What are Fake Braces for Teeth?
There is a movement about. People want straight teeth. Unfortunately, most people are not gifted with straight teeth. So, what do you do? Most people turn to their dentist and see what options they have.
For a lot of people, the fixings come at a steep price. Braces can cost 2000$-7500$ and sometimes even more. Retainers tend to be a little cheaper, ranging from a couple hundred dollars to $1,500.
But if you can’t afford that. What are you to do?
There are options from low-cost clinics, dental schools, and government assistance. We highly recommend you check out these sources to see what your options are.
What has disturbed us is the trend in using fake braces. They are exactly what they say they are, fake.
They are a scam to take money from people who are looking to fix their teeth but may not be able to afford the full price of braces.
Why are People Using Fake Braces?
The trend in fake braces started not too long ago when the internet made finding such items easier. In some places braces are becoming not only a teeth straightening solution but also a fashion accessory and a status symbol. Scam artists created contraptions that gave the person the sensation of changing their smile but really didn’t do much at all.
Others provide information on how to make your own braces. They’ve used everything from earrings to rubber bands to aluminum foil. Just like with the fake braces kit, they don’t work.
Fortunately, many of these scam artists have been caught and stopped. However, as one goes down, and another take their place.
Are Fake Braces Safe?
No. Fake braces are bad for your teeth. They are called fake braces because they are not real and don’t work like real braces do.
Many dentist and orthodontist won’t even discuss the use of fake braces. They know only the true braces gotten from a dentist or orthodontist will actually work to fix a person’s teeth.
In fact, when I called my own dentist to talk about the use of fake braces, he didn’t even know of their existence.
One of his colleagues did. As a cosmetic dentist, she was able to tell me if the horror stories she encountered personally and having to fix a smile destroyed by fake braces.
The Risks and Side Effects of Fake Braces
At best, using fake braces will have no effect on your smile. They will merely be a waste of money and time.
Even if you do see short-term changes, you can’t be sure that the actual structure of your mouth has changed in order to support the change in your teeth. One of the long-term risks is as your teeth are pulled into their new position, the underlined word structure is destroyed and your teeth will eventually fall out.
When braces are used by a professional dentist or orthodontist, the changes they make are very slow. That’s why it can take two to three years in order to make the change is permanent.
Even more so, we don’t recommend trying to use fake braces with your kids. The risks of failure are even higher. As a child ages, their mouth naturally changes. A dentist will be able to work with those changes and adjust accordingly. They also know what to expect when it comes to growth changes.
Many of the home structures are also very sharp, and they introduce infection. With children, they could have an infection for days before you notice. A long-term infection in children could be fatal.
In many areas, there are free and low-cost dental services for children. We recommend contacting your local government services in order to help your children if they do need braces.
The Only Safe Fake Braces
A Halloween costume. There are a few kits out there that put simple plastic or paper blobs on your teeth (or are fake teeth altogether) and have a gaggle of wires to simulate braces. You can see them here:
They look obviously fake and have no actions on your teeth at all. But, the fake braces come in all sorts of colors and styles so your costume really pops!
So, Why Won’t You Tell Us How to Make Fake Braces?
At eBraces.org, we want you to be healthy, safe and have straight teeth. We weighed the pros and cons of telling you about how to wear fake braces or where to buy fake braces* because we saw these products caused more harm than good.
Yes, there are some manufacturers out there that make a decent product and, if you use it right, it can work. We’re not going to deny that.
But, and there’s always a huge BUT, there are far more bad manufacturers out there. Plus, even if you follow the directions exactly, your particular problem could be made worse.
Too many fake braces have gone wrong and we just can’t in good conscience direct you to something that has such a high risk of harm.
How to Identify Fake Braces
Fake braces look like they are fake. Real braces are made to exacting standards and are consistent throughout the dental world. The wires are very precise, something very difficult to achieve at home.
You’ll find in many of our articles and comment replies that we recommend using a dentist to find out what your options are. We know dentists and orthodontists are the only ones that can get you real braces. They are the only ones that will identify the problem correctly. They may also be the only ones to tell you that you don’t need braces at all, but another fix will work.
Without a dentist, you take on many risks of fake braces and the damage they can cause.
The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly
There is a lot of bad information out there. We want to highlight what we saw and why it’s a bad idea.
Fake Braces Kits
There are some unscrupulous people out there selling full kits to make your own braces. Many of them use cheap ingredients and materials. It would be a very long shot if you purchased a kit and it actually worked.
The problem with the kits is that without a dentist, you cannot properly reshape your smile. A dentist knows your bone structure and roots are more important than the actual structure and shape of your teeth.
The kits are also not designed to be used over the long-term. Dentist requires two to three years for braces because it takes that long to fully reshape your mouth. Most companies that produce fake braces kits won’t be around in one year’s time.
Fake Headgear Braces
You can actually find older headgear braces online. They were used a long time ago. Yes, some of them may actually work still. But, without a dentist to be able to properly fit them, you risk harming your teeth. We recommend if you are going to purchase old braces, use them for display.
Fake Braces DIY
The worst offenders of braces are here. People have lost teeth to these DIY fixes, and there have been 2 deaths in Thailand caused by DIY braces.
Fake Braces with a Paper Clip
A paper clip can do many things. It’s a great lock pick, and it’s even been traded for a massive house. It holds papers together and is an endless source of frustration when they bent out of shape.
One of the key features of a paperclip is that it bends and it is not strong.
Both of these features are opposite of what you want in braces.
Most of the examples that we found showed paper clips being used to pull two teeth together by wrapping around them. This is a bad idea. It forces two out of place teeth to support each other. It also creates two gaps on either side of the teeth.
A paper clip is simply not designed to sustain the force needed to move a tooth. It simply won’t work.
The scariest side effect of using a paperclip that is the risk of infection. Many paper clips today, especially the larger ones, have ridges on the sides in order to grip the paper better. Some of these ridges can actually be sharp. When you put something sharp in your mouth, the very sensitive gums are now at risk for being cut. These end up being very tiny cuts, and since the mouth has a tremendous amount of bacteria in it, the risk of infection is high. And an infection in your mouth just may mean you lose your teeth.
Fake Braces with Bobby Pins
Bobby pins are another popular way of securing things. But again, they just don’t work for braces.
They are flexible, and many of them are incorporating plastic. The plastic allows them to be more flexible and keep their shape better. Older bobby pins are metal. New bobby pins may be mostly plastic.
Like the paperclip, the bobby pin will not be useful for braces.
They also carry a similar risk of infection and damage. With all of the plastic parts, they have wonderful little pockets of breeding infection. Damaged bobby pins also are very sharp.
Fake Braces Rubber Bands
There is some evidence that using proper bands specifically made for closing a small gap between teeth can work. However, this needs to be done under the supervision of the dentist. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your teeth.
We want to stress that tooth bands are not any rubber bands. They are specifically made for the mouth and use a consistent regulated pressure. Read more in this article.
General rubber bands are not made with a consistent pressure. And they are certainly not made to be put in the mouth. They contain certain chemicals that can be toxic over time. This goes the same with using the small rubber band hair ties.
Fake Braces with Earring Backs
An earring back is a small piece of metal that can be inserted between your teeth to force a gap. Many have used it to bend around a tooth in order to create the pressure needed to move a tooth.
Certain alloys used in earrings can supply enough force to move a tooth. However, these alloys are not safe in the mouth.
The biggest risk comes from puncturing your gums. An earring back is just sharp enough to be able to slice through your gums and damage the roots of your teeth. If this happens, you could lose your tooth altogether. This is especially true if you interrupt the blood flow or introduce bacteria via the puncture wound.
Fake Braces with Beads
We found some instances where people are using beads as part of braces. For the most part, it is being used for costume purposes.
Fake Braces with Real Brackets
The brackets are what makes braces. It is the part that actually holds your teeth. The wires are used to guide the brackets and to create tension. As of right now, it is actually illegal to buy or trade braces brackets without a dental license.
Fake Braces with Gum
One of the more disgusting ways we found for creating fake braces is to use gum. Some people have found that when gum hardens, it can be used almost as a retainer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
There is a high amount of bacteria in the mouth, and the gum can actually serve as a breeding ground for them. Now, when you hold the gum up against your teeth, the bacteria can work directly on your teeth. This can lead to cavities and enamel erosion.
Fake Braces with Tin Foil
Tin foil makes great braces when it comes to a costume, but it’s not going to be able to make any kind of real braces. Tin foil is not even strong enough to apply the force to your teeth required to move things around.
Over the long-term, the exposure to the metal could cause toxicity in the blood. The metallic atoms that are released are able to enter your bloodstream through the very sensitive gums.
In addition, tin foil is also very sharp. It can cause many cuts and scrapes in your mouth which can lead to infection.
If you are going to create fake braces, make sure it was part of a costume. You do not want to try any of the "at home fixes". This is just a huge risk to your teeth.
If you do find you need braces, talk to your dentist or orthodontist. They will be able to help you find low-cost and even free ways to obtain your braces.
Don’t risk your health or your teeth by trying an at-home fixes. Your smile has to last a lifetime.
If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below to tell us about your experiences or ask any questions. Thanks!
Wow really interesting, never heard of fake braces. Thanks for sharing this.
Hi, Dan K!
Thank you for your interest! You’re welcome! Fake braces are not something worth to deal with. I just wanted to caution people about their dangers and the negative effect on health. There were even a few deaths related to fake braces in Thailand. You can read more about it here.