As someone else stated above in regards to the dentists doing something to help people out in situations like this... I will say that many of them are doing all that they can. With the cost of malpractice insurance as well as other office expenses, it often takes a big chunk out of what we assume they are taking in beings that health care costs so much. Not many people realize that the dentists & doctors are required to reduce their normal & customary fees before charging to the insurance companies, and also Medicare/Medicaid. So they again are not getting what we would assume they would be.
However many providers are supporting discount health care plans simply because they will receive immediate payment (or payment plan options for things such as this with braces) but essentially they can still reduce their rates as they would anyhow, except now pass the savings on directly to their patients or those enrolled in one of these discount plans, rather than to the insurance company and have to fill out all the paper work and wait to receive payment, everything is done right then & there, no paperwork.
That being said, I personally love Ameriplan, as well as do many of my friends and family who use the plans now as well. For braces specifically you can look at approx. $2000-2200 compared to the typical average cost of $5000-5600. A savings of over $3000 for a plan that costs only $19.95/mo for the entire household even!
I am sure that this will help out a whole lot in your situation! I have seen it many times over, believe me, it's more common than you think. And it doesn't help matters any when most often insurance doesn't cover braces or if they do, it is usually $1000-1500 tops.
Take a look at http://www.mybenefitsplus.com/40398854
Let me know if you have any questions! Good Luck!