What are space maintainers?
Space maintainers are used for holding space for an adult tooth to come in properly should your child lose a primary tooth, also known as a baby tooth, too early. There are several different types of space maintainers, including fixed and removable. At Smile Wright Dental, we will choose the best option for your child.
Why might my child need a space maintainer?
If your child loses one of their primary teeth too early, they will need a space maintainer to ensure there is room for the adult tooth underneath to grow in properly. There are many reasons why a child might lose their baby teeth too soon, including:
- Severe tooth decay or infection
- A dental emergency, like a cracked or fractured tooth
- Missing teeth from birth
- Underlying health conditions
Baby teeth act as a guide to ensure that adult teeth grow in their proper places. If a primary tooth is lost too early for any reason, adult teeth can drift and erupt in the wrong place. It can also lead neighboring teeth to shift or tilt into space where the baby tooth should be. No matter the reason for the tooth loss, Smile Wright Dental can provide the right space maintainer that fits their unique needs to ensure that there are no long term repercussions to primary tooth loss.
How does a space maintainer work?
A space maintainer works by keeping the space where a baby tooth is lost open for adult teeth to come through. Most space maintainers are fixed and are made by pieces of thin metal or acrylic that are bonded to the teeth next to the empty space. The appliance prevents other surrounding teeth from shifting into the space left by the lost primary tooth.
Are space maintainers painful for children?
Many parents worry that any appliance in their child’s mouth will cause pain, but rest assured that when you visit Smile Wright Dental for your child’s space maintainer, they will be safe and comfortable in our capable hands. The process of placing a space maintainer is painless, and wearing one does not cause pain. While your child gets used to having a new object in their mouth, they may rub their tongue or cheeks against it, causing irritation. This irritation goes away quickly, and any small discomfort is well worth the prevention of major dental problems down the road.
If your child has recently lost a baby tooth too soon, call us to talk about space maintainers today!