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  • Danielle Godley

Nickel Allergy and Braces

Updated: Apr 26

Metal braces
Metal braces

Metal braces are probably the most recognizable when it comes to orthodontic treatment. But what if you have a metal allergy? Can you still wear braces to achieve a beautiful, healthy smile? Absolutely! There are great options for patients with sensitivity or allergy to metal.

What does nickel have to do with orthodontics?

Traditional, metal braces are made of stainless steel, which is a mix (alloy) of metals. One component of stainless steel is nickel. Although allergy can occur to many metals, nickel allergy is the most common. If you have had a rash or irritation from contact with metal earrings, jewelry, watches, buttons, zippers or glasses, you may have a metal allergy.

Nickel induces a contact dermatitis reaction. Nickel allergy can cause swelling, irritation, itching, watery eyes, and interfere with orthodontic treatment progress. While severe intra-oral (mouth) reactions to nickel are rare, extra-oral (skin) reactions are common.

Recommendations for Nickel Sensitive Patients

Although nickel is a small component in many orthodontic appliances and braces, nickel-free alternatives are available for treatment. At Godley Family Orthodontics, we offer:

  • Rhodium braces

  • Ceramic (clear) braces

  • Clear aligners (such as Invisalign)

Talking with your Orthodontist

When looking into options to straighten your smile or align your bite, the best ting you can do is discuss your specific goals and needs with your orthodontist. Many orthodontists offer alternatives to metal braces and can let you know all of the options available to fit you needs so that you can make a well-informed decision. For a complimentary consultation, contact our team at Godley Family Orthodontics.


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