A Hawley retainer is the classic retainer that many millions have used after getting their braces off. Hawley retainers have been around for a long time – a really long time. They were actually invented in 1919! The wire part goes around the front part of your teeth and then the acrylic or plastic is fitted to the roof of your mouth. Two wire hooks will help anchor it to the back teeth. The lower retainer may have an acrylic wrap around the wire to make it more comfortable.
The wire hooks serve to keep your retainers aligned correctly so you can keep that beautiful smile you worked so hard to maintain.
Hawley orthodontics are removable which makes them ideal for helping you maintain your oral health. Because they are removable, they can get lost or damaged if you don’t keep them in their case when you take them out, but the cost of Hawley retainer replacement is not high so you can replace them fairly easily if that does happen.
Hawley retainers can come in a wide variety of colors and even patterns, so you can customize your retainer to match your favorite team’s colors or come up with a fun custom pattern that makes the retainer so you.
We’ll learn more about Hawley retainers in just a moment, but first let’s take a look at what some of the experts of orthodontic medicine have to say about them.
Fixed appliances like braces are worn for an average of 23.1 months (Fink DF et al.,1992).
There are a number of reasons why that timeline will vary, including how many teeth have to be pulled or how many appointments get missed, plus more (Fink DF et al.,1992).
Some orthodontists will spend more time at the end of treatment so your finish is solid, but that has both pros and cons to it, and this can lead to your treatment time varying (Fink DF et al.,1992).
When is a Hawley Retainer Used?
Hawley retainers are used after you have had another orthodontic appliance straighten and align your teeth. Retainers, as the name implies, keep your teeth from drifting back into their old positions. You may have to wear them the rest of your life as it is possible for your teeth to drift at any time. This is why retainers are so important, to help keep that new alignment so your braces treatment will not have been in vain.
Hawley retainers are used because they are sturdy and durable, and they can apply the right amount of pressure on the teeth to keep them in place.
They have a number of advantages. They are easy to clean because they can be removed, and since you can take them out to eat, you have the freedom to eat any foods you want. And, you can brush and floss your teeth easily as well.
Unlike permanent retainers that can snap out or come loose, if you need to replace a retainer you simply order a new one and pick it up, saving a full orthodontic appointment to reattach your permanent retainer.
Orthodontists have learned that over time, Hawley retainers are the most durable of all of the types of retainers.
How Long Does a Hawley Retainer Last?
Hawley retainers can last between 3-10 years on average, but if cared for properly, you can get even more years out of them.
So how can you get a longer life from your Hawley retainer? When you take them out, make sure you put them in the case provided you by your orthodontist. It helps prevent damage and it’s harder to lose them.
This also means you need to remove them when you eat to keep from damaging the wires or maybe even breaking the plastic.
Oddly enough, your dog might be interested in it, because it smells like you, so you will want to keep it away from your dog.
You should clean your retainer daily using tap water, not hot water. Hot water can damage the plastic material and make your retainer warp or not fit right.
And, you need to be sure to keep wearing your retainer so your teeth don’t drift. If you don’t wear your retainer your teeth can move and then your retainer won’t fit so you have to see your orthodontist to get a new one. If you find that your retainer feels tight or your teeth hurt when you put your retainer in, you should see your orthodontist.
Also, you should see your orthodontist if your retainer is cracked or you dropped it, or if your retainer is chipped.
Chipped and cracked retainers can get bacteria growth in those spaces.
How Much Does a Hawley Retainer Cost?
The cost of Hawley retainers is between $150 and $300, so they are pretty affordable. Your orthodontist will include your first set of Hawley retainers cost in the overall cost of your treatment at the beginning so it won’t be a surprise. But, if you need to get a replacement, the Hawley retainer cost is still budget friendly.
How to Clean Hawley Retainer?
You need to clean your Hawley retainers every day so you clear out any food particles that might be stuck in there, and so you don’t get bad breath or even gum disease. Hawley retainers make it easy to maintain your oral health, so be sure to take advantage of it.
If you don’t clean your retainers, they can get plaque build-up and even tartar. To help keep them clean, you should rinse them off when you remove your retainers and before you put them back in. At the end of the day, you should brush your retainer with a soft toothbrush and rinse it off. Then once a week, use a commercially available retainer cleaner and drop your retainers in the solution for the recommended amount of time before rinsing them off and putting them back in.
You should also brush your teeth after every time you eat to get rid of any food particles that may be between your teeth so you can put your retainers back in a clean mouth.
If you are interested in braces or Invisalign, be sure to contact our office by using the contact us link here or give us a call – we are happy to answer your questions and meet you at a first consultation.
Fink, D. F., & Smith, R. J. (1992). The duration of orthodontic treatment. American journal of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics: official publication of the American Association of Orthodontists, its constituent societies, and the American Board of Orthodontics, 102(1), 45–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/0889-5406(92)70013-Z