Fake Braces Trend Poses Health Risks in Asia


| January 3, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Kids may hate them in America, but braces have become a style trend in part of Asia.

That’s right, those painful metal contraptions used to move teeth have become popular in Thailand, Indonesia, and China. The only thing with these braces is that they serve no purpose at all. “Fake braces” are now commonly found in the far East, where a real set can run up to $1,200.

The problem is these faulty braces are causing injury to unsuspecting youth.

Yahoo News Reports:

Asian teens can now purchase non-medical fashion braces in local beauty salons. If salon prices are too high, braces-seeking kids can get even cheaper pairs, which they can apply at home, at open-air stalls in local markets and through online retailers. The style offerings have diversified too. Fake braces come in nearly every color under the sun, not to mention a variety of cartoonish themes from Mickey Mouse to Hello Kitty.

But this fad is not without its risks. Even doctor-approved braces can pose health risks, so those without any orthodontic use could very well prove downright dangerous. Officials have warned that the wires on some fake braces may contain lead and the metal brackets can cause sores on the gums and inside the mouth. Worse yet, the accessory has been linked to at least two deaths in Thailand. In one instance, a 17-year-old from Khon Kaen reportedly contracted a thyroid infection from a shoddy pair and her condition quickly progressed to fatal heart failure.

Some online sites have warned that fashion braces should be worn for only five months at most. And in Thailand the production and sale of the item is now punishable by up to six months in prison. So, take heed, daring fashionistas, and leave braces to the professionals.