Typically speaking, a mouth full of metal often make us think of those awkward adolescent years that we would actually rather not think about. This does not seem to be the case, however, for Asia who has its teenagers dishing out $100 just for a pair of fake braces. This fashion statement has been spreading throughout Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
So why fake braces? While we may find this fad strange, further inspection helps us understand why such a trend has surfaced. Fake braces appears to be first and foremost a status symbol. Often, dental care in these areas is considered a luxury. Braces can run for about $1,200 – a very difficult price for many average families. So while we have our fake designer bags, they have fake braces. Furthermore, fake braces remain to be fashion statement. Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty are two of the more popular designs available in fake braces. Even we can find some relation to this trend with the obvious rise of Geek Chic. Some of our biggest stars embrace the culture such as Katy Perry in her music video Last Friday Night.
As expected, such a item doesn’t come without its share of risks. Reminding us of another peculiar trend Big Eye Contacts (unprescribed contacts which made the eye appear bigger than it actually was), fake braces have caused a number of health concerns. Some of the braces contain lead and they all are huge choking hazards because of the amateur methods of placing the braces in ones mouth. Vice.com informs us that fake braces have led to the deaths of two teens in Thailand. Governments have been cracking down on this dangerous item and vendors of this product may be charged up to six months in prison and a $1,3000 fine.