Since braces are expensive and desirable, in some countries, people consider them a sign of wealth and status. Just as people used to view being overweight as beautiful—as a sign of being healthy and well-fed in poor surroundings, in some places—braces are now cultural status symbols.
An unfortunate result of this belief is that some teens have created or brought fake braces. Though they can’t afford or even need real treatment, they hope the appearance of these DIY appliances will bring them the status upgrade of the real deal.
Since these braces have now emerged on social media and video sharing sites like YouTube, Instagram, and Tik Tok, it may tempt any teens in any country to join the fake braces trend. If you are a parent or teen interested in learning more about fake braces, continue reading to learn what they are and the risks that come with using them.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What are Fake Braces?
Real braces comprise of an archwire connected by brackets, which are fastened to the patient’s teeth using special cement. They gradually move your teeth and jaw into an aligned position. They are the most effective method for correcting crooked teeth, bite issues, and jaw alignment.
Fake braces follow a similar principle, using a wire or band roped between the teeth and then fastened with some kind of adhesive. Some teens on YouTube even used a stretched-out paperclip and superglue.
Not all teens are so adventurous. To keep up with the trends, some simply purchase fake braces from seemingly reputable vendors on Amazon or Instagram. These fake braces come in professional packaging and even include instructions.
However, for orthodontists, both the DIY and purchasable versions of fake braces represent similar health hazards.
Negative Effects of Fake Braces
The negative effects of wearing fake braces vary depending on the tightness, the materials used, the application method, and the amount of time worn. However, it’s important to note there are zero positive effects from wearing fake braces, so any and all negatives should be considered more than enough risk to avoid them.
- Tooth misalignment can result from fake braces if “effectively” applied. In other words, if the braces can move teeth, the wearer’s smile can become damaged, crooked, or even susceptible to tooth loss after extended wear.
- Choking is a constant hazard with fake braces, since the materials are not securely applied by a professional. They can come apart at any time while eating or talking, or even while the user sleeps. These dislodged pieces can be swallowed and cause choking or other problems.
- Infections are also a real threat when wearing fake braces since the wires can cause inflammation or sores. Potential infections from causing and then ignoring oral sores caused by unsterilized fake braces can result in gum and tooth loss or the need for corrective surgery.
- Poisoning from the chosen adhesive can occur in many ways. First: is the chemical poisoning of the person’s internal system, since they are constantly breathing in and potentially swallowing whatever adhesive they used. Second is the damage to tooth enamel caused by many OTC adhesives, not designed to adhere to teeth like orthodontic cement is. At the very least, ugly tooth discoloration is a common result of wearing adhesive for any length of time.
- Toxic metals and rubbers can also poison the wearer since they were not manufactured to be in someone’s mouth. These materials could contain lead or other chemicals that poison or even kill the person wearing them.
Why Do Kids Wear Fake Braces?
With so many hazards, why do kids still wear fake braces? As a concerned parent or curious teenager, you may have the desire to convince your child or your friends to stop wearing them. To do so, you have to understand why people wear them in the first place.
Fake braces represent a fashion trend, accelerated by internet sharing sites. Kids want to feel included and popular. Because even though the trend came from countries where braces are viewed as status objects, in more developed countries the trend has taken on a life of its own.
Communicating clearly about the dangers of fake braces is a good way to help someone avoid a costly and dangerous mistake.
If you’re a parent and your child needs braces, consider visiting your orthodontist to review your pricing and treatment options before they get the chance to take matters into their own hands.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you are considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments are customizable to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.