Rubber bands, paper clips, beads, and the backs of earrings are just some of the things people use to make fake braces. These DIY braces are becoming a trend among teenagers who associate braces with high-end lifestyles or see them as a fashion statement – much like cool hairstyles or tattoos.
Unfortunately, most teens following this trend on social media are unaware of how harmful these fake braces are to their teeth and overall health. Despite looking harmless, they can cause problems with teeth alignment and damage the gums, teeth, and jawbone over time.
What are DIY fake braces?
Fake braces are imitations of actual braces made with easy-to-access materials like hair elastics and paper clips. Many instructions you can find online use cheap hair elastics tied around the teeth teens want to move or realign in just a few weeks. Some people on social media say they may hurt for the first few days but claim it will be “worth it” because it can close gaps between teeth and make them look straighter. Some also use 3D printers to create aligners that can “straighten” their teeth.
These may seem harmless or helpful, but they’re not. As a matter of fact, attempting to straighten teeth this way without the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist can lead to significant damage to your teeth and gums.
Why people get fake or DIY braces?
The Internet is filled with videos showing teens making and wearing artificial braces at home, making dental professionals concerned. For them, they think teens try them out because they see them as:
Because braces are expensive, many see them as a status symbol. Many try to copy those who can afford real braces to fit in with higher socioeconomic cliques or to be “cool”‘. These imitations may look authentic, but artificial braces are made of cheap materials, which can actually be harmful.
Braces alter the way teens look, and many consider them cute. However, most teens who want to wear braces for fashion can’t actually afford them, so they turn to making them at home without realizing their harmful effects.
Instant and cheap way to straighten teeth
Teenagers with limited financial resources may find in-clinic teeth straightening options too expensive, and the desired outcome takes too long. This may lead them to look into DIY braces to straighten their teeth at a seemingly fraction of the cost and faster results.
How much do DIY fake braces cost?
The costs of fake vs. real braces are vastly far apart, making the fake ones even more appealing to youngsters with limited financial resources. You can buy fake braces for as low as $100, which can go significantly lower if you make them home using available household materials. They may be cheap, but they don’t work and are mere accessories.
What makes DIY or fake braces dangerous?
Since they’re merely accessories, wearing fake or DIY braces won’t be dangerous, right? Unfortunately, fake braces come with significant risks – some even life-threatening. Experts around the world agree that they are dangerous because of their irreversible consequences. The American Dental Association (ADA) has issued a warning to consumers about DIY braces. Here are some of the reasons why fake braces aren’t really worth it:
Inflammation and Infection
Infection and inflammation are some fake braces effects that you will not want to experience. While real braces can cause inflammation and infection in their early stages, fake braces pose a greater risk. Sometimes the infection they cause spreads to other parts of the body and may require surgery.
Their cheapness is what makes fake or DIY braces alluring for so many. Some of the materials used to fake braces include rubber bands and metals with a high lead content; they may be cheap, but they can lead to poisoning or even death.
Risking your health for a fashion trend is never worth it. There are reports of two fatalities in Thailand due to fake braces where authorities discovered cadmium in their autopsies.
Fake braces can make your teeth shift, but not in the way you desire. People may still end up with crooked teeth with something much worse than they started with.
Materials used for making fake braces are often choking hazards, especially if they detach from your teeth. Imagine this happening while you’re asleep – you can even choke to death!
Lack of Expert Advice
Another reason dental professionals are concerned about this trend is that straightening teeth is a process that requires professional skills and is not something to do on your own. Professionals spent years studying to understand how teeth, bones, and gums shift and grow during treatment.
Unsupervised care can cause irreversible damage, resulting in severe bite problems, dangerous infections, and tooth extraction. Patients who try DIY braces may not be aware that they might have other underlying problems like gum infections, tooth decay, or abscessed teeth. They may unknowingly make these problems worse.
Even trained and licensed dentists know their limitations. They know exactly when to refer their patients to specialists like orthodontists who can effectively and safely move your teeth.
Tooth Decay and Discoloration
Teens often stick their fake braces to their teeth with cheap adhesives that can seriously damage their tooth enamel. It can also dig deep into the tooth and cause unsightly discoloration over time.
Fake braces are dangerous, and their cons outweigh any temporary pros. Artificial braces are problematic due to their materials and how they force your teeth to move; they may be toxic and deadly if you’re not careful.
Awareness and education are the only ways to tackle harmful trends like artificial braces. It’s crucial to teach the younger generation that no trend is worth putting their health and lives at risk. Health authorities, parents, guardians, and other caregivers must also be vigilant and strict about these things for the sake of their loved one’s safety.
Straighten teeth the professional way with Advanced Dental Group.
Don’t be fooled by DIY fake braces kits; seek only expert and professional orthodontic treatments. Our partner dentists in Arvada are trained and licensed to use real braces and aligners to straighten your teeth safely and effectively. Call us, and we’ll connect them to you as soon as possible.