Hawley Retainers or Begg Retainers – Which is Best for You?

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orthodontic retainer

Choosing the correct type of retainer can be a tricky business. Dental laboratories offer you several options according to your needs, and each one has pros and cons associated with it. This article will go over the Hawley Retainer and the Begg Retainer. It will list pros and cons of each one, as well as who they are best suited for.

Hawley Retainer

The Hawley retainer is one of the best-known retainers available today. It is made with acrylic or plastic and a bendable wire. This bendable wire is designed to fit in front the teeth, while the acrylic or plastic is molded to the mouth. This retainer is worn after you braces have been removed, when the dentist can adjust it to perfect a patients teeth. This retainer sits behind the six front teeth and holds them in place once the braces have been removed to ensure they stay in their proper alignment. It is designed so prosthetic teeth can be added, or removed with little issue. If a patient forgets to wear it and the teeth shift, it can be adjusted to move teeth back in their proper placement slowly. It’s also a very easy retainer to make, so if it gets damaged, it is easy to replace. A recent upgrade to the Hawley retainer is the metal piece that holds the teeth in place has been replaced by a clear wire.


  • Adjustable
  • Easy to Care For
  • Easy to Clean
  • Long Lasting


  • Difficult to Adjust to Wearing
  • May Irritate Your Mouth
  • May Make You Have a Lisp
  • Very Noticeable

Begg Retainer

The Begg retainer is another popular retainer choice for anyone who is just getting finished with their braces treatment. This retainer will provide stability to the teeth and gum line, and ensure that the straightening treatment is maintained.  This retainer is made with an acrylic piece that sits on the palate, and a wire piece that wraps around the front of the teeth. It’s designed to perfect the placement of the six front teeth. This retainer must be worn continuously after a patient has had braces removed to prevent teeth from shifting back out of alignment. Eventually, a patient will only wear this retainer at night instead of all day. The Begg retainer allows for a small amount of adjustment by a dentist, but not much. It is a more unmovable retainer, and it ensures teeth remain where they ended after braces.


  • Easy to Care For
  • Easy Removal for Cleaning Purposes
  • Long Lasting with Proper Maintenance
  • More Rigid to Ensure Your Teeth Stay in Place
  • Removable


  • Difficult to Adjust to Wearing
  • Easy to Forget to Wear Them
  • Easy to Lose
  • Very Noticeable
  • You May Develop a Lisp

Which One Is Best for You?

Both the Hawley retainer and the Begg retainer have good points as well as downsides with using them. If you believe multiple adjustment will be required, you may lean toward the Hawley retainer. If it’s not expected that teeth will be added or removed, the Begg retainer is a good option. Since they are both removable, the patient will have to do their part and make sure to wear them. If you have more questions or want to know more about both styles of retainers, click here.