Braces are seen by some in Thailand as a fashion accessory along with a symbol of family wealth. As a result, there is a trend of fake braces made from unknown metals and plastic attached by using super glue also known as elephant glue.
Doctors are warning the public against the dangers of fake braces that can lead to infection or even death. Doctor Somsak Arksilp from the Department of Medical Services (DMS) has reported the dangers of fake or fashion braces.
Dental Braces are medical devices used in orthodontics designed to help correct teeth problems such as crooked teeth, gaps, and other conditions that affect a person’s ability to chew.
Braces must be done by specialized dentists and require full cooperation from the patient including monthly appointments, proper hygiene, and more. Fake braces are designed to only imitate the appearance of real braces meaning that the sellers could possibly use any material to make these dangerous devices that will be placed in your mouth for months or even years.
In the past, most fake braces were made in the form of retainers shaped differently for each person. Installation was easy and could be removed whenever the person wanted to do so. Recently there have been changes where sellers would claim that they can help “correct” a person’s dental issues just like a dentist could with a much lower price tag.
These fake dental shops are normally hidden inside another shop with 1-2 employees working inside. The braces are attached directly onto the teeth and change the arrangements of teeth inside. Victims of fake braces later need real help from legitimate dentists.
The target customer group are students. Before getting braces at the dentist’s one must have their dental profile taken and treat previous teeth problems such as removing wisdom teeth, plaque removal, taking care of tooth cavities and fillings, and more.
Dental equipment is sterilized and braces are put on at the dentist which is a clean and sanitized environment. Fake dentists often operate from un-hygienic areas such as flea markets and some even offer at-home installation options.
Doctor Aumnaj Likitkuntanaporn from the DMS stated that fake braces and services from fake dental clinics can result in many dangers including Gingivitis, bleeding, mouth ulcers, and more. The metal and plastic used can contain mercury, arsenic, and lead that can be absorbed into the body.