..There’s a new fad in town, and it’s all about fake braces!
Braces have long been associated with being geeky, and with the current craze of going geek chic – it’s no wonder more and more youngsters are looking to get their teeth decked out with colourful braces as the ultimate face accessory.
Think about it, most schools do not allow face piercings besides earrings, leaving the only ‘legal’ frontier that of having a mouth full of metal.
Those who can afford real braces could easily convince wealthy parents that they need it to straighten out their teeth, but for the less fortunate there is now a cheaper and less painful option of using fake braces – which don’t actually fix your teeth, but used merely as a fashion accessory that hooks up at your molars and can be removed at any time.
With celebrities like Katy Perry glamourising geekdom in her Last Friday Night video, it’s no wonder that there’s a sudden demand for braces in today’s rebellious culture of going against the mainstream (ironic, isn’t it).
Combine this with the (Asian) obsession of looking cute and adorable, braces automatically make the user appear more youthful and endearing – probably due to that slight lisp and awkward spittle that flies out of their mouth every time they speak.
This joins the other bunch of trends to ‘enhance’ ones appearance such as big-eye coloured contact lenses, temporary false lashes, toxic skin whitening creams etc. etc.
Despite its harmless and fun exterior, fake braces are actually more harmful than they look. Using legit braces often leave canker sores and sliced inner lips, what more a flimsy piece of metal in your mouth that isn’t even secured properly?
In Thailand, two teen girls died with the cause of death linked to the use of fake braces and the Thai Dental Council have issued warnings that blood poisoning, infected dental tools, nerve damage and swallowing dislodged fittings are among some of the fatal outcomes of using these products.
A local website supplying fake braces notes that these braces should not be used for longer than three to five months, to prohibit bacteria build up, but it’s hard to imagine young teens without money (and poor hygiene) being able to constantly replace their fake braces.
The braces start at RM100 for just one strip (upper or lower), and up to RM150 for a pair and come in various colours and designs such as Mickey, Flower and Hello Kitty.
The website even provides a tutorial on how to put these fake braces on.
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What do you think, is this new fad pushing the boundaries of vanity amongst teens or do you think it’s cute and harmless fun?