Clear Retainer Vs. Hawley Retainer

Clear Retainer Vs. Hawley Retainer (Wire Retainer)

Maybe you are getting those braces taken off after years of teeth straightening. Or you are wanting to prevent your teeth from shifting and need to retain their positioning. Either way, going to the dentist will result in paying hundreds of dollars in evaluations and several hundred dollars to get the clear retainer or hawley retainer, also sometimes refereed to as a wire retainer, made and fitted.

Then there is the question of which device is going to be the best for you. While dentist offices will sometimes recommend the device that makes them the most money, we want to give you the information to make the best decision for you and your smile!

We are going to outline the difference between the Clear Retainer, sometimes referred to as an Invisible Retainer, and the Hawley Retainer, sometimes referred to as the Wire Retainer. Keep reading below and we will give you the pros and cons of both the Clear Retainer and the Hawley Retainer and help you make the best decision on which teeth device is best for you!


Clear Retainer Vs. Hawley Retainer - The Difference You Can See

The Hawley Retainer (Wire Retainer)

As you can see from the images below, the visual differences with Hawley Retainer Vs. Clear Retainer are quite dramatic. The Hawley Retainer is also called a Wire Retainer for good reason. It has a stainless steel wire that is connected to an acrylic plate that rests on the roof of your mouth. That stainless steel wire on the Hawley Retainer runs on the outside of your teeth holding pressure and keeping your teeth retained in a specific position.

This wire is clearly visible when wearing the Hawley Retainer. While this retainer is MUCH more comfortable than braces, it is still very visible when talking, smiling, etc.

Hawley Retainer Vs. Invisible Retainer - Compare Hawley Retainer to Clear Retainer

The Invisible Retainer (Clear Retainer)

The Clear Retainer is often referred to as the Invisible Retainer and the reason is because of the way it disappears while you are wearing it. The Clear Retainer is made from a clear acrylic that covers your teeth like a blanket. The Invisible Retainer is molded to have a snug fit directly over your teeth on all sides.

With the high quality clear acrylic, these tend to dissappear when you are wearing them and most people will never know. These are a great match for those who work in a public facing type of job or those who do not want anyone to know they are wearing any type of teeth device at all!

Clear Retainer Vs. Wire Retainer - Invisible Retainer Vs. Hawley Retainer

Clear Retainer Vs. Hawley Retainer - Cleaning & Maintenance

The Hawley Retainer (Wire Retainer)

The Hawley or Wire Retainer is very easy to clean. The acrylic plate that rests on the roof of your mouth can be easily cleaned with your fingers and a little toothpaste. The wire on the Hawley Retainer can be cleaned in the same exact fashion. The acrylic is stain resistant, but even if there is any staining, it is not visible to anyone. The wire the is visible is made from stainless steel and will not stain.

The Hawley Retainer is very durable and will typically last 3-5 years if properly cared for by you. Since the cleaning and maintenance is easy, most people will get many years of usage from their Wire Retainer.

The Invisible Retainer (Clear Retainer)

The Clear Retainer is made from a durable acrylic, and is not indestructible but can last for years if properly cared for by you. The Invisible Retainer will need to be cleaned with toothpaste and a toothbrush daily. You will need to ensure you brush the inside portion that rests on your teeth very well to prevent any discoloring or staining.

The Invisible Retainer is hands down the best looking device but has a shorter lifespan. With proper care the Clear Retainer can last for 2 years. While these devices are not to be used while eating, staining from drinks like coffee or tea can discolor them prematurely.

Clear Retainer Vs. Hawley Retainer - The Dollars & Cents

The Hawley Retainer (Wire Retainer)

The initial investment for the Hawley Retainer is a little more expensive. However, if you factor in the device having a longer life it makes it a much cheaper option over time. We are able to offer the Wire Retainer at less than 50% of the dental office price but give you the same exact device you would get from your dentist at more than twice the price.

While the Hawley Retainer is the most popular retainer we offer to our customers, you need to be comfortable with the wire being visible when using this device. If you plan to only use your retainer at home or while sleeping, this would be the best choice versus the clear retainer.

The Invisible Retainer (Clear Retainer)

The Clear Retainer is a cheaper option up front versus the Wire Retainer. However, the Invisible Retainer does have a shorter lifespan compared to the Hawley Retainer. The Clear Retainer is a favorite choice of those who need to wear their retainers for more hours than just the ones spent sleeping.

If you need to wear your retainer continuously to retain the position of your teeth, the Invisible Retainer is a great choice since it is virtually invisible and easy to wear. You can smile with confidence knowing no one will know you are wearing the Clear Retainer. Plus the cost is less up front making this a very economical choice!

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