)

When are braces used?

If the upper and lower jaw do not fit together and there is a misalignment, this not only has aesthetic effects for those affected. Crooked teeth have serious health consequences that orthodontics can correct.

Possible consequences of a misaligned tooth or jaw:

  • Caries and periodontal disease: crowding and nesting of the teeth promote dental diseases.
  • Stomach and intestinal problems: They arise when the function of chewing or biting is disturbed.
  • Tense neck and jaw muscles: A wrong bite can quickly lead to this, which in turn causes headaches.
  • Colds and ear, nose and throat problems: These often occur when the mouth is open while sleeping and the air is not moistened and warmed by proper nasal breathing.
  • Polyps: In children who cannot close their lip because of a large tooth step, mouth breathing often means that the tonsils and tonsils have to be removed.
  • Speech errors: Due to a misalignment of the jaw or teeth, lisp can be caused, for example.

Braces for children

In children, misalignments of the teeth can be detected and corrected at an early stage through regular visits to the dentist, or even avoided through good care and a healthy diet. The more developed the jaw is at the time the milk teeth are lost, the better the teeth that grow back adapt. This means that the premature loss of milk teeth (due to poor care) damages the teeth that grow back. Misalignments of the milk teeth also lead to misalignments of permanent teeth.

In children, correction is usually still possible with loose braces.

Braces for adults

Adults can also have their teeth straightened with the help of orthodontics. The correction, however, requires a lot of patience. Nevertheless, more and more adult patients today decide to have their own teeth straightened not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for health reasons. The possibilities are diverse, but the therapies are very expensive.

How long do braces have to be worn?

The duration of the dental regulation depends on the degree and type of the malalignment, the age of the patient and the type of regulation. It differs from case to case. Most child orthodontic treatments last 3-4 years. Smaller misalignments can be regulated in a shorter time. The teeth can be brought into the desired position relatively quickly, but there is a risk that they will slip back just as quickly if they are not held in the correct position long enough.

How does the treatment work?

Before the actual treatment begins, the initial consultation and diagnosis is carried out by an expert. For this purpose, the jaw, teeth and the chewing function are thoroughly examined. In this way, the attending physician can determine whether orthodontic care is necessary. He then creates a treatment plan that is based on the patient's individual needs and includes their expectations.

Personal conversation: If there are several options for regulation, the doctor clarifies the advantages and disadvantages of the respective method in a personal conversation and provides information about the costs. Once the decision has been made on specific braces, an appointment for individual impressions follows: With the help of alginate impressions, a plaster model is created that depicts the upper and lower jaw. For this purpose, a special shape is pressed onto the patient's teeth, into which a soft mass has been previously filled, the so-called alginate. There are several flavors of the mass available for young patients, so the process is not too uncomfortable for them.

Planning and deployment: Based on the impression, X-ray images or photographs, the next steps in the treatment are planned and the individual braces are made in the master laboratory. Once the braces are ready, they are inserted.

Unlike loose braces, fixed braces that are attached to the teeth with brackets are prefabricated. The individual adjustment follows on the day of insertion.

Tips after inserting the braces

To keep the risk of complications low, it may be worth cutting hard foods from the menu for the first few days to avoid hard biting. While loose braces can always be removed, we give you tips here to maintain the health and hygiene of the teeth and the oral cavity even with fixed appliances.

When wearing tight braces, avoid:

  • Sticky things like liquorice, caramel candies or chewing gum, as they are very difficult to remove from the braces.
  • Brush your teeth immediately after consuming sweets.
  • Hard foods can be cut into small pieces and then chewed gently.
  • The bite can cause brackets to loosen or loosen, or bend one of the wires.
  • Nuts should be eaten carefully.

How do you clean braces?

Especially with fixed braces, bacteria settle around the stuck-on brackets and certain areas are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. The bacteria remove important minerals from the tooth and damage it.

Tips for a thorough care:

  1. If possible, clean teeth with fluoride toothpaste and an electric toothbrush after every meal
  2. Cleaning the interdental spaces with dental floss
  3. Use an interdental brush on the tooth surfaces under the arch (wire)
  4. Remove removable braces with toothpaste and toothbrush as well as clean your teeth, use cleaning tablets and brush thoroughly under running water

What helps against braces pain? - The best tips

Soft food: In the first few days after insertion, you should only eat soft foods. Soup, applesauce and mashed potatoes are recommended.

Cold or frozen foods: Ice cream soothes and numbs a little. Ice cubes also have a pain-relieving effect and reduce inflammation. Alternatively, you can freeze a baby tooth ring and then bite or suck on it.

Avoid acidic drinks and foods: Lemons, for example, can cause pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the mouth.

Avoid hard or sticky foods: You should avoid certain foods so that the braces do not break. Chips, jerky meat, nuts, and toffee could all cause damage.

Painkiller: Paracetamol (Tylenol), for example, can relieve pain. Take a dose (1-2 tablets) with water every 4 hours, preferably after a meal, as it can irritate the stomach. Ibuprofen is also a common pain reliever, but it can slow down the process of tooth correction.

Surface anesthetic: These drugs can numb the pain for a few hours and come in the form of douches, rinses, and gels.

Wash your mouth with salt water: Salt water soothes the mouth and treats any pain that arises from rubbing the braces against the cheeks. Make a saltwater rinse with a teaspoon of table salt and a glass of warm water.

Rinse mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and reduces inflammation. Mix some water with a little 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Orthodontic wax: Orthodontic or tooth wax acts as a barrier between the braces and the inside of the mouth. The wax is available directly from the orthodontist or in the drugstore.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: This contains potassium nitrate, which reduces the sensitivity of the teeth by protecting the gum nerves.

Toothbrush with soft bristles: The softer the bristles, the gentler they are on teeth and gums. You should brush your teeth gently and carefully in circular motions.

Brush your teeth and floss: If you have braces, you should brush your teeth and floss after every meal. Otherwise, you risk tooth decay, swollen gums, and other dental problems. You should carry a travel toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste and a pack of dental floss with you.

Visit to the orthodontist: If you still feel pain after a few weeks, you should see your orthodontist. The braces may be too tight or the end of the wires may be pressing against the inside of the cheek. The orthodontist may also recommend other treatments or products.

Other complications and risks

  • Tooth decay or gingivitis if dental care is not thorough enough
  • allergic reactions to the metals or rubber linings used (latex allergy)
  • Improvement required in the case of incorrectly glued brackets
  • If the arch is incorrectly inserted, the tooth movement can be strong (with possible root damage) or too weak (which leads to an increase in the duration of the therapy)

The current study by the Federal Ministry of Health: That's what braces do

The study situation on the use of dental braces is generally unsatisfactory and does not allow any conclusive or unambiguous statements. This was the result of a study by the IGES Institute on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health in November 2018.

According to IGES, it can neither be clearly proven nor ruled out that braces reduce dental diseases such as tooth decay and periodontitis or even tooth loss. Too few oral health examinations can be identified for this. The main reason for this is the very long observation times that are required to observe morbidity-relevant endpoints such as tooth loss, caries or periodontitis and periodontosis. In most cases, these do not appear until several years after treatment.

However, the study shows that misaligned teeth can definitely be improved and remedied with orthodontic treatment. It has also been proven that the quality of life of patients improves significantly.

Which costs are covered by the statutory health insurance?

For the first child 80%, for further children 90% of the treatment costs are immediately covered by the statutory health insurance if the misalignment corresponds to indication groups 3-5. The missing 10% or 20% will only be reimbursed upon successful completion of the treatment. Non-contractual services for optimized orthodontic treatment must be financed by yourself. This also applies to additional services that shorten the treatment or make it more pleasant.

Braces treatment in adults is only financially supported in extreme exceptional cases. Exceptions are severe jaw anomalies, e.g. B. with congenital malformations, malocclusion caused by bones and jaw misalignments caused by injuries. Here, the statutory health insurance pays a standard treatment after approval by means of a cost estimate.

Orthodontic indication groups (KIG)

Since January 2002 there are new guidelines, the orthodontic indication groups (KIG): The orthodontist must assess the misaligned jaws or teeth with "grades" of 1-5 before starting treatment. The health insurance companies only pay from classification 3. With KIG 1-2, the costs must be borne by yourself, even if the treatment is actually medically necessary. This can often lead to incomprehensible decisions. Are the upper incisors of a child z. B. 6.5 mm beyond the lower front of the incisors, the health insurance company has to pay for the entire treatment. With a step of 6 mm, which is still very large, however, the parents themselves have to pay for the entire cost of the dental adjustment. The classification of the malformation of the dentition is based on precisely measurable criteria and is registered by the health insurance companies and checked by the expert.

The private health insurances reimburse according to the chosen insurance tariff.

What do you have to pay yourself?

The cost of braces is made up of the type of orthodontic treatment, the duration of the treatment and the material used.Smaller corrections start at around 500 euros, fixed braces start at 1,500 euros, and for a temporomandibular joint defect it starts at 6,000 euros.

What costs does DFV-ZahnSchutz cover?

The four-time Stiftung Warentest test winner DFV-ZahnSchutz Exklusiv 100 pays 100% of the costs for all dental and orthodontic treatments - regardless of age and classification level.

With us you don't have to decide which services you want to insure. Everything is in! You will receive 100% reimbursement for dental treatment, dentures, orthodontics and dental prophylaxis!

Beautiful and straight teeth - with the test winner

The six-time Stiftung Warentest test winner DFV-ZahnSchutz reimburses up to 100% of the cost of your braces!

  • Up to 100% reimbursement for orthodontic treatments
  • KIG 1 - KIG 5 for children and adults
  • Free choice of orthodontist
  • Without a health issue
  • Without waiting
Ensure the best performance for your teeth

FAQs about braces

Which braces for overbite?

An overbite (prognathy) is when the upper jaw protrudes over the lower jaw when the mouth is closed. The regular distance between the upper and lower incisors is two millimeters. If this distance is exceeded, it is an overbite. In children, the overbite is often treated with conventional, fixed braces. This curbs the growth of the upper jaw and promotes the growth of the lower jaw. In adults, the overbite requires other methods because the jaw has already finished growing. The treatment can then take place with a combined orthodontic-maxillofacial method.

Which braces for crowding?

When crowded, the teeth do not have enough space in the jaw. As a result, they do not grow out completely, remain completely in the jaw, grow crooked or are twisted. The treatment stimulates jaw growth in children and adolescents. For example, a jaw that is too narrow is widened so that the teeth can find sufficient space. After enlarging the jaw, the teeth are then placed in the dental arch with the help of fixed braces.

In adults, the teeth are shifted if the crowding is not too pronounced. Fixed braces or transparent aligners are suitable for this.

Which braces for a crossbite?

In the case of a crossbite, the rows of teeth overlap "incorrectly". Usually the outer cusps of the upper teeth protrude further out than the lower cusp tips. In the case of a crossbite, the cusps of the lateral, lower teeth bite past the cusps of the upper posterior teeth. This means that the chewing surfaces of the teeth no longer meet correctly when biting.

In order to correct a crossbite, expansion plates, devices for widening the palatal suture, conventional fixed braces as well as invisible aligner systems are used.

How expensive are loose braces for children?

The cost of braces always depends on the extent of the misalignment, the material required and the duration of the treatment. In principle, the statutory health insurance only pays for what is appropriate, sufficient and therefore not too expensive. Depending on the individual case and brace, this can be between € 4,000 and € 15,000. Conventional, loose braces are usually reimbursed. More expensive braces such as B. the Invisalign braces have to be paid for by yourself.

How much do fixed braces cost from the inside?

The internal "lingual" braces (facing the tongue) are used when patients with a medium to high need for dental correction want inconspicuous braces that are as invisible as possible. Lingual braces are usually cast in gold, which is why the strongly fluctuating gold price also plays a role in the cost.

In addition to the material costs, the decisive factor is how many teeth the braces on the inside contain. Only 8 teeth in the upper jaw or all 32 teeth? This can result in costs between € 1,500 and € 5,000 per jaw.

Statutory health insurance does not cover the costs of lingual braces. Patients with statutory health insurance have to bear the difference to simple fixed braces (standard care of the statutory health insurance) themselves.

How expensive are invisible braces?

With the Invisalign technique, a transparent splint, similar to a grinding splint, is used. This method is suitable for slight misalignments. The costs for invisible braces depend on the duration and effort of the treatment and are between € 6,000 and € 9,000.

This means that invisible braces are around 30 to 100% more expensive than regular, fixed braces. The statutory health insurance only covers the costs of invisible braces for adults in exceptional cases (e.g. in the case of severe jaw anomalies).

In the case of children and adolescents, the statutory health insurance only pays the costs for standard care. The difference between the grants for standard care and the actual costs of the Invisalign treatment must be financed by the parents out of their own pocket.

What do braces cost privately?

The costs for braces result from the severity of the jaw position and the necessary and desired services of a correction. It is therefore difficult to quantify the exact costs, as it always depends on the individual diagnosis and the opinion of the attending physician. It is estimated that the total costs for a long-term treatment are € 6,000 or more.

Despite the possibility of costs being covered by the statutory health insurance, additional treatments or methods that are more effective, less painful or more aesthetic are to be borne privately.

If there is a malalignment in the KIG 1-2 range in patients under the age of 18, the costs must be paid entirely privately. In the case of adults, the costs are also to be borne privately, with a few exceptional cases with a jaw anomaly.

How much do normal braces cost?

Fixed braces can quickly cost several thousand euros. The actual price depends on the duration, technique and material of the treatment. Both fixed and loose braces can quickly cost between € 1,500 and € 10,000.

Basically, the statutory health insurance reimburses costs for orthodontic therapy for patients up to the age of 18. However, this only applies to the treatment of misalignments of KIG 3 to 5. Those who want more comfortable or cosmetic solutions outside of standard care have to bear the costs privately. As a rule, adults have to bear the costs entirely privately.

If you pay for a regular fixed brace yourself, you should expect € 2,500, the average cost of the transparent plastic splints is € 3,500 to € 6,000.

All statements without guarantee.