Teens in Southeast Asia are buying into a trend that most Western teens won’t believe: fake braces.
It’s the latest teen fashion in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, reports AFP Relaxnews. Youngsters in the region have been paying more than $100 per set of braces on the black market. The braces are fake, don’t provide any bite correction and come in fashion colors as well as logos such as Hello Kitty or Mickey Mouse.
The knock-off braces are seen as a status symbol in an area where regular dental care is very costly. A standard set of braces, such as seen on many American teens, could run into the thousands of dollars.
However, the fake braces can cause health issues. They’re poorly made and installed, and can slip off the teeth and get lodged in the throat or cause cuts and sores in the wearer’s mouth.
Even some pop stars are getting in on the action. Indonesian singer Andika Kangen has been seen sporting a pair of the fake braces.
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