Essix vs Hawley

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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Essix vs Hawley

#1 Post by Jami1 »

Hey Everyone,
I got my braces off a few weeks ago after about 17 months. Ortho gave me Essix retainers and said I only needed to wear at night. Well.... that makes me VERY
nervous so I have chosen to wear them as often as possible. Here are my questions:
1. Do Essix retainers stain? I had clear braces and drank coffee through a straw. I remove Essix retainers for drinking coffee and wine (both of which I sip frequently)
2. I spoke to ortho and due to the above, asked him to have a Hawley made so I can wear it while imbibing in my coffee and wine. He readily agreed stating that the night time wear is a bare minimum ( I sometimes don't go to bed until midnight and am up with the roosters)
3. Do Essix retainers "hold" teeth firmer than Hawley? He suggested a type of modified Hawley with the clear Essix type area over front teeth, however I stated that since I felt the reason I wanted the Hawley was due to staining, I opted for the traditional .
I would appreciate any of your thoughts... my Hawley will come in a few weeks.

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Re: Essix vs Hawley

#2 Post by jem »

I think essix retainers will stain if you keep them in for drinking tea or coffee.

I have both bonded, essix and hawley retainers . I paid extra for the hawley as I wanted a more durable retainer for the long term. My ortho told me to wear the removable retainer for 12 hours per day initially. She did not mind whether it was the essix or hawley. I chose to wear the hawley, in part because I need not remove it for drinking or eating.

The hawley baseplate is clear acrylic which has stained as a result of drinking coffee without removing it. I think the modified hawley you describe would have the same type pf acrylic added to the labial bow as is used to make the baseplate. The acrylic is used on a modified hawley to get a more exact fit on your front teeth. My ortho achieved the same outcome by having the technician bend the labial wire to fit round each of my front teeth.

Congratulations on your debracing. please make sure you wear your retainers!

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Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story ... =9&t=42194

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Re: Essix vs Hawley

#3 Post by assertives »

I have both the essix and the hawley. I was told to wear the essix in the daytime and hawleys at night. I'm supposed to wear my retainers for 24/7 and to only take them out when brushing and eating.

I don't wear my essix retainers when I eat or drink anything that's not water. It does stains quite easily. I once saw brown staining on my essixs when I put them in after breakfast. I had residual tea on my back molars. I had to scrub them out and soak them with retainer brite before the stains would come out.

As for fit, they are now both not as tight as when I first got them. The essix was way tighter than the hawleys when I just got them though. I personally prefer the hawleys because they oddly feel more comfortable to me than the essix. As for the acrylic portion of the hawleys, I know some orthos let you choose colors for the acrylic. If yours does, you can choose a darker color where staining isn't going to be much of an issue. Mine doesn't, and comes with the clear acrylic like Jem's.

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Re: Essix vs Hawley

#4 Post by Nozzelnut »

I prefer Hawleys too; if they're made right. Essix do work; but if you clench or grind you might grind through them.

One issue I have with Essix style retainers; they never let teeth actually touch. If they made them with a flat area that distributed the pressure simulating bare teeth together I'd like them more.
Round 3 (lifetime) Damon stainless applied 3/16/20 (after 4 weeks attempting invisalign)
Upper ceramics 5/21/14, Lower stainless 5/28/14
Double jaw surgery was 6/18/15. Estimated time Jan 2016; still on at my 2 year anniversary...
Braces removed 7/20/18; upper and lower Hawley and Essix retainers with bonded lower too.
I'm emphatically against extraction orthodontics!

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Re: Essix vs Hawley

#5 Post by LemonTree »

I've never had Hawley but really noticed my Essix loosening up after several years. I've broken a few of them just through wear too.

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