could you be allergic to braces

Could You Be Allergic to Braces?

When you think of allergies, you likely think of environmental irritants, specific foods, or pet dander, not braces. While extremely rare, it is possible to be allergic to braces. Most commonly, allergic reactions are due to latex used during appointments or titanium or nickel in braces. This article will cover what causes an allergy to braces, some of the signs you may be allergic to your braces, and alternative orthodontic treatment options you can explore.

What causes an allergy to braces?

A study published in the Progress in Orthodontics journal found that while allergies due to braces are not frequent in orthodontic patients, hypersensitivity due to titanium occurs in approximately four percent of patients, and an allergic reaction due to the presence of nickel occurs 14% of the time. In traditional silver braces, nickel and titanium containing alloys are often used in the archwires. While a latex allergy is rare, affecting only one percent of the general population, the allergic response can be severe. Hopefully, you will be aware of your allergies and sensitivities prior to getting braces, but, some allergies may be previously undiagnosed.

Am I allergic to braces?

If you find yourself wanting to scratch the inside of your mouth due to intense itching or suddenly experience watery eyes, a runny nose, or in the most extreme cases, difficulty breathing, you may be allergic to braces. The symptoms in those allergic to braces are similar to sensations associated with pollen allergies. You may also experience a rash, hives, swelling, or inflammation at the contact point between your mouth and braces.

If you believe you are allergic to braces, you should see your orthodontist as soon as you can. They will inspect your mouth and look for telltale signs of an allergic reaction. If your braces are the culprit, unfortunately they will need to be removed and replaced with an allergy-safe option. 

What orthodontic treatment options do I have if I’m allergic to braces? 

If you are allergic to nickel or titanium, your orthodontist will likely recommend ceramic braces or Invisalign. Ceramic braces are a great option for those with metal allergies that still want the effectiveness of traditional braces. Invisalign is another great option, as this orthodontic treatment uses clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth. Invisalign also offers several other benefits, such as being less noticeable and easier to clean, and they are often more comfortable than traditional braces.  

Here at Milnor Orthodontics, we offer free exams for those who are considering orthodontic treatment, and we can make a recommendation for the best treatment option that meets your needs. If you are allergic to braces, we can find an alternative that will allow you to love your smile and stay healthy throughout treatment. 

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.