Getting braces in college
Whatever your age, getting braces is never something that people look forward to. Except perhaps for middle schoolers that love the chance to show off the exciting colors and designs of their braces, most people – adults especially – dread this. The internet is replete with different examples on forums and blogging sites of current and soon to be college students looking on in horror at the prospect of having metal in their mouth during what they consider to be the most important four years of their life.
This trauma shouldn’t surprise us. After all, our culture is full of jokes about those that wear braces, seeing them as awkward and messing up one’s visage. However, it is worth asking the question – is all of this drama and hair pulling really justified? The technology of braces has grown dramatically in the last few years. No longer are those with braces doomed to be ‘outed’ as soon as they open their mouths.
For instance, there are all sorts of different products now meant to correct a smile without being too obvious. Invisalign is one of the most obvious and common solutions. In fact, these were invented for the express purpose of hiding while they work. Invisible braces are another option that many consider. One such popular brand is called Incognito. While they have not yet achieved the sort of universal recognition and acclaim that Invisalign has, these braces are another great option. They go behind the teeth, hiding instead of being on display. Many adults of course find this comforting, knowing that they won’t have to announce to the world the imperfections in their smile every time the laugh.
Considering your options
As a college student, money is probably tight. Unless your parents are willing to pay for your braces and dental aligners, chances are that money will be one of if not the largest consideration. It is worth noting then that these kinds of nontraditional solutions are often more expensive. It is impossible to give an actual price without actually speaking with a qualified dentist or orthodontist, but Colgate lists the starting price for Invisalign at $3,500. This is quite a bit higher than what the cheapest of metal braces options would cost – around $1,500. Of course, the more complicated your case and the more aligners you will need the higher the price.
This is not to say that you should give up on the kinds of solutions that allow you to hide your braces. Most orthodontists and dentists will provide some kind of financing options for you. After you have price shopped all the providers in your area, speak with someone at the office you would like to go with. See what sorts of financing plans they have. Often enough, they will offer no or low interest financing options for you.
If you already qualify for other low-income assistance, it is worth looking into different dental assistance programs. There are a number of different non-profits and government agencies that offer reduced price or free dental aid to those that qualify. These kinds of programs can be what allows you as a college student to start your dental treatment now, instead of waiting till you are a few years into your career and have the disposable income to do it.
It is never too late to seek dental treatment. Just because your parents didn’t make this decision for you as a child doesn’t mean that you should put it off while you are in college. Sure, it would be more fun to buy beer and other things with your money now, but getting braces or Invisalign will never be an easier decision. If you don’t want to get it now, imagine how hesitant you will be once you step out into the job market. If you think you won’t be, you are probably deceiving yourself.
There will always be reasons to wait. If you think you need braces, there is nothing better you can do for yourself than to start reaching out to dentists and orthodontists. What are you waiting for?