5 Things Every Parent Should Know About Space Maintainers

a kid at the dentist

Baby teeth are temporary but very important to a kid’s health and development. Besides helping the child chew, speak and smile, deciduous teeth also hold jaw space for soon to erupt adult teeth.

If your child loses a baby tooth, her pediatric dentist may recommend a space maintainer. Here are five things you should know about space maintainers.

1. What Are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are dental hardware used to hold space for incoming permanent teeth. They keep the spot open where a prematurely lost baby tooth was until an adult tooth arrives.

2. Types of Space Maintainers

There are many types of maintainers. However, space maintainers are usually classified as fixed, removable, unilateral or bilateral. Removable maintainers can be removed, but fixed ones are cemented to one or more teeth. Unilateral and bilateral maintainers are both fixed. However, unilateral devices are attached to one side of the mouth, and bilateral are fixed to both sides of the kid’s mouth.

3. When to Consider a Space Maintainer

Your kid may require a space maintainer if she loses a deciduous tooth way before its replacement adult tooth is ready to emerge. Regardless of why your kid has missing baby teeth, talk to a dentist for children in Utah about space maintainers.

4. What Happens If a Child Doesn’t Get a Space Retainer?

If a baby tooth is missing for a period, other teeth may lack proper support and become loose. The loose choppers may then drift into spots intended for other teeth. Consequently, the kid may develop adult teeth in improper locations. Due to the lost space, there might not be enough space for all the adult teeth.

5. Oral Care for Maintainers

During the time your child wears the device, her dentist will monitor the kid’s dental hygiene, jaw growth and development of the adult teeth. The dentist will adjust or fix the maintainer as needed.

Usually, a space maintainer is needed until a child who has lost a tooth gets a false tooth. Sometimes, however, a spot may have to be left permanently open. Consult with a dentist to determine if and how long your child may need maintainers.