140 Mahaley Avenue, Suite B Salisbury, NC 28144

Salisbury Pediatric Dentist Highlights Dental Space Maintainers for Children

Baby teeth are far more important than we may think. Primary teeth hold and provide space in the growing jaw for the eruption of permanent teeth. Proper spacing provides room for straight, beautiful permanent teeth.

What if a baby tooth is lost?
Sometimes, through accident or decay, a baby tooth is lost prematurely. When this happens, adult teeth may erupt into the empty space, creating crowding and malocclusion.

Does your child need a space maintainer?
If a primary tooth has been lost, your child may need a space maintainer. A professional consultation with a children’s dentist can determine the need.

Dental space maintainers are made by a children’s local dentist or an orthodontist. They are made of metal or acrylic material. The space maintainer is either cemented into the child’s mouth, or is a removable appliance.

How is the appliance placed in a child’s mouth?
Removable dental space maintainers are made of acrylic. Sometimes they simply consist of an artificial tooth to fill the vacant space.

Fixed space maintainers are connected to a metal loop that preserves the space left by the lost tooth. Sometimes a metal loop and crown covers a neighboring tooth for stability.

If there is more than one missing tooth, the lingual space maintainer is advised. This is cemented to molars or connected to the inside of the lower front teeth by a wire.

How are space maintainers cared for?
A child is reminded not to eat chewy or sugary foods which invite decay and may become caught in the appliance. Gum or candy should not be eaten. Pressing the appliance with the tongue is to be avoided, because the space maintainer could be bent or broken.

Proper brushing should be supervised by an adult until the child is proficient.

A children’s local dentist should be seen regularly to monitor the space maintainer. Children should receive regular six-month checkups and professional cleanings, especially with a space maintainer in place.

Please call our Salisbury pediatric dentist office today to make a dental appointment for your child if primary teeth have been lost prematurely to decay or accident. Proper dental alignment is essential for good dental hygiene and appearance in adulthood.