Nearly one third of parents pay for children’s orthodontics with credit

A new study has revealed how UK parents are paying for their children's orthodontic treatment, with nearly a third (39%) turning to credit.

Nearly one third of UK parents are using credit to pay for their children’s orthodontic treatment, a study shows.

The Brace Index study, carried out by Intuit Credit Karma, also found that some 13% of parents are paying for the dental bills using their savings.

In addition, nearly two in five parents (39%) have delayed holidays to pay for their children’s orthodontic costs.

This comes as the ongoing NHS dental access crisis has pushed one in five parents to seek private treatment for their child, the study shows.

Other findings include:

  • Some 11% have paid for cosmetic treats including tooth whitening and veneers
  • Over a third (39%) are happy to find cheaper dental treatment abroad
  • Nearly half (45%) of respondents have paid for private dentistry in the past year.

Essential investment

Akansha Nath is general manager (international) at Intuit Credit Karma. She said: ‘Most dental treatment is considered an essential expense in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy. As part of this, many parents will also consider investing in orthodontic treatment for their children as a priority.

‘As the NHS continues to grapple with long waiting lists, lots of parents will fund this treatment themselves meaning many will be using credit to do so.’

This comes as a recent Yougov survey suggested that NHS dentistry is a top concern for voters in the run up to the upcoming general election.

The survey asked participants what the most important issues facing their local area currently are. Nearly a third of respondents (28%) said local dentistry services, which placed it higher than crime (24%), public transport (15) and schools and education (11%).

In addition, the respondents said dentistry is the least accessible NHS service, with 71% saying it’s difficult to access. This is compared to GPs (64%) and A&E (42%).

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