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Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment

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Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment

Yet another appointment for my teeth!  I had four teeth appointments within one week just recently.  The last of the four was to pick up my metal Hawley retainer for my top teeth which is a different style to the one I already have.  I also got my first retainer for my bottom teeth which is the clear Essix style retainer.  In this blog post I will share my first impressions of the new retainers.

Welcome to my latest Braces at 30 blog post where I share my experience of wearing a brace as an adult with updates from each appointment.  I had my braces fitted when I was 30 years old.  I’m now 32 and wore braces for 28 months in total having had the lower set removed two weeks ago!  Below I share what happened at my latest appointment.

Here’s my last update if you missed it: My latest braces at 30 update – No more braces after 28 months (but it's not over yet)

Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment



Braces at 30 - Hawley and Essix Retainers with false lateral incisors teeth

Hawley on upper and Essix on lower!

Braces at 30 - what does a metal hawley retainer with false teeth look like

Braces at 30 - photo of hawley retainer with false lateral incisor teeth

Braces at 30 - metal hawley retainer with false teeth and roof of mouth pla


Braces at 30 upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment

So if you read my recent blog post titled 12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer then you’ll know I really detest this plastic retainer!  It’s starting to split and as I had my peg tooth extracted, I needed a retainer with two false teeth instead of one.  The dentist simply added some filling material to the retainer but it’s not fixed in and only temporary.  I find the clear retainer really disgusting in the day to wear as it fills with spit and gives me bad breath, among other things, so I thought perhaps the metal Hawley retainer would be better.

Oh how wrong I was.

I hate this metal retainer even more!

It feels giant in my mouth!  It has a plastic plate that goes on the roof of the mouth, but the front part which is behind the teeth curves downwards instead of upwards, which seems illogical to me.  So it doesn’t fit the shape of the roof of my mouth.  Instead it is constantly on my tongue so it’s impossible to talk.  I sound ridiculous! 

The false teeth are also crap.  I know they don't custom make them when it's just for a retainer, they just find the closest size they can from what they have in stock, but these are so jagged they look like broken teeth in my mouth!  They look ridiculous.

It also doesn’t feel as tight as the clear plastic Essix retainer.  I’ve been wearing the metal one at night times only and then changing into the plastic one in the morning and that feels tight.  So I’m sure the Hawley one is too loose.

I’m going to the dentist today to pick up my denture so I’ll ask if I can order another clear plastic retainer with two teeth in from them, but I may have to go back to the orthodontist to order one.  They cost £100 to replace.

I do find the plastic one really grotesque, but at least it’s comfortable to wear and I can talk properly!

So at the moment here’s what I’m wearing:

  • Day time: plastic retainer on top, permanent on bottom
  • Night time: metal on top or plastic, plastic on bottom over the permanent retainer

Once I pick up my denture today, providing it fits and looks OK, then I’ll be able to wear that at the top in the day times and finally be able to eat in front of people! Woohoo!  Fingers crossed it all looks good.


I’ve been documenting my entire orthodontics journey with train track braces, retainers, consultations and tooth extractions for over two years.  Find my entire journey here: Braces at 30

Braces at 30 - upper Hawley and lower Essix retainer fitting appointment