Fake Braces for Teeth: What Are They and Why Are They Dangerous?

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DIY Braces - A Fast Catching Fashion Trend
DIY Braces – A Fast Catching Fashion Trend

What are fake braces? Fake braces are an emerging trend among teens in some countries where orthodontic treatment is equated with financial prosperity. And as bizarre as it may sound, for some, getting fake braces is just as cool as getting a funky haircut or a tattoo. But these misguided teens, in the majority of cases following a social media trend, are seldom aware of how unhealthy this can be.

If you’re a concerned parent or a curious teenager who wants to know more about this trend, stay tuned. In this article, we will look into artificial braces and the negative effects of wearing them. Moreover, we will also answer the following questions:

  • Can you get fake braces?
  • How much do fake braces cost?
  • What happens if you wear fake braces?
  • What do fake braces do to your teeth?
  • Are fake braces dangerous?

Can you get fake braces?

Fake braces are made from a piece of wire with brackets just like real orthodontic braces. The materials required can be easily found at home and you will find tons of DIY videos on social media, like the one below.

Dentists are warning parents after seeing a dangerous trend on You Tube – teens sharing videos of "Do It Yourself" braces. ◂ WKBW provides local news for all of Western New York, Buffalo, NY and the Niagara Falls NY region 7 Eyewitness News is Buffalo's Source for news, sports, weather, and good things happening every day. For more download the WKBW mobile app: iPhone: http://bit.ly/iOS-wkbw Android: http://bit.ly/wkbw-android
Dentists advise against using DIY Braces made at home

As easy as it may sound, you shouldn't mess around with your teeth like that. By making braces at home you might end up endangering your oral health and causing irreversible damage.

In addition to making them at home, the other option teenagers use is purchasing fake braces online. Usually, they buy them through e-commerce and social media websites like Amazon, Facebook and Instagram. Despite major oral health hazards, you'll find multiple listings selling colorful artificial braces.

What are the reasons for getting DIY braces?

The internet is being flooded with videos where teenagers show how artificial dental braces can be made and worn at home, giving dental experts a lot to worry about. They believe that more than anything else, the following reasons are to be blamed for this sweeping trend:

It's a cool teenage trend

Teenagers see colorful braces as “cool” since such braces can change the way they look. But since genuine colored braces can often be out of their budget, or they don't really need them, they make some at home and sport them under the influence of peer-pressure without realizing the side-effects.

You think your teeth need to be straightened

The second reason could be specific to people having misaligned or crooked teeth. In-clinic teeth straightening options are often too expensive for teenagers with limited resources. As such, to straighten their teeth for a price they can afford, they might look at DIY braces.

Status symbol for financial prosperity

Copying what people more prosperous than we do is human nature. As such, teens with fewer resources could take advantage of this sweeping trend to appear more affluent than they are. Artificial braces can be made with easily available cheap materials, but they can look as genuine as original braces. Hence, teens with low-income backgrounds can use DIY braces as a status symbol.

How much do fake braces cost?

Real braces can cost thousands of dollars, but you can get fake ones for under 100 dollars. And if you're making them at home, then they would cost way less than online alternatives. The reason for artificial braces being cheaper is simple—they're not the real deal. They're just an accessory for your teeth. So, if you are under the impression that fake braces can actually straighten your teeth, you are mistaken.

Before you consider artificial braces to align your crooked teeth, have a look at this summary of the best kinds of safe teeth straightening options out there:

Type of Straightening Primary Advantage Cost
Metal Braces Usually the most reasonably priced braces $2500 - $7500
Ceramic Braces Clear or tooth-colored material is less noticeable $3000 - $10000
Invisible Braces Removable and hard to notice $3500 - $8500
Lingual Braces Hidden behind teeth $5000 - $13000
Retainers Cheap teeth straightening $100 - $750 per device
Porcelain Veneers Quick cosmetic fix $500 - $2500 per tooth
Composite bonding Quick cosmetic fix & cheap $250 - $1200 per tooth
Home kits Affordable and convenient $1200 - $2500

What happens if you wear fake braces?

Artificial braces have many more disadvantages than advantages. According to professionals around the world, they are very hazardous with potentially irreversible effects:

Fake braces can prove to be very harmful
  • Poisoning from toxic materials: Fake braces for teeth are made from cheap materials that can be toxic. These materials include cheap rubber and metals that contain lead, leading to poisoning and even death in some cases.
  • Choking from material that might get stuck in your throat: When teens make their own braces, the material from the braces may unwind and end up in their throat while sleeping, essentially causing choking.
  • Inflammation and infection: Even real braces can lead to some oral issues like inflammation and infection at the early stages. So, the risk is even greater with fake teeth braces. In some cases, the infection can get worse and might even require surgery to stop the spread.
  • Tooth decay and discoloration: Fake braces are stuck to the teeth using cheap adhesives. This causes grave damage to the tooth enamel. The adhesive can also dig deep into the tooth and cause discoloration over time.
  • Shifting of teeth: They can cause teeth to shift in unprecedented ways. You could end up with teeth that were more crooked than you had to begin with.

Are fake braces dangerous?

Fake dental braces raise quite a lot of alarms when it comes to health issues. The dangers are real and can even affect your health if worn too often. No fashion trend is worth the risk if it has negative effects on your wellbeing.

What's more, these faux braces have even led to deaths in some Asian countries. Here’s an article from CNBC that mentions two deaths reported in Thailand linked to fake braces. Upon investigation, authorities found deadly materials like cadmium in the autopsy. Health experts across Asia have taken this trend seriously and are working towards creating awareness among teens. 

Conclusion

Fake braces that look real are far more hazardous than perceived. The cons completely outweigh the temporary purpose of following a social media trend. The problem with artificial braces lies in the materials they are composed of. Often toxic, they can even cost you your life if you aren’t careful. 

Modern problems like the artificial braces trend can only be tackled with awareness and education. For this, health authorities and parental guardians will have to be especially watchful. It's imperative to make younger generations understand that no trend is worth risking their health or even their life.

Fake Braces for Teeth: What Are They and Why Are They Dangerous?
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Contributors:
Sukriti Taneja
Sukriti Taneja
Sukriti Taneja on EmailSukriti Taneja on FacebookSukriti Taneja on InstagramSukriti Taneja on LinkedinSukriti Taneja on Twitter
Sukriti is a content writer specializing in the healthcare niche. She is an ex-software engineer who's given up IT for writing full-time. She's been writing for 7 years and regularly creates optimized and targeted content for multiple domains including health, technology, education, entertainment, and more.
Sources
iopscience.iop.org: Elemental and microstructural analysis of fake, real, and standard orthodontic brackets. Consulted 22nd April 2020. www.cnbc.com: Fake Braces Trend Takes Asia by Storm. Consulted 22nd April 2020. www.dentistrytoday.com: Fake Braces Becoming Problem in Asia. Consulted 23rd April 2020. shinagawa.ph: Risk of Wearing Cheap and Fake Braces. Consulted 24th April 2020. accorde.com: The Dangers of Fake Braces, DIY Braces, & More. Consulted 24th April 2020.
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