Pediatric Dentistry: Guiding Permanent Teeth into Place with Space Maintainers

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Has your child lost a tooth prematurely? If so, it may be wise to get them a space maintainer! Even though not every child needs a space maintainer, it is best to meet with your dentist and find out if your child’s smile requires the appliance.
Space maintainers are beneficial appliances that help your child properly grow into their smile. These appliances are needed when your child loses a baby tooth prematurely. If your child does not maintain that empty space with a space maintainer, many problems can occur. The remaining natural teeth can gradually move into the space as time passes by, closing up the space and preventing the adult tooth from growing in. The adult teeth that lie under the surrounding teeth can also have the urge to grow into that space without permission. If they do grow into that space, the adult tooth that naturally belongs there will not have room to grow.
There are many types of space maintainers available, and they are generally made of stainless steel or plastic. There are also fixed and removable maintainers. A fixed maintainer is cemented to one of the remaining teeth that lie on either side of the gap. The maintainer fits snug over the tooth and another loop that is connected to the side of the maintainer fits perfectly in the space of the missing tooth. This keeps both teeth in place and allows room for the proper permanent tooth to grow into place.
If you would like to learn more about space maintainers and how they can help your child’s smile, we invite you to call our office today and schedule an appointment. We are here for you and your child, and we look forward to helping you!