The Do's and Don'ts of Eating with a Wire Retainer
Oral Health Blog

The Do's and Don'ts of Eating with a Wire Retainer


When eating with a wire retainer, it's essential to prioritize cleanliness. Using a purple persulfate-free retainer cleaner helps maintain hygiene after eating, ensuring your retainer remains clean and safe for use. Avoid consuming sticky or hard foods that may damage the retainer, promoting better oral health overall.

Can You Eat with a Wire Retainer?

The straightforward answer is no; you should not eat with your wire retainer in place. Wire retainers are not designed to withstand the forces involved in chewing, and doing so can damage the retainer and potentially harm your teeth.

Why Shouldn't You Eat with a Wire Retainer?

  1. Damage to the Retainer: Wire retainers are delicate and can easily bend or break when subjected to biting and chewing forces. Eating with your wire retainer can lead to deformation, making it less effective in retaining your teeth's alignment.

  2. Hygiene Concerns: Food particles can get trapped between the wire and your teeth while eating, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. This can increase the risk of cavities and gum problems.

  3. Discomfort: Chewing with a wire retainer can be uncomfortable and even painful. The metal components can press against your gums and the roof of your mouth, causing irritation.

  4. Speech Impediments: Wearing a wire retainer while eating might cause speech difficulties, making your mealtime less enjoyable.

What Should You Do Before Eating?

Before enjoying a meal, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the Retainer: Always take out your wire retainer before eating. This will prevent any potential damage and ensure a more comfortable dining experience.

  2. Store it Safely: When not wearing your retainer, keep it in its protective case. This will protect it from damage and prevent it from getting lost.

  3. Clean Your Teeth: Before putting your retainer back in after eating, brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to remove any food particles and maintain good oral hygiene.

What Can You Drink with a Wire Retainer?

While eating is not recommended, drinking with a wire retainer is generally acceptable. However, avoid hot beverages as they can deform the retainer's plastic or cause discomfort.

What if You Accidentally Eat with Your Retainer?

If you forget to remove your wire retainer and take a bite, don't panic. Rinse your mouth thoroughly, remove the retainer, and inspect it for damage. If you notice any bent wires or deformation, contact your orthodontist for an evaluation. It's essential to address any issues promptly to prevent complications with your orthodontic treatment.


In conclusion, eating with a wire retainer is not advisable. The potential damage, hygiene concerns, discomfort, and speech impediments outweigh any convenience it might offer. Always remove your retainer before eating, store it safely, and maintain good oral hygiene to protect your newly aligned teeth and ensure the longevity of your retainer. Remember that proper care and adherence to your orthodontist's guidelines are essential for a successful and lasting outcome of your orthodontic treatment.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE.


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.