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False Teeth/Braces for Meat and Milk

I was asked the following question and wanted to hear the Rav’s answer. Why don’t people have to wait 24 hours between meat and milk in certain occasions. Even if one wants to say that teeth are not able to absorb, people with metal braces would still have the same problem. Assuming the food was in a kli rishon and yad soledes bo (I know in most cases this is not the case) why aren’t the braces or teeth absorbing meat, and then 6 hours later if one were to eat milk the teeth or braces absorb milk and may polet meat etc. Has the Rav seen sources that talk about teeth not being able to absorb as well? Thank you for your help.


This is a nice question, and we will please G-d dedicate an article to it in the future. Another point, which is relevant for most people, is the issue of fillings. I will try to address the question briefly.

The Chasam Sofer (Yoreh De’ah 94) was asked about the kashrus of a chicken that fell, while still alive, into hot butter, and was then slaughtered. His reply was that because the butter had been absorbed by the body of the chicken, there was no question of kashrus, because ta’am that is absorbed into the body is not prohibited.

The same principle seemingly applies to teeth. The ta’am that is absorbed by teeth does not prohibit, because teeth are a part of the body.

Beis Yitzchak (Yoreh De’ah 1:43:12) casts doubt over the comparison, writing that teeth are perhaps different from integral parts of the body. Because we are nonetheless not concerned for the teeth absorbing taste of meat (before eating milk), this might be reason to permit false teeth–which are no different to real teeth. Beis Yitzchak defers the comparison because “one cannot derive something that is possible (to be wary of) from something that is impossible (to be wary of).”

Yet, several poskim are lenient with regard to false teeth. Maharsham (1:197) writes that the temperature is not high enough to cause taste to be absorbed, adding that the food is in the mouth for a very short time. She’elas Shalom (195, cited in Darkei Teshuvah 89) writes that the material of false teeth doesn’t absorb. Nishmas Avraham (89:2) quotes from Rav Shlomo Zalman that the food in a person’s mouth is pagum.

[Perhaps one can add that we see that there is no beliah and pelitah of taste, for if we drink tea after eating meat, we don’t feel the taste of the meat in the tea.]

All of these rationales require elucidation, and as mentioned, we will try to dedicate an article to the interesting topic.

For Pesach, poskim generally write that one should do hag’alah (though Kaf Hachaim 89 is lenient), but for meat and milk the clear and common practice is to be lenient.

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