Braces and teenagers stereotypically go hand-in-hand with each other. But, often people forget the financial implications that arise from actually having braces. For instance, when it comes to traditional metal braces (the most common for younger people), patients are expected to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $9,000 for a standard two year treatment plan. While the idea of teenagers having braces has become the norm in our society, many do not take into account the insecurity of those who cannot afford braces.
16-year-old student, Ruby Birrer is one of those people. The Gold Coast local says that the gap between her front teeth, couple with their crookedness has made her terribly insecure, which has consequently resulted in bullying and severe anxiety. "I've been to the orthodontist, dentist, and they always tell me I need braces, however my family is not the wealthiest family, and are unable to afford them," she says. However, it has resulted in more than just an insecurity about Ruby's appearance adding that, "the dentist has told me I need to fix my overbite, or some health issues could occur in the future."
Modelling has always been a passion of Ruby's, but time after time, her teeth have restricted her opportunities to pursue her dream. She not only refuses to smile in photos, but has started to avoid talking to people because of her fear that they're looking at her teeth; a fear that resulted from being bullied simply over her teeth.
Ruby has since made a gofundme account where she is trying to raise $7,000 for standard braces. While appearance isn't everything, it does have an affect on a person's self worth and quality of life.
If you'd like to help Ruby, you can donate as little as a couple of dollars to her donation page as she slowly but surely raises enough money to go ahead with her orthodontic work.
"I would LOVE for people to help me overcome and conquer my anxiety by helping me reach my goal of $7000! It would mean the world to me. And to all of the people out there suffering from bullying, anxiety, anything, please know that I feel you and It really does get better."
Good luck, Ruby!