Published on April 19, 2019, Updated on April 19, 2019
For decades, the wearing of orthodontic braces has been a sign of wealth and prosperity. Although mostly affordable, braces can sometimes be too costly for patients in parts of the world where dental and orthodontic care are not readily available. Because of this, fake braces have become a rapidly growing phenomenon that is affecting the oral health of kids and teens everywhere. Fake braces are not made from the same, solid material that regular braces are made from, and are installed by unlicensed street vendors, salons, or the wearer themself. Find out now about the effects of wearing fake braces and what alternatives there are to straighten your teeth at a more affordable price!
Throughout the world, prosperity is seen in different forms and practices among various cultures. For many countries, orthodontic treatment is seen as a form of prosperity as braces typically run at a high cost, thus the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to afford braces. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8, but for many poverty-stricken areas of the world, good orthodontic care at an early age is almost impossible to receive unless you have enough money. For vulnerable teens who are wanting to fit in with their peers who can afford orthodontic care, some have even gone to extremes to be more like their friends. Fake braces, although not as commonly heard of in the United States, have exploded in popularity among other nations, especially in the Asian communities. Braces in Asia can cost upwards of $1,200, so teens that can’t afford real braces but still want to look stylish are investing in $100 imitations of braces, but at a risk. In Thailand, the prevalence of fake braces has become so large and concerning that the government has enacted laws that punish sellers, suppliers, and importers with fines and even jail time!
Fake braces are made from a piece of wire with brackets that is glued to the wearer’s teeth. The wire is fit to the exterior of the teeth and then bent around the back molars to secure them in place. Unlike real braces, fake braces are fitted by the wearer, beauty salons, and unauthorized street vendors, adding to the risk of incorrect placement. Brackets on fake braces typically support multicolored rubber bands and use popular pieces shaped like Hello Kitty or Mickey Mouse icons to make them more desirable. Although they might have an aesthetic appeal to many adolescents, the consequences of wearing braces that aren’t installed by a professional can be drastic, and even deadly.
Although the legal repercussions of producing fake braces can be a deterrent, how fake braces can damage your teenager’s teeth and mouth should be even more frightening. Fake braces are dangerous because they aren’t fitted by a dental professional and they can also cause bodily harm if not installed properly and/or if they break while in the mouth. One risk when getting fake braces installed is that they can easily slip into the throat and cause the wearer to choke. These pieces can vary in size and be difficult to remove if lodged in the throat. The metals used in fake braces typically contain lead, which is toxic to the wearer’s body and system. An over abundance of lead in anyone’s system, especially a teenager’s, can have deadly effects on body organs that can’t be corrected once damaged. Lastly, fake braces commonly lead to mouth sores that can become infected and be very painful. The glue used to attach the brackets to the teeth can also cause tooth discoloration and even tooth decay. For all intents and purposes, fake braces cause more damage than they do good, and even if they make teenagers seem “cool” or popular, the consequences that follow aren’t worth it in the end.
While orthodontic treatment is important for those kids who need it, fake braces, whether your child’s teeth are straight or not, are not a healthy option for your child. If your child needs braces, then orthodontic treatment should be sought after once evaluated by a dental or orthodontic professional. When certain orthodontic treatments are left untreated, these conditions can become severe and lengthen the overall treatment time needed to correct them. Early detection and treatment of legitimate issues is the first step in helping your child develop good oral health. While fads will come and go, it’s important to teach and show your kids good oral health care routines that will improve the health and look of their teeth without having to turn to unsafe practices, no matter how popular they may be.
If your child or teenager is in need for an orthodontic visit, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at (720) 887-6003! Our experienced team can answer your questions about what orthodontic practices are best to get your child the straight and beautiful smile that they deserve!
We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone, and are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability.
To fulfill this, we aim to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level. These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with a wide array of disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps us ensure that the website is accessible to all people: blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.
This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.
Additionally, the website utilizes an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML, adapts Its functionality and behavior for screen-readers used by the blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.
If you’ve found a malfunction or have ideas for improvement, we’ll be happy to hear from you. You can reach out to the website’s operators by using the following email
Our website implements the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique, alongside various different behavioral changes, to ensure blind users visiting with screen-readers are able to read, comprehend, and enjoy the website’s functions. As soon as a user with a screen-reader enters your site, they immediately receive a prompt to enter the Screen-Reader Profile so they can browse and operate your site effectively. Here’s how our website covers some of the most important screen-reader requirements, alongside console screenshots of code examples:
Screen-reader optimization: we run a background process that learns the website’s components from top to bottom, to ensure ongoing compliance even when updating the website. In this process, we provide screen-readers with meaningful data using the ARIA set of attributes. For example, we provide accurate form labels; descriptions for actionable icons (social media icons, search icons, cart icons, etc.); validation guidance for form inputs; element roles such as buttons, menus, modal dialogues (popups), and others. Additionally, the background process scans all of the website’s images and provides an accurate and meaningful image-object-recognition-based description as an ALT (alternate text) tag for images that are not described. It will also extract texts that are embedded within the image, using an OCR (optical character recognition) technology. To turn on screen-reader adjustments at any time, users need only to press the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Screen-reader users also get automatic announcements to turn the Screen-reader mode on as soon as they enter the website.
These adjustments are compatible with all popular screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA.
Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
We aim to support the widest array of browsers and assistive technologies as possible, so our users can choose the best fitting tools for them, with as few limitations as possible. Therefore, we have worked very hard to be able to support all major systems that comprise over 95% of the user market share including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge, JAWS and NVDA (screen readers), both for Windows and for MAC users.
Despite our very best efforts to allow anybody to adjust the website to their needs, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or are lacking an adequate technological solution to make them accessible. Still, we are continually improving our accessibility, adding, updating and improving its options and features, and developing and adopting new technologies. All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility, following technological advancements. For any assistance, please reach out to