Those With Nickel Allergies Can Still Find Braces

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Braces are a part of growing up for many children, but what if your child is allergic to the materials used in orthodontics, such as nickel?

Experts at Children's Mercy Hospital said those with nickel allergies can still go after that great smile and perfect bite.

Von Smith was concerned about her 11-year-old daughter, Kara, getting braces because she had severe skin reactions to nickel, which is used in the wire in most children's braces.

"I knew she was going to need them, but I wanted braces that were as safe as possible," Smith said.

Dr. James Lowe with Children's Mercy Dental Clinic said there are ways to get around nickel allergies.

"We can use titanium wire. It doesn't have nickel to that degree, and brackets are attached to the teeth. Those can be made out of composite or plastic-type material," Lowe said.

Lowe said the only drawback is that nickel wire is considered most effective in moving teeth and that other materials can work, but it may take longer.

Doctors said most children have symptoms of nickel sensitivity long before braces are an issue, such as a raised, irritating, itchy rash from jewelry, buttons or anything else containing nickel.

Lowe said patients who are sensitive to nickel need to choose an orthodontist who offers alternate materials -- he said don't take any chances.

"I remember seeing a little girl with wires across the front lip and you could see the red line inside the front upper lip exactly matched up with that wire," Lowe said.

Smith said Kara has been lucky and hasn't had any problems.

"She hasn't had any breakout in her mouth or anything that might come from nickel, so she's doing very well with her braces," Smith said.

source -  KMBC.TV