Permanent Retainer Problems: 15 Foods to Keep Off Your Plate
Oral Health Blog

Permanent Retainer Problems: 15 Foods to Keep Off Your Plate


Congratulations on completing your orthodontic journey and receiving a permanent retainer to maintain your beautifully aligned teeth! However, it's crucial to know that certain foods can pose challenges and potential risks when you have a fixed retainer in place. In this article, we'll explore what you should avoid eating to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your permanent retainer.

What can you not eat with a permanent retainer?

1. Sticky and Chewy Treats

  • Caramels, Taffy, and Gummies: These can get stuck on your retainer, making it difficult to clean thoroughly.

2. Hard and Crunchy Foods

  • Nuts and Ice: These foods can place excessive pressure on your retainer and even lead to damage or breakage.

3. Tough Meats

  • Jerky and Overcooked Steak: Chewing tough meats can strain your retainer's wires and make it less effective.

4. Crusty Bread and Bagels

  • Bread with Hard Crusts: Biting into these can be tricky and may damage your retainer.

5. Popcorn

  • Kernels and Hulls: Popcorn kernels can get lodged between your teeth and retainer, potentially causing discomfort.

6. Corn on the Cob

  • Nibbling Corn: Eating corn on the cob may require an awkward biting motion, which could affect your retainer.

7. Whole Apples and Carrots

  • Biting into Firm Fruits and Veggies: Cutting these foods into smaller pieces before consumption is advisable.

8. Chewing Gum

  • Sticky Situation: Gum can adhere to your retainer, making it challenging to clean thoroughly.

9. Hard Candies and Lollipops

  • Excessive Sweets: Besides sticking to your retainer, these candies can contribute to tooth decay.

10. Carbonated Drinks

  • High Sugar and Acid Content: These can lead to enamel erosion and plaque buildup, which may affect your retainer.

11. Toffee and Brittle

  • Hard and Sticky: These candies can strain your retainer's wires and trap debris.

12. Raw Vegetables

  • Crunchy Veggies: Opt for cooked or softer versions of vegetables to reduce the strain on your retainer.

13. Beef and Chicken Wings

  • Bones and Tough Bits: Consuming meat with bones or tough connective tissues can be problematic.

14. Foods with Small Seeds

  • Poppy Seeds and Sesame Seeds: These can become lodged in your retainer and are challenging to remove.

15. Sugary and Sticky Desserts

  • Caramel and Toffee: These sweet treats can be a retainer's worst nightmare.


While permanent retainers are convenient for maintaining your newly aligned teeth, they require some dietary adjustments to ensure their effectiveness and longevity. Avoiding sticky, hard, and crunchy foods is essential to prevent damage to your retainer and maintain your oral health.

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The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.