Does Your Child Need Space Maintainers?

Does Your Child Need Space Maintainers?

November 1, 2022

Are you aware of the consequences of tooth loss in children because of decay, removal, or trauma? For example, if the affected tooth was due to fall off, your child’s pediatric dentist might suggest leaving the blank space alone. Unfortunately, if your child has lost a tooth earlier than expected, the dentist will likely recommend a space maintainer to hold the slot for the emerging permanent teeth in your child’s mouth.

What Are Space Maintainers?

Metallic or acrylic appliances functioning as placeholders for the missing tooth are called space maintainers. These appliances help hold space in your child’s mouth for permanent tooth eruption later. The dentist might provide fixed or removable space maintainers customized to fit your child’s mouth perfectly. Removable appliances in the form of an acrylic space maintainer resemble an orthodontic device with an artificial tooth. On the other hand, fixed space maintainers are bonded in the mouth and are not removable.

There are different kinds of space fixed maintainers. They are:

  • Unilateral Space Maintainers: These appliances wrap around the exterior of an existing tooth with a metal loop helpful to preserve the necessary space for the emergence of a permanent tooth. A loop space maintainer fits on one side of the mouth.
  • Crown and Loop Space Maintainers: There is minimal difference between unilateral space maintainers and these appliances. However, crown and loop maintainers consist of a dental crown fitting over an existing tooth. As the name implies, the crown is attached to a loop, helping to preserve the necessary space.
  • Lingual Space Maintainers: These devices are bonded to the inside of the molars and fastened to the lower anterior teeth with a metal wire. This kind of space maintainer helps when multiple baby teeth are missing.
  • Distal Shoe Space Maintainers: This appliance is helpful when the emerging tooth is the first permanent molar. This device is inserted into the gum line to keep the necessary space. The pediatric dentist will closely monitor the affected tooth when the molar erupts.

Does Your Child Require Space Maintainers?

Children are predicted to lose their baby teeth as they grow up. However, baby teeth are essential during the child’s early years. When your child loses multiple baby teeth early, they become vulnerable to various problems such as the lack of space for proper eruption of the permanent teeth, overcrowding or crooked permanent teeth, speech impediments, malocclusion, and the need for orthodontic treatments later. A space maintainer for a child helps avoid these vulnerabilities to allow proper eruption of the permanent teeth to help your child have a beautiful smile without the problems associated with losing baby teeth early.

How to Care for Children’s Space Maintainers?

Caring for kid’s space maintainers isn’t challenging and is pretty straightforward. However, you must ensure your child is brushing twice daily and flossing at least once, regardless of the time. Depending on the kind of space maintainer in your child’s mouth, the pediatric dentist will advise if any special brushing or flossing techniques need incorporation. If your child has removable space maintainers, the appliance will need thorough cleaning by flushing with lukewarm water and cleaning with mild dish soap.

If your child has fixed space maintainers, you must ensure they don’t have chewy, sticky, and sugary foods like chewing gum and candy. These foods can remain trapped in the fixed appliance to increase the risk of tooth decay. You must also monitor your child to prevent them from using their fingers or tongue to play with the devices. Besides the above, you must also schedule dental appointments with the child’s pediatric dentist frequently to help them monitor your child’s bite, teeth, and dental appliances.

Do not consider children’s teeth inconsequential because they are expected to fall off by six or seven. If your child has lost teeth from trauma or needs teeth removed due to tooth decay, consider getting them space maintainers as recommended by the pediatric dentist to prevent complications in their mouths that will require considerable investment to correct. Children’s teeth erupting correctly help them maintain appropriate oral hygiene practices and prevent infections in their mouth that need treatments from dentists.

Space maintainers functioning as placeholders for permanent teeth are essential for children losing their teeth too early because of the reasons mentioned above. While helping your child develop strong and healthy permanent teeth, the space maintainer also allows you to save money on unnecessary treatments because of early tooth loss in your child’s mouth.

Toothtown of Greeley suggests space maintainers for children losing their teeth early to prevent various complications. If your child has lost a couple of teeth or needs extraction, kindly do not hesitate to contact this practice for placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth.

Our pediatric dentistry office in Greeley, CO proudly serves the infants, kids, and teens from our community and nearby areas

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