“Instead of getting a perfect smile, a patient faces a problem after wearing cheap fashion braces.” According to a Birmingham Dentist, when he was treating a teen with a DIY brace.
I woke up with this alarming Facebook post with a photo showing how a patient’s teeth got damaged after getting himself a fake fashion brace. The patient said that he availed it from someone who is not a dental professional so that he can be in line with the trend of wearing braces.
So What are Fashion Braces?
Fashion braces, also known as DIY braces, are fake braces. It looks precisely like orthodontic braces but does not have any therapeutic effect on your teeth.
Unfortunately, teenagers from different parts of the world had become the target market of fashion braces. It is because nowadays, wearing braces evolve from being a dental treatment to fashion trend and symbol of social status.
Aside from looking trendy and cool, having braces also gives the impression that the wearer comes from a wealthy family. That is why teenagers who can’t afford such dental treatment resorts to buying cheap fashion braces or even do-it-yourself braces. It is customizable with ornamentations such as diamonds, colored rubbers, and cartoon character designs.
Unlike orthodontic braces, fashion braces are sold on the street, local market, and even on social media platforms. These online advertisements also promote do-it-yourself videos on how to fit braces by yourself. They are sold even without a proper medical assessment from a licensed dentist.
What these teenagers do not understand is that getting braces is like giving yourself a haircut; it is possible and may sound like a good idea, but it is very risky. Technically you can do it by yourself, but you know you shouldn’t because a professional would handle it better.
Because of the rise of this trend, professionals said that teenagers and their parents should worry about the health risks of using fake fashion braces, rather than the social acceptance it brought.
Risk Factors of Fake Fashion Braces
Below are some of the risk factors (or should we say horrors) of wearing fake and DIY fashion braces:
It May Cause Choking
Since illegal practitioners do it, the lack of professional practice may cause the wires, braces, and additional accessory to slip on the wearer’s throat. It can lead to choking and severe injury when you accidentally ingest the braces.
It is Prone to Poisoning
Unlike orthodontic braces, the materials used for fake braces did not undergo further testing and approval. The wearer can be exposed to possibly toxic chemicals used in rubber bands, and the metal could also contain lead, which is very harmful to our health.
Bangkok’s Dental Council recently raised a red flag on wearing fashion braces. It happened after laboratory testing shows that the accessories used for fake braces contain toxic heavy metal.
The Dental Council Vice-President said that they bought samples from an illegal shop that sells fake braces. They found out that the materials used for fake braces contain cadmium – a toxic chemical which can cause death when eaten or inhaled.
“From the two samples we bought from an illegal shop, we have detected an amount of cadmium that would not be found in legal ones issued by a professional dental clinic,” Thongchai Vachirarojpisan, the vice-president of the Dental Council said.
It Can Cause Infection
Unsterilized equipment and substandard materials can cause mouth sores that may lead to infection and harmful illness. Wearers who also practice poor hygiene may be at risk of demineralization of the tooth.
It Can Lead to Various Dental Problems
First of all, the glue used to stick on accessories directly to the tooth can damage the enamel, which may eventually lead to tooth decay. Fake and inappropriate glue can also result in tooth discoloration.
Since there is no proper medical assessment before wearing braces, there is a considerable chance that instead of getting your dream aligned teeth, your teeth may move in a different direction. It can also aggravate existing dental conditions leading the teeth to be more damaged and even extruding out of the gums.
Why Is It Important to Visit Your Dentist?
Some of us may need orthodontic treatment, while others are blessed enough to have good genes and have taken care of their smile while growing up. If you think your teeth badly need treatment and braces, it is better to visit your dentist to get a proper assessment, recommendation, and treatment.
A licensed dentist will give you an honest assessment of the condition of your teeth and will provide you with proper orthodontic treatment recommendations. In case your dentist recommended you to have dental braces, he or she will do the right steps in acquiring this treatment. These steps include:
- Manual examinations using X-ray images of your teeth.
- Explanation of the type of braces you need and how long the treatment will have to last.
- Proceed to the process of fitting the dental braces, which is done inside the clinic.
- The dentist will put a cheek retractor to keep your teeth dry and visible.
- Your teeth will be polished, conditioner, and air-dried.
- The dentist will put the bracket through the help of dental cement.
- Dental archwires will be put in place.
After successfully fitting the braces, the dentist will remind you of your regular appointment schedule for consultation and braces adjustment. These adjustments are necessary to replace the elastic ties connecting the wires loosens over time, so the pressure to align your teeth is reduced.
Bottom Line and Contributor Credits
Do not get attracted to advertisements saying “affordable braces without going to the dentist,” because you will inevitably end up regretting it. Remember that a licensed dentist should only do braces, and it is made to cure dental problems rather than a mere fashion trend.
Disassociate yourself from fake braces of any kind; it will not just damage your teeth, but can also have a direct impact on your overall health. Furthermore if you are in Birmingham, learn about a healthy oral care routine which you can have by visiting your birmingham dentist.
Dr. Stuart Curry practices Cosmetic, General and Family Dentistry here in Vestavia Hills, AL. Upon graduation from The University of Alabama School of Dentistry (UAB) in 2004, he spent 3 years in active duty service in the United States Air Force where Dr. Curry was able to fine tune his skills as a Dentist.
By starting his practice in 2007, he was able to build and manage a dental office where the patient’s needs come first. Using the latest in dental technology, Dr. Curry strives to make every patient feel they are getting the best care possible.