The Perception and Usage of Fake Braces: Twitter Content Analysis

The Open Dentistry Journal 07 Apr 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18742106-v17-2304040-2022-137



Financial concerns deter many people from seeking orthodontic care. Fake braces replicate the real orthodontic braces but are not functional and are priced at a lower cost. These products are available through illegal and unregistered merchants, who use social media for advertising their products. This study aimed to analyze Arabic Twitter posts related to fake braces.


Tweets were collected from Twitter API v2 using Python. The search was limited to the Arabic language, using keywords such as “fake braces” and “fashion braces.” Tweets were collected in the period from January 1, 2020, until July 31, 2021. Both sentiment and thematic analyses were performed.


788 tweets met the inclusion criteria, 660 of which were advertisements. The rest of the tweets (n = 128) were categorized into four main themes: rejecting the idea of fake braces (49.2%), having the intention to buy fake braces (32.0%), using/used fake braces (14.1%), and accepting the idea of fake braces (4.7%). Sentiment analysis showed that more than half of the tweets (55.5%) were negative and mainly involved sarcastic language (65.8%).


Although many of the tweets were against the use of fake braces, a sizable number of advertisement tweets promoted fake braces. Efforts should be made to educate the public about the risks of using fake braces and to emphasize the importance of seeking a licensed orthodontist for treatment. In addition, health authorities must establish laws and policies and enhance surveillance to control social media content advertising these harmful products.

Keywords: Social media, Oral health, Orthodontic appliances, Sentiment analysis, Twitter, Fake braces, Dentistry, Orthodontics.
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