Dentists frequently prescribe orthodontic retainers to maintain the alignment of your teeth. If you do not require orthodontic treatment, you will typically wear a retainer to keep your teeth from shifting further. They are critical for maintaining the picture-perfect smile you have worked hard to achieve.

The Hawley and the Essix are the two most common types of retainers. Both are intended to prevent teeth shifting, but their advantages and disadvantages are vastly different.

We’ll examine some of the critical distinctions between the two models and explain why one is preferable to the other.

When wearing a retainer, you want to ensure it is comfortable. A Hawley retainer can often be challenging to fit, making it uncomfortable and annoying to wear.

If you are trying to decide whether to use a Hawley and Essix, there is a common perception that the Essix is more comfortable.

The Essix retainer is made from a thin wire that can be straightened or bent to fit the contours of your mouth. You can also fill it with your teeth and adjust it to your comfort level. The Essix retainer is also more discreet.

However, even if you don’t suffer from jaw pain, the Hawley retainer can be intrusive and uncomfortable if worn for long periods.

For your retainer to be effective, there are certain limitations on what you can do while wearing it. You will have to avoid many situations where it will be visible.

The Hawley model is bulky and constantly visible in your mouth, significantly more intrusive. On the other hand, the Essix retainer is clear, making it less visible. This is even if you wear it for an extended period. The glass retainer is also more discreet, and you can still eat, drink or brush your teeth comfortably with it in your mouth.

If you are concerned about how you look with the retainer in your mouth, the Essix retainer would be the best option.

When you are wearing a Hawley retainer, you have to ensure that it is positioned correctly. Otherwise, it is not going to be effective.

If you have a Hawley retainer, you will have to adjust it constantly throughout the day to ensure it is facing the right way. This is not practical and requires constant attention. While the Essix retainer is custom-fitted precision, so you don’t have to spend time adjusting it. 

Another consideration when deciding between the two models is the cost. The cost of your Essix retainer will be significantly higher than the Hawley retainer.

However, the Essix retainer will last significantly longer than the Hawley and will be a significant investment. The Essix retainer will also have a better fit and be more comfortable, which will be more important than the minor price difference.

The Essix retainer has a vast number of advantages over the Hawley retainer. It is more comfortable to wear and is less conspicuous. You don’t have to adjust it constantly, making it easier to wear throughout the day.

By knowing its features, you should feel confident to make an informed decision regarding your teeth. While its positives are definitely appealing, your orthodontist will consider the specifics of your mouth and teeth when deciding which model is suitable for you.

If you are looking for an orthodontist in Manassas, Solarte Orthodontics is the best place to go. Contact us to learn more about retainers and what best fits your needs!