Hawley Retainer Cost, Potential Results, and Maintenance | Mewing.coach
Oral Health

Hawley Retainer Cost, Potential Results, and Maintenance


    Hawley retainers

    After orthodontic treatment, maintaining a perfect smile for life requires wearing a retainer. The metal and acrylic combination of Hawley retainers does the task effectively.

    While some individuals favor Invisalign clear plastic or permanent retainers for their discreet appearance, Hawley retainers offer an effective and budget-friendly solution for maintaining corrected tooth positions.

    Scientific studies and reviews consistently support the effectiveness of the Hawley retainer in preventing relapse. As per the results of a 2021 meta-analysis, patients who utilized the Hawley retainer exhibited better periodontal health in contrast to those employing other types of retainers. You might consider the efficacy and affordability of Hawley retainers in preserving your orthodontic results.

    In this article, you will learn why a Hawley retainer can be a trusted ally in maintaining your orthodontic success.


    How Does Hawley Retainer Work?

    Teeth naturally tend to revert to their original positions following treatment. So when you finally get that straight, dazzling new smile, it’s imperative to prevent your teeth from relapsing back to their old ways. That’s where the Hawley retainer steps in, one of the best type of retainer preserving the results for life.

    But how exactly does the Hawley retainer work its magic? The secret lies in a two-pronged approach:

    1. Its acrylic base is a comfy, custom-molded tray snuggling the roof of your mouth, or resting behind your lower teeth.
    2. The delicate metal wire clasps of the Hawley retainer gently hug your front teeth, applying slight pressure to keep them in their rightful positions.

    Both the clasps and the base of the retainer work in perfect harmony by holding the entire structure in place and distributing the pressure evenly across your teeth. Meanwhile, the customized fit of the Hawley retainer base ensures targeted pressure on specific teeth that might be prone to wandering.

    What Orthodontic Experts Think About Hawley Retainers?

    When it comes to maintaining your post-braces smile, orthodontists often tout the benefits of Hawley retainers. They are better in various aspects in comparison to permanent retainers:

    1. Since they’re removable, dental professionals suggest Hawley retainers to patients who prefer flexibility. Cleaning and making adjustments is easier with these, as permanent retainers need specialized tools and dentist visits for changes.
    2. Hawley retainers also tend to be more comfortable, causing less irritation to the gums than permanent options. Plus, results of a randomized clinical trial showed that both methods of wearing Hawley retainers (full-time or part-time wear) were equally effective in keeping teeth in place.
    3. Beyond these benefits, orthodontists appreciate Hawleys’ durability, customizability for a perfect fit, and affordability compared to permanent options. They’re a reliable option for maintaining a beautiful smile in the long run.

    Hawley Retainer Cost

    Hawley retainer cost typically ranges from $150 to $500 per set, depending on the factors mentioned below.

    The quality of the acrylic and wires of the Hawley retainer plays a crucial role in determining the cost. Standard materials are more budget-friendly, while medical-grade or BPA-free Hawley retainer costs slightly more, ensuring optimal comfort and durability.

    Custom-molded bases in the retainer give a precise fit and often cost more than generic options. Additionally, if you have specific needs like extra-strong wires or adjustments for bite correction, expect the Hawley teeth retainer cost to reflect the tailored care. Professional expertise also adds to the price. Complex cases requiring more chair time or specialized techniques might command a higher fee when you are getting the retainer fitted.

    Comparative Cost Analysis

    Hawley retainers shine when it comes to cost comparisons. While a permanent retainer may seem tempting at first, its lack of adjustability often leads to replacements down the line, making it more expensive in the long run. The custom fit and adjustability of the Hawley retainer mean lasting value, saving you money over time.

    When compared to clear plastic retainer, Hawley retainer offers similar capabilities for holding teeth in place after orthodontic treatment, but at a lesser or equal price.

    While the lower cost of Hawley retainers might spark the question, “Can I get a retainer instead of braces?” it’s important to remember that retainers aren’t a substitute for braces or aligners. Braces and aligners actively shift teeth to correct positions, making them orthodontic treatment tools. Whereas retainers are more of a maintenance tool and keep the corrected positions, preventing teeth from shifting back.

    Best Retainers
    Remi custom clear removable retainers
    Comfortably fitted custom molded retainers
    Affordable subscription service
    Made from BPA-free, medical-grade plastic
    Easy to order and manage

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Hawley Retainers

    Hawley retainers, with their classic design and proven track record, are a popular choice for maintaining that post-braces smile. But are they the perfect fit for everyone? Let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.


    • Durability: The sturdy acrylic base and bendable wires create a tough duo that can withstand everyday wear and tear. Hawley retainer is less prone to cracking or warping than clear plastic retainer.
    • Custom-Crafted Comfort: Each Hawley retainer is tailor-made for your unique smile, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. This precise fit provides effective retention, keeping your teeth right where they belong.
    • Adaptable to Change: The beauty of Hawleys is that the wires can be adjusted to accommodate minor teeth movements, saving you the hassle of getting entirely new retainers.
    • Versatility Reigns: Whether you need upper or lower retainers, Hawleys have you covered. Their design can be adapted to fit various tooth positions.


    • Visibility Factor: The metal wire across the front teeth can be noticeable, especially when compared to clear plastic retainers.
    • Speech Tweaks: Adjusting to wearing a Hawley retainer might initially affect your speech. This is usually temporary, and your normal speaking patterns will return as you get used to the retainer.
    • Cleaning Cautions: Unlike clear retainers, Hawleys require a bit more TLC. Brushing and soaking them regularly are crucial to keep them clean and prevent bacteria buildup.

    How Do I Clean My Hawley Retainer?

    Maintaining the cleanliness of your Hawley retainer is essential for both hygiene and its longevity.

    To clean the retainer, you need a soft-bristled toothbrush, mild dish soap or toothpaste, lukewarm water, and a retainer case. With gentle motions, brush both the inner and outer surfaces of the retainer, paying close attention to areas where plaque tends to accumulate, such as around the clasps and along the gum line.

    Thoroughly rinse the retainer under lukewarm running water. For a deeper clean, consider soaking the retainer in a solution of equal parts lukewarm water and white vinegar for 15-20 minutes before rinsing again. Read our helpful guide to learn more about how to disinfect retainer effectively.

    Allow the retainer to air dry completely either on a clean towel or in its designated retainer case.

    Hawley Retainer: Before and After Teeth Results


    1. How long do I need to wear my Hawley retainer each day?

    Your orthodontist will tailor the schedule based on your specific case, but typically full-time wear is recommended for the first few months, transitioning to nighttime wear later. Remember, wearing retainer after months is not likely to give a proper fit, and may cause teeth pain.

    2. Can I eat while wearing my Hawley retainer?

    No! Take the retainer out before meals and drinks (except water) to avoid damage and maintain hygiene.

    3. Do Hawley retainers affect speech or cause any discomfort?

    Slight speech adjustments are common initially, but disappear as you get used to the Hawley retainer. Discomfort is rare, but if it persists, consult your orthodontist.

    4. How often should I schedule follow-up appointments for adjustments?

    Generally, every 6-12 months for Hawley retainer checks and potential adjustments. Your orthodontist will advise on your specific needs.

    5. What should I do if my Hawley retainer feels loose or uncomfortable?

    When wondering why do my retainers feel loose, don’t panic! A slight looseness is normal over time. Contact your orthodontist for a checkup and potential adjustments.

    6. Are there age restrictions for using Hawley retainers?

    No! Hawley retainers are suitable for patients of all ages who need to maintain their corrected teeth positions.

    7. Can I play musical instruments or participate in sports with a Hawley retainer?

    No worries! Just wear a mouthguard (a teeth protection device) during activities to protect your retainer and teeth.

    Final Words

    Hawley retainer, with its sturdy acrylic and bendable wires, might be your perfect match. The retainer is budget-friendly, custom-made for comfort, and incredibly durable. While its visibility might be a consideration, its effectiveness and adjustability make it a popular choice.

    Remember, every smile is unique! Consulting your orthodontist is key to determining if Hawley retainer is the ideal treatment option for you, ensuring your post-orthodontic treatment journey leads to a lifetime of confident smiles.

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