Details About Getting Our Teen Braces In Spain

It looks like some people are curious about our experience with teen braces in Spain, so time to dig into the details and frequently asked questions for you!  We will cover the process for finding the right orthodontist, the process we went through, as well as our cost for braces in Spain.

Hers's our experience with teen braces in Spain! We will cover finding an orthodontist, the treatment we followed, as well as our cost for braces in Spain. Read more on

We moved to Spain when Lars was 10, knowing full well he would need braces at some point.  Our dentist in North Carolina informed us he would be about 10 -12 years old or so.  Since we only intended to be in Spain for a year or two, we thought we would just wait until we returned to the US to start the process.  As you know, we never did return to the US.  Once we knew we going to be away at least another year, we started with the orthodontist in Spain.

Finding our Orthodontist in Spain

At first we were timid and wanted to be sure we could speak English with the orthodontist.  We didn’t know of any English-speaking orthodontists in our town, so we went for a sure thing and searched for one with our insurance in nearby Nerja Spain.  We visited Dental Carmona, in the spring, and she started the process with retainers for Lars.

These retainers were upper/lower block retainers (to expand the palette and pull lower jaw forward).  With private health insurance, it was about €450 euros with a €40 euro per month fee for each visit, we only did two in Spain.  We made it in for 2 visits and that is when we went nomadic for a year and went off to travel Southeast Asia for 11 months.  The orthodontist provided us with detailed instructions and we had a solid plan to keep Lars on track.

When the treatment plan goes ad hoc

As we traveled in Asia, the plan was to find an orthodontist each month and have the regular adjustments.  We brought all of the paperwork, x-rays and treatment plan along with us.  We visited one place a few times in Chiang Mai and she wanted to take a more aggressive approach with the treatment plan.  I think it was about $10 per visit in Chiang Mai.  We wrote all about our experiences with the Orthodontist in Chiang Mai.

We were in Chiang Mai a few months and after that, we didn’t make another visit to an orthodontist until we returned to Spain.  Of course just 6 months into the treatment one of the retainers broke in half, but Lars was a trooper and still used it broken nights only.  When we returned to Spain the following June, about 1 year after the start of the treatment the orthodontist wasn’t too pleased with our approach.

That is until she examined Lars and said his jaw, palate and teeth were just where they needed to be!  Phew!  She stated Lars was ready to get started with braces now, but we wanted to do a little more research.  Thank goodness for the orthodontist in Chiang Mai for her expertise and advice.

Getting our teen braces in Spain

The next phase was braces!  We didn’t have a car the year we returned from Asia, so it wasn’t going to be easy to get back and forth to Nerja for future visits.  We became brave and visited local Orthodontists and received quotes from three of them.  There was one who spoke English in La Herradura, but we were now confident with our Spanish (the adults, Lars was already fluent).  We felt more comfortable going local and really let Lars decide where he felt most comfortable.

All three locations quoted pretty much the same price of about €1500 to €1800 and about 13-18 months.  Some were with our medical insurance and others weren’t, but it seemed to be the same price quotes either way.  In the end, we chose Almusalud. They didn’t speak English, but the staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable.  It was just a 15-minute walk from the house for regular visits, plus we had some neighbors also going there for their teen braces.

Lars wearing braces in Spain. Hers's our experience with teen braces in Spain! We will cover finding an orthodontist, the treatment we followed, as well as our cost for braces in Spain.

Braces in Spain – our treatment & payment plan

Lars had a full exam at Almusalud and more x-rays.  They devised a treatment plan and payment plan and reviewed it all with us.  The estimated total for upper/lower braces was from €1500 to €1800.  We paid €900 total for upper and lower, then €35 a month for 15 months (about €525).  If the treatment were to take longer than 15 months, we would have to pay for the extra monthly visits.  Once the braces were removed we would have to make a payment of €200 for the final retainers.

Installing the braces

Lars started with the upper braces for the first nine months and then the lower braces were put on.  Of course several rules came with the installation, which meant Lars would have to make several adjustments to his diet.  He loved Spanish jamón on a baguette, but both were off the list of things to eat as they were too tough to bite into.

Actually the jamón on its own was fine, but it would get stuck in the braces and make it difficult to clean. Popcorn was another big no-no, as well as chewing gum.  You know the normal foods not allowed with braces, as you don’t want them to get damaged or have their alignment altered.

Braces Adjustment

Each month Lars went in to the office for a braces adjustment.  These were usually pretty quick and Lars never complained about any pain or problems.  After nine months the lower braces were installed and he only wore both upper and lower braces for the remaining 6 months.  After the total of 15 months, everything was just where it needed to be!

After braces teeth shift

Now after braces teeth shift, so to keep his teeth where they need to be it’s time for more retainers.  This time the retainers are clear and fitted to his teeth almost like a clear protector covering all of his teeth.  We were warned he needs to be really good with wearing the retainers and Lars is a champ with following the rules.  He wears them day and night and you can’t even notice he is wearing them.  Fingers crossed we are done with braces!

After braces teeth shift and it is time for clear retainers to keep them in place.

Here are some other frequently asked questions about braces in Spain

We covered quite a bit of detail already with our experience, but we will also answer the following questions we’ve been specifically asked as well.  We were fortunate to have it easy with our teen with braces!

Are braces affordable?

Braces in Spain seem to be very affordable compared to the cost in America.  We know many people who have had braces in the US and we’ve heard of prices from $4000-$8000 and sometimes having braces twice.  For some reason in the US they like to put them on at 9 or 10 years and then again as teens.  In Spain it is pretty standard to wait until the kids are about 14 for braces.  This is to ensure all molars are completely in and won’t cause a shift in the teeth.

Below are the prices we paid for braces and retainers.  I am sure the prices will vary depending on your treatment, your location and the orthodontist, so please only use this as a data point.

The Total cost for our braces in Spain was €2225, including all retainers

  • 1 year double block retainer – €600
    • €450 in total for retainers
    • €150 for visits (normal price would be €480 – €40/ month over 12 months)
      (We actually only visited her 3 times so fee would be €120, keep in mind this isn’t the normal price to in Spain and about another $30 or €20 in Thailand)
  • 15 months braces on the top and bottom – €1425
    • €900 in total for braces (upper and lower)
    • €525 for visits (€35/ month over 15 months)
  • Retainer after braces €200

If you are going by today’s exchange rate (October 2018) from Euros to Dollars it is
(€2225 = $2540).  Of course the exchange rate fluctuated during his 15 month treatment, but today’s exchange rate is a good average over that time period.

Are braces painful?

For the first week, Lars had to deal with his lip and mouth being cut a bit here and there from the braces.  They advised him to use some dental wax on the braces, where it was rubbing against his mouth.  This helped a great deal and he really didn’t make any complaints the entire time he wore his braces.

Are braces covered by insurance?

Actually we did use our insurance card each visit, but we didn’t have copays or anything.  As I stated previously, the quote was pretty much the same with or without our Spanish medical insurance.

What were the best braces colors?

They offered Lars his a color choice for the braces, but he never opted for them.  There are plenty of people around town with colored braces though.  We’ve seen pink, blue, purple and more.

Would you do braces in Spain again?

Yes we would!  Of course we live here, so that is the easiest option.  We found the process to be very straightforward and are very happy with the results and the cost.  Lars smiles all of the time now and actually shows off his teeth, so that is worth all by itself!

Lars Smiling at Coca-cola festival Malaga

Dental Terms in English & Spanish

  • Braces – frenos, frenillos, brackets, braces
  • Retainer –  el aparato de retención
  • Mouth – la boca
  • Teeth – los dientes
  • Straight teeth – los dientes derechos
  • To straighten – enderezar
  • Tongue – la lengua
  • Orthodontic treatment – ortodoncia
  • Orthodontist – ortodoncista
  • Dentist – el/la dentista

Spanish names for your teeth

More resources for dental terms and phrases in Spanish

Do you have any stories to tell about your teen with braces in Spain?  Please feel free to comment below with your experiences and location.

Read more about our life as Americans living in Spain

MONEY!  Cost of Living in Spain

This can not possibly represent the entire country, this is just what we have experienced in our town, with our lifestyle.  Your life will be different!  🙂


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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

4 thoughts on “Details About Getting Our Teen Braces In Spain

  1. It sounds like you guys got a really good deal, because you had the pre-retainer process to move things around prior to actually having the braces.

    D’s plan is simpler- braces for 14-20 months or so, top and bottom, then permanent retainers.

    One thing worth noting- we had two big “outliers” in the bids. One guy told her he could just do the bottom teeth (her top are really quite straight!) and his presupuesto was less than 1000 euros.

    The problem with this is that by changing the bottom teeth around, now the bite might be off in how they meet the top teeth. Our dentist friend said “Dios mio, don’t do that!” and all the other orthodontists said they must do the top and bottom at the same time.

    The other bid was over 4 grand… small office, dentist and one assistant, just a couple of chairs. Nothing fancy, in other words. Dentist was not from a big school- her degrees were all from the Dominican Republic (not to say they were BAD, just not from a European-cost type of school.)

    But that’s the only appointment where I went with, and I’m convinced that she saw an American walk in and jacked up her price because of it! (Normally D passes as South American, not North, because of her accent in Spanish. I, of course, cannot hide it at all.)

    So what we learned is don’t be afraid to go a couple of places to ask. Our dentist friends say that in Barca or Madrid, it would probably be 15-25% more expensive than Valencia, because of the dental school factor (there’s a *lot* of dentists here) and just everything there costs more.

    • Thanks Paul! It is great to have another data point, especially from the popular city of Valencia! Yes, it is worth shopping around and of course it will depend on the full treatment needed as well. 🙂

  2. My wife got braces as an adult a couple of weeks ago. She’s a bit sore but using her dental wax at night as needed!

    Here in Valencia, there’s a big dental college, so we have a surplus of dentists as many people come here to study and like it well enough that they don’t leave. We have a few friends who are dentists and orthodontists and they all agree that there are a few too many in the city.

    This helps keep the costs down. Her round of braces and permanent top/bottom retainers was bid anywhere from 1500 to 4000 euros, with most in the 1800-2300 range, which is less than half of the Seattle area (where we’re from in the US). She decided it’s too good a deal to pass up, so she got them while we’re here!

    • That’s a great bit of info Paul, thanks! It is good to know the “big city” prices, in addition to our small town. All data points are welcome! Thanks for sharing.

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