Which Retainer Is Best?? PROS AND CONS OF EACH???

If you have finished with your orthodontic treatment and are wearing retainers (or will be soon), this is a special place to connect with others in your (enviable) situation. Ask a question or make a comment about life post-braces.

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Which Retainer Is Best?? PROS AND CONS OF EACH???

#1 Post by Miranbrady20 »

I been thinking a lot lately about my de-brace day... I’ve been wondering how much longer I really have and what my ortho think about it... I know that the day I get them removed I will cry like a little baby... lol I'll cry straight through the whole process!!

I been reading the de-banning stories on archwired.com's main page and have been getting very anxious about when my time comes... I will miss the braces.. but most of all i will be worried about what kind of retainers I should get... my sister had gotten bonded and she hates them and I wanted bonded so I wouldn’t have to worry but I do need to keep them clean I also heard they were very uncomfortable... so I’m not sure what is better...

I like the Hawley look better then the essix... I can’t imagine having squeaky plastic like plates over my teeth kind of makes my hair stand on end just thinking about it...

Does anyone have any opinions on any of these kind of retains… any success or horror stories regarding either of them??

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#2 Post by kirjax »

well I can only give my opinion on the Hawley and I have no issues with it. It took about 2-3 days to get used to having it in and talkin but to me it's no big deal (just like braces were).


Sentenced: 20-24 months
Braced May 11, 2007
Debraced Feb. 23, 2009
21 months in braces, 17 months in elastic, NO regrets!! Now in Hawley retainers!!

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#3 Post by overseasmel »

And I have (and have only ever had) Essix top and bottom. Which have been totally fine. No discomfort, look good..... I do worry whether they are as good as Hawleys at retaining teeth position or not, but my orthodontist assures me it's all good and since he has done such an amazing job with my teeth I trust him on that. :)

Braced 20 Nov 06. Sentenced to 18-30 months. Released 23 Feb 09 (27 months and 3 days).
Uppers: 3M Clarity Ceramic. Lowers: Damon 3MX.
SARPE 21 April 06 and 7.5 months in expander (on for 2 weeks before surgery), turning to a width of 14.5mm.

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#4 Post by totalwise »

My ortho has been paticularly accomodating and gave me fixed bonded AND essix retainers, the essix were meant to be worn every night for the first month, and then slowly ease off.. Now I'm meant to wear it twice a week.. I think..

I got debraced on Dec 07, and now it's Apr 09. I wear in every now and then. But I should probably stop wearing the essix altogther now, I still have the bonded retainers, which I'm surprised because I was told by a few people on here that they would break off within the first year.

I'm not sure if I ought to phone my ortho to get the bonded removed or not, one part of me thinks I want my freedom (in paticular the calculus forming behind the wires), but the othr part of me is saying.. a bit of calculus is normal and wont do any harm, and having a thin wire behind my teeth isn't causing that much annoyance.

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#5 Post by jenjen »

Don't worry, Essixs aren't squeaky on your teeth! I find them a bit of a mouthfull with both in, but luckily only have to wear the lower at night, so not so bad. It's definitely worth having the bonded lower wire, purely because those teeth are the first to start moving back so it's nice to have that reassurance. I don't even notice it, even right at the beginning.

I can't really judge the effectiveness of the essixs, only had them a month, but they seem to be doing the job. It took a couple of weeks to work out how to talk properly with the upper essix, but now I hardly lisp at all! I expect it's the same with Hawleys there.

Survived Ceramic top and bottom for 16 months.
Now bonded lower retainer and Essix retainers top and bottom.

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#6 Post by kvp81 »

I got my braces off in 2006 (i think) and have a permanent bonded retainer on my bottom teeth and a hawleys retainer for the top which I only wear overnight.

Both are equally as good but they do have their cons... the bonded retainer is difficult to clean and my dentist is always commenting that I get a build up of calculus on the back of those teeth. You can't floss them like the rest of your teeth and have to use a tiny bristled brush to fit in between each tooth - something I don't have the patience for. But, after all that, my bottom teeth have not moved a millimetre.

The hawley on the top is very good - I find it comfortable and I have only missed one night in three years of wearing it - if I don't have it in, it doesn't feel right. And if I forget, the next day when I go to put it back in it is very tight and uncomfortable because my teeth move overnight without it.

If I had to do it over again, I'd get exactly the same... This combination has worked really well for me and my teeth are still in the same position they were when I first got those braces off.

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#7 Post by Emerald »

I've only just had my braces removed (13th May) and I have a Hawley retainer for my top jaw and a Essix retainer for my bottom jaw

I would have had Essix for both but as I have a missing upper central incisor they have made my Hawley retainer with a false tooth attached.

I only wear the Essix at night and the Hawley during the day which I keep in all day even when eating.
I tend to clean my Hawley after eating though.

Whe I first got my retainers my fiance didn't notice the Essix one but noticed the Hawley because of the wire going across the front of the teeth.

I'm hoping to get an Essix retainer for my top jaw once my implant is complete so when I get married in August I won't have a wire going across my front teeth.

All in all, I don't mind either of them and kinda like the Hawley as it's blue and glittery, lol :lol:
I had self-ligating braces for 4 years & 8 months.

I'm now in Hawley retainers for top jaw (during day) and Essix retainers for bottom jaw (at night).

I had Jaw surgery on 14th July 2008

Please see blog for more details:



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#8 Post by stevon »

After much research I decided to go with upper and lower Hawleys even though my ortho prefers and recomends Essix. I didn't want bonded dye to their inherent cleaning (flossing) issues. I was content with the Hawleys until the day my upper Hawley found its way into the sink (thanks to our 2-year old) and into the disposal.

Having moved away from my ortho I went to a local ortho and asked for a new upper. They convinced me to go with the Essix. I love the Essix! I am going back to have a bottom Essix made soon. They are so much more comfortable, less obtrusive and less noticable. Plus, in my opinion they seem to hold the teeth in place better.

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#9 Post by Andromeda »

Thanks for your input stevon! I am in the same situation as you were originally - my ortho prefers and recommends Essix. I'm pretty against the bonded unless it was deemed absolutely necessary and my ortho said he wasn't going to give me that anyway, so phew! I was concerned about if the Essix would hold my teeth in place as well as a Hawley. I am getting my braces off and retainers on June 2 and I'm glad you posted this because it makes me feel better when you said they are more comfortable for you and they seem to hold your teeth just as well if not better than your Hawleys. My ortho told me I will only be required to wear them for 8-10 hours per day so basically just when I'm sleeping so I am not too worried about how they look, but that will also be a good bonus just in case my teeth don't cooperate and I wind up wearing them during the day some too. My husband has clear retainers and they are quite descreet - he didn't seem to have any trouble talking with them in when he first got them either so that's good.

Anyway, I guess I can post some personal experience soon - only 12 more days til debanding and retainers!! :D

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