What Are Hawley Retainers?
Hawley retainers have been used for decades as an effective way to maintain long-term orthodontic treatment results. They are a type of removable retainer customized for each patient, gently holding the teeth in place to prevent them from drifting or shifting. Hawley retainers are a common option recommended by orthodontists.
What Materials Are Used To Make Hawley Retainers?
Hawley retainers are made using durable metal wires and custom-molded acrylic or plastic plates to anchor the retainer in your mouth. These materials are generally sturdy and will last a long time with the proper care. You will need to follow care instructions from your dentist and wear them as long as recommended to keep your teeth aligned.
How Do Hawley Retainers Work?
The metal wire on these retainers goes over the front six teeth, with metal loops resting over your canine teeth. This wire prevents your teeth from moving and stabilizes your smile, while the loops make it easy for your dentist to make subtle adjustments to the retainer. The stainless-steel wire anchored to a molded base fits the roof of your mouth to hold the top retainer in place.
A lower retainer fits along the inside of your teeth on the bottom to help stabilize them if needed.
How Long Do I Have To Wear A Hawley Retainer?
After you remove your metal or ceramic braces or complete Invisalign treatment, your dentist will give you further instructions for your retainer. A Hawley retainer is typically worn all day and night for the first few months to help your teeth settle into their new positions.
As the bone surrounding your teeth hardens with consistent retainer use, you will only have to wear your retainer at night while you sleep. However, forgetting to wear your retainer or not wearing it as often as directed could lead to your teeth shifting back.