Acrylic retainers are thick!

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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Acrylic retainers are thick!

#1 Post by Beckett »

So I picked up my sparkly purple Hawley's today. No way I can wear them during the day in place of my Essix. They are way too thick. Ortho said they are for nighttime only, and eventually I won’t have to wear any during the day, just the Hawley's at night. He said they do them thicker for nighttime and they are lifetime retainers. Can they be made thinner and still do a good job? I feel like I’m going to choke and drool all night. I can’t even close all the way because my lower canines hit the upper retainer before my molars touch. I actually have better molar connection in my Essix believe it or not. I know I have to be patient for things to settle and to get used to new appliances, but those things aren’t going to get any thinner. Can these existing ones be ground down and shined back up to be thinner or do they have to completely remake the whole set? I go back on Friday with my kid so I can ask after I’ve worn them for two nights at least.
Braces for 18 months/4 days.


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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Acrylic retainers are thick!

#2 Post by jem »

My first Hawley retainer was quite thick too. I had asked for a Hawley as back up to my essix and told my ortho that I wanted the Hawley because I understood it would be more robust than the essix. Because I also had a bonded retainer, it was only for 12/7 then 8/7 wear anyway. In the event I preferred the Hawley to the essix and hardly wore the essix at all.

After a couple of years I lost the Hawley so had a new one made. My ortho had retired in the meantime and the Hawley provided by the new young ortho is much thinner and easier to wear. It seems to do an equally good job.

I imagine your ortho could grind down the acrylic behind your front teeth without any problem. I think the only difficulty will be in attempting to remove any acrylic at the points where wires emerge.

Good luck

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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