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Thai doctors warn about the dangers of fashion braces

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Department of Medical Services

Those in Western countries don’t typically look back fondly on teenage years with a mouth full of braces and painful trips to the orthodontist. But in Thailand, having braces is seen as a symbol of wealth. They’ve even become a fashion trend with many fake braces being sold illegally (yes, really!). Thai doctors are warning about the risk of serious infection and death from fashion braces.

The Department of Medical Services posted an infographic educating people about braces as well as information from doctors warning people about the dangerous “fashion trend”. Doctors say many fake braces are made with toxic metal, such as cadmium, as well as mercury, arsenic and lead. Some people use super glue to attach the metal pieces to their teeth. They are warning people that toxic chemicals can be absorbed into the body, causing mouth bleeding, ulcers and other infections, even death.

The fake braces sell for around 1,400 baht at illegal shops and fake orthodontist clinics while actual braces from professional orthodontists are 50,000 baht+. Infections from fashion braces have been an issue for years.

Vice wrote a story back in 2012 on the so-called deadly fashion trend, reporting that two Thai teens died with the fake braces to blame. One had a thyroid infection, which rapidly progressed to fatal heart failure, but Vice did not report any other information on the deaths.

For more information on where you can get braces fitted safely, by a qualified dentist in Thailand, check out your options at MyMediTravel.

SOURCES: Thai Residents| Vice | Bangkok Post

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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