Top Orthodontist: Braces, Clear Aligners

Hawley Retainer

Everyone wishes for a beautiful smile, but getting a great smile can sometimes require wearing braces for two or more years with guidance by your orthodontist. At Orthodontic Experts, our orthodontists are specialists and highly qualified to help you reach the goal you set before starting your orthodontic treatment. Once the “active” orthodontic treatment has ended, your new smile needs to be maintained by a retainer. The most common type of retainers is the Hawley Retainer. Hawley Retainer literally “retains” your teeth’s position by stabilizing them while the bone hardens around them. Patience through this portion of treatment is a key to maintaining your beautiful new smile.

The Hawley Retainer is one of the oldest, most trusted and proven types of retainers used post-treatment. It is a removable item, made of a combination of plastic and metal that is molded custom to fit your mouth. As you might have seen, the wires sit against the six front teeth with loops near the canines that help for minor adjustments as the teeth settle into place. Due to the plastic and wire components, though, Hawley Retainer can be distorted or changed by heat or damage from impact, so it should be handled with care.

Hawley retainer is a removable orthodontic appliance and caring for this removable device is paramount for successful retention of your dream smile. Not only is Hawley retainer fragile, but it is also expensive to replace – so keep it safe and make sure your kids don’t lose it when at school. Keeping the retainer safe and clean will only expedite the end result of a stable smile. A new retainer can take a week or more to be remade. Proper care and storage of Hawley retainer should include:

  • Cleaning daily to remove bacteria and food debris.
  • Keeping away from heat or hot water.
  • Storing in its case when not in the mouth.

The Hawley retainer is worn during the night. The retainer should be washed with warm water and scrubbed lightly with a toothbrush. This is to be done before placing it in storage, and the storage for the container should also be rinsed regularly.

No, a Hawley Retainer – alone – cannot correct an overbite. The purpose of a retainer is to maintain the changes made by braces.

Yes, a Hawley retainer can straighten teeth in some cases. It can be predicted by an orthodontist after considering the nature of the case.

They are fairly comfortable since they are preferred by a large variety of people.

You can remove the retainer and eat, there are not any restrictions. Be mindful to store it in a hygienic place while you are eating.

hawley retainer

Even though it’s been around the longest, that doesn’t mean it’s the best or the worst. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of a Hawley retainer.


  • Hawley retainers are removable and adjustable, making them much easier to customize to the patient. If the patient hasn’t done a great job of wearing the retainer regularly after getting braces off, our orthodontist at Orthodontic Experts, can easily adjust it.
  • These retainers are a lot more durable than other types of retainers. Additionally, if it does break, it can be repaired, unlike other retainers which need to be replaced.
  • In the same way that you can choose different color braces, you can choose whatever color Hawley retainer you like.


  • The design of Hawley retainers is obvious. Unlike Clear retainer the wire of Hawley retainers which is running across the teeth is clearly visible.
  • The plastic part the retainers that sits on the roof of the mouth can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to speak.
  • If you don’t clean your retainer well, it can start to grow bacteria and eventually become unusable.

After completion of your orthodontic treatment you require to have retainers and Removable Hawley retainer cost between $150–$300 for one or $300–$600 to fix both sets of teeth.

Hawley retainer is very common across multiple age groups. In fact, most people – children and adults – need to wear them for a period after their braces are removed. But the good news is you have a beautiful smile waiting for you! Obtaining and maintaining a straight, functional and desirable grin of teeth will build confidence and allow for a lifetime of healthy dental visits. No matter if you choose Hawley retainer or any other type of retainers, be sure to wear them exactly as your orthodontist recommends. Your teeth will maintain their position giving you that dream smile for a lifetime. Wearing your retainer will make sure that all of that hard work you put in achieve the perfect smile doesn’t go to waste! If you are ready to start your journey to a new smile contact us now for your No Cost Consultation.

This information contained on this website is for the purposes of learning more about the different treatment options.

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