Fashion Braces: Deathly Cute

Girls in Thailand are putting their health in danger for the sake of looking cute. And it's not plastic surgery or diet pills we're talking about -- it's braces. Whereas in the U.S. getting braces is a rite of passage to be bemoaned, in Thailand, braces are just another fashion accessory. Young girls there love adorning their teeth with colorful brackets and bands. 

However, orthodontics are pricey, and since many girls can't afford real braces, they are resorting to getting fashion "braces" crudely attached to their teeth by unlicensed dentists in flea market booths and peoples' living rooms. The unhygienic environments and practices involved can lead to blood poisoning, nerve damage and the swallowing of dislodged fittings. These back-alley braces have lead to two teenagers' deaths in Thailand, and currently the country's government is trying to implement rules and fines to prevent more fatalities.  

The price runs pretty cheap: $24 for one row of teeth, $45 for a set. Compared to the $1,000+ real braces cost, it's no wonder girls are subjecting themselves to this dangerous fashion trend.

It's an important reminder that your health should never be sacrificed for style.