Hawley Retainer vs Clear Retainer

A tray with a variety of Hawley retainers and clear plastic retainers. Ask your South Houston dentist which is best for you after you have completed your Houston braces treatment. A tray with a variety of Hawley retainers and clear plastic retainers. Ask your South Houston dentist which is best for you after you have completed your Houston braces treatment.

After you’ve finished your treatment with Houston braces or Invisalign, your South Houston dentist will next prescribe the use of retainers to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their previous location. At first, they will likely need to be worn 24/7, but after your teeth have settled, they can be worn only while you sleep. Two of the most common types of retainers used by patients after their dental braces come off are the Hawley retainer and clear retainers. Both are effective designs whose costs are roughly the same, with the final price depending on the specific case. As you will see below, each type of retainer has its pros and cons. It’s best to consult with your South Houston dentist which is best for your specific needs once you’ve completed your Houston braces treatment.

Why A South Houston Dentist Would Recommend a Hawley Retainer

The Hawley retainer, being an older type that has been in common use for a long time, is easily recognizable by the single metal wire that runs across the front of the patient’s teeth when worn. That metal wire is attached to a plastic or acrylic piece that is custom molded to fit either the roof of your mouth or along the bottom of your lower teeth. This design allows your upper and lower teeth to naturally come into contact with one another. You can also ask your South Houston dentist to make slight adjustments to the fit of a Hawley retainer should the need arise. A Hawley retainer can last for years with proper care, and can even be repaired when damaged. 

Cons of Wearing a Hawley Retainer After Houston Braces

The potential disadvantages of the Hawley retainer include an adjustment period with the exposed wire component, as it may irritate your inner cheeks and lips at the beginning. The wire also makes it more noticeable than clear retainers. Lastly, Hawley retainers may affect your ability to speak, especially in the beginning. However, these are all short-term concerns.

Why A South Houston Dentist Would Recommend a Clear Retainer

Clear plastic retainers, in contrast, are almost invisible. They are molded to fit the exact new position of your teeth. Because of their perfect fit, clear retainers are less bulky and therefore less likely to affect how you speak. These two advantages make them more likely to be worn consistently by patients, in turn improving the clear retainer’s overall effectiveness.

Cons of Wearing a Hawley Retainer After Houston Braces

However, clear retainers do come with their own disadvantages. First of all, because they are worn over the teeth, they prevent your top and bottom teeth from having natural contact with one another. Further, should the need arise, your South Houston dentist cannot realign or readjust your clear retainers. They also cannot be repaired. If their fit is uncomfortable or if they become damaged in any way, they will need to be replaced entirely. Another thing to consider is that as you use them, clear retainers may become discolored over time, making them more visible to other people. Another thing to look out for is that their closed design might trap liquids and food particles against your teeth, which increases the risk of forming cavities. However, if you take proper care of your clear retainers, most of these issues can be avoided.

Houston Braces and Retainers From the South Houston Dentist You Can Rely On

At Centra Dental, we’re challenging the idea that visits to your South Houston dentist are something to dread. Our staff is dedicated to making each appointment a relaxing and stress-free occasion. We also accept most PDP, DPPO, and PPO dental insurance plans, as well as CHIP and both Adult and Children's Medicaid, making us your trusted source for affordable dental braces and retainers. Contact us today and let’s book an appointment at your next earliest convenience!