Unveiling the Drawbacks of Permanent Retainers: What You Need to Know
Oral Health Blog

Unveiling the Drawbacks of Permanent Retainers: What You Need to Know

Introduction: The Persistence of Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are a popular choice for maintaining a beautifully aligned smile, but they aren't without their downsides. In this article, we'll explore the less glamorous aspects of permanent retainers and answer some common questions you might have about these orthodontic devices.

Can You Eat Whole Apples with a Permanent Retainer?

  1. Chew with Caution: While it's possible to eat apples with a permanent retainer, it's essential to be cautious. Biting into hard foods like apples can potentially damage or dislodge the retainer.

  2. Alternative Approaches: Slicing apples into smaller, more manageable pieces or choosing softer varieties can help you enjoy this nutritious snack without risking your retainer's integrity.

Can Permanent Retainers Go in an MRI?

  1. Non-Issue for Most: Generally, permanent retainers made from stainless steel or nickel-titanium don't pose problems during an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). These materials are not magnetic and are considered safe.

  2. Inform Your Technician: To ensure a safe and comfortable experience, always inform your MRI technician about the presence of any dental or orthodontic appliances, including your permanent retainer.

What Dentists Wish You Knew

  1. Regular Check-ups Matter: Dentists wish patients understood the importance of regular dental check-ups, especially when they have orthodontic appliances like permanent retainers. These visits help ensure the retainer is functioning correctly and that your oral health is in good shape.

  2. Oral Hygiene Is Key: Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial when you have a permanent retainer. Dentists emphasize the need for proper flossing and brushing to prevent issues like plaque buildup and gum disease.

What Happens if I Accidentally Swallowed My Permanent Retainer?

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Swallowing a permanent retainer is a rare but serious situation. If it occurs, contact a healthcare professional immediately. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the retainer's location and whether it poses a risk.

  2. Preventing Swallowing: To reduce the risk of swallowing your retainer, be cautious when eating, and avoid behaviors that may dislodge it.

Can You Drink Alcohol with a Permanent Retainer?

  1. Generally Safe: Drinking alcohol in moderation with a permanent retainer is usually safe. The materials used in these retainers are not known to react with alcohol.

  2. Oral Hygiene Reminder: However, alcohol can dehydrate your mouth, potentially increasing the risk of oral health issues. Ensure you maintain proper oral hygiene and stay hydrated when consuming alcohol.

What Is My Permanent Retainer Made Of?

  1. Stainless Steel or Nickel-Titanium: Most permanent retainers are constructed from stainless steel or nickel-titanium wire. These materials are durable, corrosion-resistant, and biocompatible.

  2. Minimal Allergy Concerns: Nickel allergies are relatively rare with these materials, but if you have known allergies, discuss alternative options with your orthodontist.

Conclusion: Navigating the Challenges of Permanent Retainers

In conclusion, while permanent retainers offer stability and convenience, they come with considerations like dietary restrictions and the importance of regular dental check-ups. Understanding these aspects will help you make informed decisions about your orthodontic care. Always consult with your orthodontist or dentist if you have specific concerns or questions regarding your permanent retainer.

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.