With school starting and fall approaching, we start to think of some of those necessary little family chores, like going to the dentist. Most visits aren't too dramatic, but once in a while you get some bad news. The news that you need braces, though is not at all uncommon, and most families will have at least one member who needs to go through this ordeal.
If you have nickel allergies, or you want to avoid them, these little suckers pose more of a problem. Think about it. These things are in your mouth all the time, most likely when you are young. Over a couple of years, your mouth is the site of a host of little cuts, sores and irritations, many of which come and go without much notice. These little irritations are the perfect entry point for nickel to get into your body, and make an ideal environment for an allergy to develop.
Also, it is good to remember that even if you don't have nickel allergies YET, they can still develop. Having these in your mouth for a couple of years or so is a real test. Now that I'm thinking about it more critically, when I had braces as a pre-teen, we had no concept that nickel was a hazard, and I'm certain my parents never asked about it. It was not until about three years later that my allergies developed - was it related? I'll never know.
So if you or your child are getting braces, take care to ask your orthodontist for nickel free braces. They are available if you ask. Otherwise, assume they contain nickel. Braces are irritating enough - don't let them create a lifelong allergy.