Can You Drink Anything on Clear, Essix, Rivera Retainers?

I know people should not eat meal with them on, but can they eat desserts, or small sweets on them or they have to take them out? Also, is it ok to drink hot coffee, red wine, alcohol, or (straight whisky with no water or soda ) and other beverages or they better to use a straw? Thank you

Doctor Answers 3

Drinking with Clear Retainers OK - sometimes

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Drinking with clear retainers is possible, but if you do so consistently they won't stay clear. Still, it is good to know that if you find yourself in a social situation and don't want to go through the hassle of having to take your retainers out, it is OK to keep them in on occasion. One of my patients told me that since she has her Invisalign she is able to eat ice cream again - the plastic protects her teeth from the cold! After drinking/eating with your clear retainers take them out soon to clean them and your teeth, even if you use a straw.

San Ramon Orthodontist

Drinking fluids with clear retainers

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It's best to remove clear retainers before you eat and drink anything of color for a couple of reasons.  The clear type of retainers have a tendency to stain and take on color from fluids while in the mouth. Once the color has been taken up by the retainer it is very difficult if not impossible to remove the staining even using denture cleaners and other high strength stain removers. There is also concern for the health of your teeth with the clear retainers on while drinking fluids, especially ones that contain sugar and acids. The chances of cavities, decalcifications and staining will increase by wearing the retainers while drinking fluids. My recommendation would be take the retainers out to drink all fluids other than water - hope that helps!!

Scott Vincent, DMD, MS
Sandy Orthodontist

Treat Essix retainers like Invisalign

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Just like with Invisalign treatment, clear retainers should be taken out for all food and drink except water.  Some doctors may ask patients to eat with aligners on during treatment, but the reasoning for this will not apply during the retention period.  There is an increased risk of cavities, demineralization, and staining if the proper care is not followed.  Good luck!

Jason K. Tam, DDS
Toronto Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.