Help Me Choose a Retainer

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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Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Help Me Choose a Retainer

#1 Post by Heidirs »

I just got my appointment for the 3rd to get my braces removed. Sometimes the ortho recommends a specific retainer for certain cases, but apparently I'm not one of those so I get to pick. I have the option for Hawley removable retainers top and bottom, a bottom bonded retainer with removable top, or clear "invisalign-like" retainers top and bottom.

I don't like the sound of the bottom bonded retainer at all. I was looking forward to being able to eat and floss normally after getting my braces off, and I won't be able to do that with this. I'm also worried about build up around the wire and just not being able to clean the teeth properly in general (the same problem with braces). But I do have some slight crowding still in my lower teeth and this may help keep those in line.

I've heard good things about the Hawley retainers, and these are the ones I'm most leaning toward. I have no idea about the clear retainers. Do they have a name? They gave me a sheet they said would explain the pros and cons of each, but the sheet only talks about bonded and nonbonded retainers. So... I still have no idea what the clear retainers even are or how they perform.

Thoughts appreciated it.
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Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#2 Post by Heidirs »

So I've done a little research, and it looks the clear retainers are the Essix. I like that the Hawley can be adjusted whereas the Essix has to be remade. So I'm probably going with the Hawley? But I still wouldn't mind hearing other opinions.
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Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#3 Post by Heidirs »

I did some searching around the forums as well, and the general consensus seems to be Hawley if you have issues with bruxism, which I do. So, I may have answered my own question at this point. :lol:
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EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#4 Post by EmilyTravels »

Heidirs wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:30 pm
I did some searching around the forums as well, and the general consensus seems to be Hawley if you have issues with bruxism, which I do. So, I may have answered my own question at this point. :lol:
Interested to know why that is. Can you wear a mouthguard over Hawley retainers at night to prevent grinding?

Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#5 Post by Heidirs »

EmilyTravels wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:53 pm
Interested to know why that is. Can you wear a mouthguard over Hawley retainers at night to prevent grinding?
From what I read, Hawley retainers seemed to prevent people from grinding on their own (I guess they keep the teeth separated?), whereas essix encouraged clenching and were destroyed by grinding.
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EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#6 Post by EmilyTravels »

Heidirs wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:36 pm
EmilyTravels wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:53 pm
Interested to know why that is. Can you wear a mouthguard over Hawley retainers at night to prevent grinding?
From what I read, Hawley retainers seemed to prevent people from grinding on their own (I guess they keep the teeth separated?), whereas essix encouraged clenching and were destroyed by grinding.
Thanks. That is interesting to me. I can't see how Hawleys would help with grinding or clenching since they don't cover the teeth where they meet, unless they have changed from the one I had in my teens. It covered the roof of my mouth (caused a lisp) and had a wire that held my front teeth in place. Guess I need to do some research!

Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#7 Post by Heidirs »

EmilyTravels wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:19 am

Thanks. That is interesting to me. I can't see how Hawleys would help with grinding or clenching since they don't cover the teeth where they meet, unless they have changed from the one I had in my teens. It covered the roof of my mouth (caused a lisp) and had a wire that held my front teeth in place. Guess I need to do some research!
One lady said she had the acrylic part built up so her teeth wouldn't connect, but no one else mentioned that.
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Gia
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:30 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#8 Post by Gia »

Hi Emily, your journey is winding down and mine starts the next day. My brace date is October 4th! A bonded lingual bottom retainer is part of my treatment plan as well. I'm not thrilled either. The Essix retainer is what the orthodontist made for me to give me an idea about Invisalign. It completely covers your teeth, and you really shouldn't drink anything but water with it in. It's pretty hard so I'm not sure how it would work for clenching and grinding.

EmilyTravels
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:01 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#9 Post by EmilyTravels »

Hi Gia, glad to hear you have a brace date. Did you decide to go with all-metal traditional braces?

I am supposed to get (per my contract) a bonded lower retainer (not thrilled with having to floss around it) and a set of Essix retainers (top and bottom). I will probably stick with what is in my contract rather than pay more for a Hawley, as I hated mine when I was a teen, and it did make me lisp. I could change later if the Essix are too much of a pain with the eating/drinking restrictions. I will see how long I have to wear them full-time. Once I change to night use only, I suspect that they will be okay.

I'm due to get my braces off next month but not sure which day yet. I can't wait, though I am slightly terrified of the removal process. I had a bracket repositioned earlier this month, and although it snapped off easily enough (no pain), the glue grinding process was slightly uncomfortable. And that was only one tooth! Not looking forward to having that done on all my teeth, especially since they tend to be sensitive. Ugh.

Gia
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:30 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#10 Post by Gia »

I'm planning on traditional metal, but he told me if I want to change to ceramics on top at the last minute I can. I don't think I will. I agree about the Essix if it's just at night. It didn't bother me sleeping. He's thinking hawley for me just because I had such an issue with the Essix. I'm really feeling great about my decision to go with him, and looking forward to getting started on the 4th!

Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#11 Post by Heidirs »

EmilyTravels wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:19 am
I'm due to get my braces off next month but not sure which day yet. I can't wait, though I am slightly terrified of the removal process. I had a bracket repositioned earlier this month, and although it snapped off easily enough (no pain), the glue grinding process was slightly uncomfortable. And that was only one tooth! Not looking forward to having that done on all my teeth, especially since they tend to be sensitive. Ugh.
I have the same nervousness as my teeth are sensitive as well. I also have one two that is eroded that I'm rather concerned about. We'll how things go.

Just searching the forums, a lot of people seemed to go with Essix initially and then switched to Hawley because they didn't care for them. So that helped sway me that way as well.
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Azul
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#12 Post by Azul »

Hi there,

I am a teeth grinder. My treatment included bonded retainers plus Essix top and bottom retainers. The Essix retainers only last about 4 months because I cracked them due to clenching at night. For that reason I got a pair of Hawley retainers, and a night guard for the top, just for sleeping. Although Essix retainers are more aesthetic, Hawley retainers are more comfortable and more durable. Once you get used to them you can’t hardly notice you are wearing them.

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 269
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#13 Post by SinkFullOfDinner »

Hi heidirs -

Here's another consideration for requesting the Hawley, if your ortho isn't charging you more for that option:

- The Hawleys are usually much more expensive. Essix can be made at your ortho's office, while the Hawleys usually have to made at an outside lab. So, if you get the Hawley but decide later that you'd prefer the Essix or just want one as a backup, the later Essix might only cost you $150 (the cost to replace one at my ortho). If, on the other hand, you ask for an Essix (your ortho would probably love to save his out-of-pocket cost on the Hawley) and decide later you don't like it and want a Hawley, I'd expect it to cost you several hundred $ more than the Essix. So, the cost to change your mind later is much less if start off being given Hawleys.

- Separately - and here's the bonus - if you insist on the Hawley you might get a backup Essix anyway! In my case, the Hawley was going to take 14 days to get back, and my ortho didn't want zero retention during that time. So, before I left the office after the debonding, they handed me a set of Essix retainers anyway to fill in until I could pick up the Hawleys. They're very inexpensive for the ortho office to make. So, you might get a 2-for-one anyway if you go with the Hawley request.

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djspeece
Posts: 1923
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Location: North Canton, Ohio USA

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#14 Post by djspeece »

I have the clear Invisalign type (Vivera) and love them. They are super durable, and after 3 years still do the job. I got a set of 4, and i occasionally use a new one just to make sure the retainer i have been using has not lost it's "hold" on things. So far so good. I only wear them at night. The idea of a Hawley was just not happening for me -- too much like having braces. There was supposed to be a $400 upcharge for the Vivera, which i would have gladly paid, but in the end my ortho comped them because of a minor delay in getting them made (i used another type of retainer in the interim, but i am blanking on the name at the moment). I don't grind my teeth - apparently that would be a reason to get a Hawley, I suspect. Best of luck to you, and congratulations!
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

Heidirs
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Help Me Choose a Retainer

#15 Post by Heidirs »

SinkFullOfDinner wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:36 am

- The Hawleys are usually much more expensive. Essix can be made at your ortho's office, while the Hawleys usually have to made at an outside lab. So, if you get the Hawley but decide later that you'd prefer the Essix or just want one as a backup, the later Essix might only cost you $150 (the cost to replace one at my ortho). If, on the other hand, you ask for an Essix (your ortho would probably love to save his out-of-pocket cost on the Hawley) and decide later you don't like it and want a Hawley, I'd expect it to cost you several hundred $ more than the Essix. So, the cost to change your mind later is much less if start off being given Hawleys.

- Separately - and here's the bonus - if you insist on the Hawley you might get a backup Essix anyway! In my case, the Hawley was going to take 14 days to get back, and my ortho didn't want zero retention during that time. So, before I left the office after the debonding, they handed me a set of Essix retainers anyway to fill in until I could pick up the Hawleys. They're very inexpensive for the ortho office to make. So, you might get a 2-for-one anyway if you go with the Hawley request.
I got the Hawleys and asked about the cost of getting the Essix as well and they quoted me $185 a piece, so that wasn't happening. The Hawleys were made in the office within an hour. I suppose everywhere is different.
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