Health authorities are clamping down on the Thai teenage fashion fad of wearing fake orthodontic braces by targeting those who sell and make the pseudo-dental gear with steep fines and prison time.
Girls flashing multicoloured metallic grins are regularly featured in teen magazines as braces have become more common in Thailand, transforming the dental gear detested by Western youths into a fashion statement.
Rather than getting fitted for the real - and expensive - option, teenagers have been buying do-it-yourself kits in stores and select red, pink, yellow, blue or multicoloured rubber bands to match their outfits or moods. Clear or neutral bands are rarely seen in Thai mouths.
But the government's Consumer Protection Board says the trend is unsafeLINK