Could Orthodontic Braces Be Destroying Our Children’s Health?
Stainless steel alloys, such as those used routinely in orthodontic braces and
appliances, contain 8%-12% nickel and 17%-22% chromium. In spite of trying to minimize the effects of metal in saliva, these devices do corrode in the mouth and thereby release metals into the body. This is a slow and steady exposure, increasing as corrosion increases.
Nickel and chromium can cause hypersensitivity, dermatitis and Cytotoxicity (cell poisoning). They are listed with the Environmental Protection Agency as having significant carcinogenic and mutagenic potential (can cause cancer and abnormal cell growth). At a lower dose they can cause DNA alterations (mutations).
This study evaluated salivary levels of nickel and chromium for up to 30 days after placement of orthodontic appliance systems. A limitation of this study was the limited time wearing the devices in the mouth. Orthodontic appliances can be on the teeth for up to three years or more, and 30 days is very short for corrosion to increase.
Even with this imitation, the study found that nickel and chromium released into saliva from the orthodontic appliances increased during the first week and was less when measured at day 30. What happens during three year exposure was not evaluated. In addition, exposure to the toxic metals is not only from the saliva but is also absorbed from inhalation of the metal vapor off the alloy, and swallowing released metals.
In my opinion the exposure is much greater than revealed in this study.