Fake Braces Trend Among Teen Fashion In China: What's Behind Latest Fad?

By Staff Reporter on January 3, 2013 4:25 PM EST

colorful braces
Fake braces are taking Asia fashion by storm as teenagers sport the latest colorful braces designs. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Rappers brought jewelry to the next level with the introduction of "grills," blinged out diamond encrusted golden mouthpieces. Now, a new trend of mouth-wear is blowing up among hip teenagers of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand - fake braces.

Orthodontic braces that actually function to realign teeth can cost as much as $1,200 in Thailand and is considered a premium luxury for the privileged. However, for a country where the majority of families make due below the poverty line, braces are an inaccessible "status symbol" for the most part.

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In order to get ahead, more and more fashion conscious teenagers have discovered the avenue of "fake braces." The new fake fashion braces are valued at as little as $100 and feature attractive designs including "Hello Kitty" and "Micky Mouse" themes.

While the new trend in Asia may seem like a wonderful alternative for the less privileged multitude, experts say that the colorful trendy braces can actually be deadly. While orthodontic braces are only inserted by dentists and medical professionals, the fake braces are accessible everywhere including many beauty salons as well as an even cheaper do-it-yourself kit that you could buy online.

The fake braces installed by untrained facilities have led to a number of alarming health reports. These fake fashion braces can easily slip loose and slide into a person's through. What's more, unsuitable metals may cause sores on the gums and inside the mouth. In fact, some wires may even contain a dangerous level of lead.

So far, Vice UK has reported that the latest fake fashion braces trend has already been linked to the death of two teenagers in Thailand, including 17-year-old Khon Kaen, who suffered a fatal heart failure that was caused by a thyroid infection after donning a pair of the fashion braces. A second incident was reported when a 14-year-old girl died. Her death was also linked to her braces as well, which she installed at an illegal open-air stall.

Government warnings across Asia has been issued yet the trend has been booming for the past four years. One of the more bizarre fads that we have reported, the faux braces are actually gaining popularity.

Now, teenagers are not the only ones at risk of getting pulled into the trend's vortex. Adults in Indonesia are adopting fake braces as well. Just like rapper Paul Wall, Indonesian star celebrity Andika Kanget flaunts his country's version of the blinged-out shiny mouthpiece.

Source: Medical Daily

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