Suggestions for Braces and Retainers on Passover
I preface any discussion with the disclaimer that I am not a rabbi. All halachic questions should be presented to a competent rabbi.
- Obviously, the most important issue is that people with braces make sure that the teeth be absolutely clean. One should clean teeth during the time when chametz is still permissible. Use whatever it takes to do a good job: manual or electric toothbrush, Waterpik, Proxabrush, or floss. Beyond this, discuss it with a rabbi. For instance, some rabbis (such as mine) will recommend refraining from eating hot chametz 24 hours before the time for which eating chametz becomes forbidden
- Those patients wearing orthodontic elastics should be aware that the elastics are manufactured with corn starch, which is a derivative of legumes (kitnios). Therefore, on Pesach, elastics should be rinsed in water before wearing.
- Regarding removable plastic appliances (retainers, Invisalign®, and bite plates), there are various opinions about how to prepare them for Pesach. Many rabbis will advise cleaning them well in warm water and leaving them out for 24 hours. Please do not boil them. A rule of thumb is that if the water is too hot for your finger, it is too hot for the plastic. Boiling water will warp the plastic.
- Invisalign patients might try to change to the next tray on the first day of Pesach.
— Dr. Rubin