Hawley Retainer - Full Guide (2022)

Hawley Retainer Cost – Full Guide (2023)

There is a wide range of cost for retainers based on the type and the individual case. Removable retainers, for example, cost $100 to $300, while fixed retainers cost $500 to $1,000. It is also possible for some orthodontic practices to offer packages that include retainers as part of the overall treatment plan.

Patients should not be deterred from receiving necessary treatment because of the cost of retainers. A portion of the cost may be covered by dental insurance or orthodontic practices may offer financing.

A Hawley retainer is one form of orthodontic retainer, which uses a combination of a hard plastic or acrylic plate connected by a thin metal wire. The retainer is molded to your mouth to fit comfortably on the roof of your mouth, with the wire settled against the front of your top teeth.

The retainer protects the results of your orthodontic care, and prevents your teeth from sliding back into their previous positions. The Hawley retainer must be worn nightly for life, so your healthy smile is maintained for as long as possible. It can be used after treatment with braces or clear aligners like Invisalign. 

Hawley retainers are the original retention device, but new designs are emerged in the last few decades, including removable clear plastic retainers such as Essix and Vivera retainers. While clear retainers are becoming more popular, the Hawley retainer continues to be one of the most common and effective retention devices used by orthodontists and preferred by patients.

90% of orthodontists prefer Hawley retainers for use with a maxillary dental arch, according to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health.

Once used correctly, a Hawley retainer protects your smile effectively as well as being very simple to use and comfortable to wear. Read more here!

Hawley Retainers: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Can be easily molded to the patient’s mouth and adjusted as needed Visible wire in front of retainer, which can be visible when speaking or smiling
Customizable appearance with a range of plate colors options Can be uncomfortable to wear, particularly for extended periods of time
Made from durable materials that are difficult to damage Bulky design can cause discomfort or irritation of the lips, gums, or tongue.
Easy to clean, just remove retainer and brush or soak in cleaning solution Unclean appliances may cause bacteria growth and bad odors if not properly cleaned and maintained
Removable for easy cleaning and for eating and drinking Teeth can shift if retainer is not worn regularly and properly, leading to relapse of orthodontic problems.
Can be adjusted as needed by orthodontist for optimal fit and function Consistent use is essential for maintaining the alignment of teeth, and failure to do so may require additional orthodontic treatment in the future.
Can be lost, broken or damaged if not handled properly, which can lead to costly replacements or the need for additional orthodontic treatment.

It is important to remember that while Hawley retainers may have certain drawbacks, they are a crucial component of maintaining the desired alignment of teeth after orthodontic treatment. It is important to follow the instructions and recommendations of your orthodontist to ensure proper use and care of your retainer.

Many patients may prefer an alternative form of retainer because of these reasons.

The cost of a Hawley retainer generally ranges from $350 to $600. You’ll pay different prices depending on the location where you receive treatment, your orthodontist provider, and the specifics of your case. The cost of the retainer includes the cost of sending the molds to a production facility and sending them back to the office once the retainer is designed. Although Hawley retainers cost more than plastic Essix retainers, a single Hawley retainer will last several years, whereas plastic Essix retainers will last for a few months.

It is possible that your Hawley retainer will be included in the price of your orthodontic care. If a patient is covered by their insurance policy for braces, then the retainer may also be covered.

Replaced Hawley retainers tend to cost around $350-$600, the same as the originals. There may also be an additional cost for the fitting of the new retainer in the office.

Can You Tell Me What Color a Hawley Retainer is?

The colorful and fun designs of Hawley retainers include watermelons, tie-dyes, and stars-and-stripes prints. Hard, plastic or acrylic plates are tied to metal wires that keep the retainer snugly in place, and they serve as the colorful part of the retainer. You can choose almost any color for your acrylic or plastic retainer, giving you even more customization options.

This means you can pick a fun and bright color for your retainer without worrying about someone seeing it, since it is entirely hidden behind the teeth.

Avoid very light colors like white or gray; bright jewel tones like red and blue are much more resistant to discoloration. Recasting the retainer will be necessary in the event of a break, and you can choose a new color or design.

Make color choices based on your favorite color or season; your dentist may also offer different designs, such as flowers, cats, or sports equipment. Consult your orthodontist about the different colors and designs of Hawley retainers.

Hawley retainer

Where Can I Find Hawley Retainer Cleaning Instructions?

Hawley retainers must be kept clean and properly stored when not in use in order to function effectively.

During the day, store the Hawley retainer in its case after thorough cleaning every night. Brush gently with warm water and a toothbrush after removing the device from your mouth. Keep toothpaste away from your retainer: it will damage the plastic.

It is also possible to soak your retainer several hours in baking soda and water for a deeper cleaning. The wire can be damaged over time by doing this every night, but soaking the retainer once or twice a month provides an overall thorough cleaning. If you want to prevent bacteria from growing, you can also soak the storage case. Before replacing your retainer with your mouth or storing it in the storage case, be sure to rinse it with water.

Is it Possible to Move Teeth with a Hawley Retainer?

Unlike a traditional retainer, Hawley retainers do not move teeth. In fact, it is worn to safeguard the results of your orthodontic treatment, whether you are wearing braces or clear aligners. Wearing a retainer regularly will prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original positions, preserving your healthy bite and gorgeous smile. During the settling process, your teeth may shift slightly out of alignment which will require future treatment. Regularly wearing a retainer will help prevent this from happening.

Keeping your retainer in place won’t help you if you neglect wearing it and your teeth have shifted. A new orthodontic treatment may be necessary to deal with the shifting. Prevent dental drift by wearing your Hawley retainer every night to prevent the time, expense, and inconvenience of a second round of orthodontic treatment.

Hawley Retainer Wear Period?

Your orthodontist will recommend you wear your retainers every night or every few nights for the rest of your life, ideally for a lifetime. In the first year, you will wear your retainers more frequently, but eventually, you can wear them every night or every few nights for a lifetime. Then your teeth will remain in their appropriate positions, and you won’t have to worry about them slipping back into their old alignment.

You’ll wear your Hawley retainer all day, every day, for the first year after completing your orthodontic treatment, removing it to eat, brush your teeth, and clean it. Your teeth are adjusting to the fact that your braces are being removed, but still need support to avoid shifting during this period.

Once you’ve worn the retainers for about a year, you can wear them only at night for another year or two. Your retainers can be worn every other night, forever, after this process is completed.

Are Hawley Retainers Prone to Breaking?

Designed for a firm fit in your mouth, Hawley retainers are durable. It is important to make sure your Hawley retainer is stored properly when not in use, as accidents sometimes happen and retainers can break. Also, you may accidentally lose your retainer or it can be eaten by a dog, which is a very common problem with Hawley retainers.

A Hawley Retainer Lasts for How Long?

Unlike many retainers, Hawley retainers are durable and built to last for a number of years. Your retainer should be kept in good condition, so that it does not get lost, broken, or dirty. Nevertheless, you should replace your Hawley retainer after a few years: after that, you should visit the orthodontist to get a new one.

Do Hawley Retainers Feel Comfortable?

After the first year, when the retainers should be worn full time, most people find Hawley retainers to be comfortable and easy to wear. Some patients find the appliance uncomfortable due to its bulk: the plastic plate might scratch the roof of the mouth or the wire might poke the lips or gums. Some patients may find it more comfortable to wear clear Essix retainers or bonded retainers permanently.

Is a Hawley Retainer Effective in Correcting Overbite?

Overbites and other orthodontic problems cannot be corrected by retainers. In fact, they are used to keep teeth from shifting back after braces or clear aligners have been used to correct them.

Having an overbite requires orthodontist-supervised treatment, followed by retainers, in order to correct.

With a Hawley Retainer, Can I Eat?

Make sure the Hawley retainer is removed before eating and stored properly. The retainer can get stuck with food, which can cause plaque to build up or damage the device. If you don’t have a case, you can store your retainer in a napkin. Rinse your mouth and retainer before putting them back in the case. With a Hawley retainer, you can eat and drink anything you want as long as the retainer is not in your mouth.

Is it Okay to Drink While Wearing a Hawley Retainer?

Hawley retainers can be worn and you can drink water with them, but you should remove them if you drink anything else. Make sure you store it correctly, and rinse your mouth and retainer before re-inserting it.


Overall, Hawley retainer costs can vary based on the orthodontic practice and the individual case. An average Hawley retainer costs $100 to $300. Retainers may be included in some orthodontic treatment plans or offered as financing options. Additionally, dental insurance may cover a portion of the costs, so patients shouldn’t let the cost deter them from receiving the necessary treatment. Additionally, if retainers are not used or maintained properly, additional orthodontic treatment may be necessary.

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