Health Issues of Wearing Dental Braces Too Long

You’ve heard of makeup, piercings, and brightly colored clothing as beauty trends but dental braces? For many children wearing braces can be almost like a rite of passage.

The wearing of braces in the past has been signaled as a transition from adolescence to adulthood. But now, experiencing this rite of passage has become so popular that many teens are actually getting braces when they are not required just to make a statement. Now, the silvery sparkly on the teeth is considered ritzy and glamorous.

But what does this mean for a child’s health?

Without a doubt for the children who have crooked teeth or an overbite, for example, wearing braces can be hugely beneficial. But this same helpful hardware can also be risky when worn under the wrong conditions. In fact, any child who wears dental braces for too long can expose their risk for a number of health difficulties in the long run.

Here are a few reasons why this trend of wearing braces has taken dentists aback and caused them to fear for the health of their patients.

Risky attachment – A reputable orthodontist knows better than to apply metal to teeth without reason. Likewise the payment for the right education, tools and equipment is costly and often times is more expensive than many people can afford.

For this reason teens that are desperate to fit in and improve their image turn to dodgy dealers to apply their hardware. Dental braces that are used for fashion statements are typically applied in a living room or even at flea markets. These are unsanitary locations that use only the cheapest materials which can immediately put the dental health of teens at risk.

Improper hygiene – Even if dental braces are applied correctly, the hygiene risks incurred by teens that have not received proper direction on how to care for their teeth with the new hardware can also affect their health.

Without knowing how to properly floss to ensure plaque is removed, or the type of brushing that is required to maintain healthy teeth with braces, teens open their mouths up for risk of decay.

Blood poisoning – Dental braces are known for increasing the risk of cut lips and cancer sores. So when these open cuts happen with unsanitary equipment, the risk of blood poisoning increases.

Without proper sanitization in between applications, blood is shared among teens. This can cause disease to spread like wildfire and open up a young developing body to a number of dangerous and even life threatening illnesses.

Choking hazard – Once the low quality dental braces have been applied with low quality materials, it is not uncommon for them to dislodge. When this happens at night, as a person is vulnerable, teens can choke on the loose hardware.

As this happens in a teen’s sleep they may be unable to wake in time or receive help in time and can in rare cases result in death.

Permanent nerve damage – As mentioned, the people who are applying braces are not properly educated in their use. With untrained hands working in such a sensitive area, it is not uncommon for slips to happen and nerves to be struck. This is not only extremely painful but is also a huge risk for permanent nerve damage just to make a fashion statement.

As the damaging effects of unnecessary braces become increasingly known, the hope is that fewer teenagers and young adults will engage in this trend. With stories such as a 17 year old girl who had an infected thyroid as a result of amateur fashion braces which ultimately led to a fatal heart disease, teens will hopefully understand the devastating effects that making this fashion statement can cause.

About the Author:

Joyce and Leah Del Rosario are part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading providers of Online Nutrition Courses and Personal Training Courses. When not working, Joyce and Leah also blog about health and fitness.  She can be found at

  • Jhan

    Hi, I find this article very informative, helpful and alarming. I think parents must be cautious of their children’s health. After all, wearing braces is not so glamorous at all it is jeopardizing the health of anyone’s kid.