Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Permanent retainer

25 October, 2009


I have a permanent retainer on my mouth and I have had it for about 9 years now. I had it placed in my mouth after I finished using braces. The retainer is there to ensure that my teeth do not return to the way they were before I had braces. I swallow incorrectly and therefore I am constantly putting pressure on my teeth attempting to make them move. If my teeth move too much it could lead to a lot of jaw pain eventually. Can I leave the retainer in for the mikvah?


A permanent retainer may be left in for mikveh immersion.  However, you must take great care to clean the retainer very well to ensure no food is stuck in it or between it and your teeth and you should check to confirm that the retainer is securely attached before each immersion.

Note that there is halachic debate about when a permanent retainer may be left in for immersion: in all cases or only when medically advantageous.  Our site's supervisor, Rav Yehuda Henkin, agrees with the lenient opinions allowing immersion with a permanent medical retainer even when the permanent retainer does not have a medical advantage over one that can be removed regularly.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar