In Thailand, starting around 2016, teens began wearing fake braces as a fashion statement. This trend has spread across the Southeast Asia. Though many teens in the U.S. think braces aren’t that cool, braces in the East are seen as a luxury and a status symbol.
Asian teens can now purchase their fashion braces at salons, on-line and local retail shops in a variety of colors and cartoon themes. Many come as at-home kits, with do it yourself instructions.
Though these fashion-only braces don’t function, they can cause problems. Some of the wires used in these types of non-medical braces have contained lead and the brackets have caused sores in the mouth. They have also been connected with two deaths in Thailand. Once 17 year-old, for example, got a Thyroid infection from wearing these fake braces, which eventually lead to a fatal heart attack.
The lesson: Get Orthodontic treatment done by a board certified Orthodontist, that’s specially trained, and who uses the right tools and correct materials. Faux braces can pose a serious health risk.