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Space Maintenance

Why do children lose their baby teeth?

Children usually keep their baby teeth until the permanent teeth pushes it out from underneath and replaces the baby teeth. Some children may loose their baby teeth too soon by accident or from dental disease. When a tooth is lost too early, a space maintainer may be recommended in order to make room for permanent teeth that have yet to come in.

Why all the fuss? Baby teeth fall out eventually on their own!

Baby teeth encourage normal development of the jawbones and muscles in your child mouth. They are also a key indicator for your child present and future dental health. Space maintainers allow space for permanent teeth to be guided into position so your child’s mouth can grow and develop properly.

How does a lost baby tooth cause problems for permanent teeth?

Losing a baby tooth too soon may cause the teeth beside to tilt or drift into the empty space. Titled or drifted teeth reduce the space in the jaw for permanent teeth. As a result, the permanent teeth may result it crowding or be crooked. This may require extensive orthodontic treatment if not addressed early.

What are space maintainers?

Space maintainers are small, unobtrusive custom appliance fit to your child’s mouth and made of metal or plastic. Most children adjust to them after a few days.

How does a space maintainer help?

Empty space left by a lost tooth is held open using a space maintainer. They prevent movement of the remaining teeth until the permanent tooth develops naturally in the jaw. It is a more affordable method of keeping their teeth in normal position and allowing them to develop rather than moving them back into place with orthodontic treatment later.

What special care do space maintainers need?

Dentists recommend that children with space maintainers avoid eating sticky sweets or chewing gum. Refrain from pushing on the appliance with your fingers or tongue. Also remember to keep the space maintainer clean with proper brushing and flossing and regular dental visits.
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