Hawley Retainer Upper – Lower

The Hawley Retainer consists of a metal wire on an acrylic arch. It is used after treatment for retention of an arch. The acrylic arch is designed to fit comfortably on the palate of the patient’s mouth. This retainer has the additional benefit of being adjusted by the orthodontist to ensure teeth stay in the desired position.

The metal wire typically surrounds the six anterior teeth and keeps them in place. The labial wire, or Hawley bow incorporates 2 loops for adjustment. The advantage of this type of retainer is that the metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the anterior teeth as needed.


Treatment & Care

This upper or lower Hawley retainer is constructed with a 3×3 labial bow and a set of ball clasps. It is easily adjustable with the labial omega loops and provides excellent retention with the clasping placed between the premolar and molar.

Because of these plastic and wire components, though, this retainer can be distorted or changed by heat or damage from impact, so handle with care. Orthodontists typically fabricate a retainer for each arch and encourage you to wear it regularly for upwards of two years. Initially, the retainer should be worn near full-time (16-18 hours daily). Usually after a few months, your orthodontist will reduce the amount of wear you’ll need to keep things in place each day.

Cleaning your retainer is akin to cleaning your teeth: Brush it gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. You can also soak it in a cleaning agent similar to a denture cleaner a few times per week
to freshen and kill germs that sit in the grooves of the mold. As always, it is best to follow your orthodontist’s recommendation for how to clean your Hawley-retainer or otherwise.

  • Wire: American Orthodontics Chromium Cobalt
  • Acrylic: JBC Monomer and Polymer
  • Clasping: Leone 0.32 Ball Clasps / C-Clasps / Adam’s Clasps