DIY Brace Craze Sweeps Through South East Asia and the Philippines

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DIY dentistry is never a good idea. But the latest craze for DIY braces in Asia is particularly alarming, as orthodontic treatment requires specialist care and methodical planning.

Images on the internet and in news reports show a number of people attempting to straighten their own teeth using makeshift braces, often because they can’t afford specialist dental treatment. Reports claim that teenagers and adults are fixing their own versions of metal brackets to their teeth and then passing a wire through in a bid to achieve a straighter smile.

Homemade braces have increased in popularity in South East Asia and the Philippines and dentists have reported numerous problems as a result. Not only can makeshift braces damage the teeth, they can also cause permanent damage to the gums and soft tissue, increase the risk of dental decay and even contribute to poisoning.

The issue has become so grave that the Philippine Dental Association has issued a warning to the public, urging them not to attempt DIY treatment. In a statement, the organisation warned people that self-treatment could result in injury and infection. Dentists have also urged anyone who comes across illegal treatments or services to report the case to the association.

This is not the first potentially dangerous dental trend to hit Asia. In recent years there have been cases of people seeking vampire-shaped teeth and undergoing treatment to create large gaps between their front teeth and shorten and make the teeth smaller to create a more childlike aesthetic.

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