Does Your Child Need a Space Maintainer?

space maintainer, dental space maintainerTooth decay can adversely impact your child’s dental development. To promote healthy growth of permanent teeth, your dentist may recommend a space maintainer. Here’s how this device works and why it’s important for the development of healthy teeth.

What Is a Space Maintainer?

A dental space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance made of metal or acrylic. The material may be removable or fixed to the teeth. It’s installed in the area where a baby tooth is lost prematurely. As suggested in its name, a space maintainer keeps the area of the lost tooth open. It prevents adjacent teeth from crowding into the gap, which can adversely impact the development of permanent teeth.

Due to the implications of shifting teeth, an endodontist may suggest a space maintainer for your little one. This can prevent the need for a major oral surgery a few years down the road.

When Is a Space Maintainer Necessary?

A dentist is likely to recommend a space maintainer if your child loses a primary tooth well before permanent teeth are due to erupt. If they’re close to eruption, then a space maintainer may not be necessary.

Wearing the Space Maintainer

Whether the dentist installs a fixed or removable space maintainer, your child will need to adjust. Parents should supervise their child. As with braces, the wearer should avoid certain foods, such as sugary and chewy treats. Food particles can get lodged within the appliance. You also need to more carefully supervise your child’s dental hygiene. In addition, instruct him/her not to press on the appliance with their tongue.

We Provide Custom Space Maintainers

Our family dentist can treat your child to ensure the development of healthy permanent teeth. A space maintainer is a helpful implement should your child lose a baby tooth or two earlier than normal. Mukilteo Dental Arts can fit your child with a custom space maintainer to promote correct dental growth.

Dental Treatment for Your Little Ones

General family dentistry for Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, Edmonds & Mill Creek