This Is A Thing? Fake Braces A Deadly Trend Among Teens In Thailand
11:30 am, January 2nd | by Laura Donovan
There’s so much to dislike about adolescence, and braces are no exception, but teenagers in Southeast Asia have reportedly been hitting up the black market for fake braces for a long time, paying about $100 to look like metal-mouth geeks. The fad has been alive and well for several years and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, unlike Furbies, Tamagotchis, and other things that once ran the lives of youngsters everywhere.
On the new “fashion statement,” the New York Daily News reports that having braces on one’s pearly whites is somewhat of a status symbol. Real braces can cost upwards of $1,200 in Bangkok, so black market braces aren’t all that pricey in comparison. Even so, they’re dangerous to wear, as wearers are at a greater risk of swallowing them, getting mouth sores, or receiving wires with lead. Vice UK reports that these fake braces beasts have already brought about the deaths of two Thai teens:
“A pair of shoddy braces was blamed for the death of a 17-year-old in the northeast city of Khon Kaen from a thyroid infection, which rapidly progressed to fatal heart failure. Then, in Chonburi, police tied the death of a 14-year-old girl to braces purchased at an illegal open-air stall.”
With that the Thai government decided to ban the distribution of fake braces and fine such a crime at around £815. Yikes.
So what have we learned here, kids? Trying to fit in and be cool is dangerous whether you’re boozing it up to impress the untouchable popular guy you like or win the heart of the class nerd by stuffing your mouth with metal that just doesn’t belong there.