Space maintainers are an extremely important dental appliance that pediatric dentists use to ensure that children maintain straight, healthy smiles.
What are Space Maintainers?
Space maintainers are a small metal appliance used to preserve the spacing of your teeth, when a molar falls out prematurely. A space mainter helps maintain the empty space of a missing molar tooth, while the permanent, adult molar is developing until it is ready to come in.
When will a space maintainer be used?
The main concern for the use of space maintainers is to prevent crowding or misalignment of teeth. If a molar falls out prematurely, the other tooth next to it can start moving into the empty space. This will cause crowding issues when the permanent, adult molar finishes developing and tries to grow in. If no space maintainer is placed, this can cause the tooth to come in crooked or incorrectly, and can also have effect on the surrounding teeth as well.
Your pediatric dentist, or in this case, Dr. Dan, will evaluate the empty space and determine if a space maintainer is needed.
Oral hygiene with the space maintainer
A space maintainer is a relatively small appliance that most kids will get used to in a couple of days. Proper care and maintenance of the space maintainer is important in order for it to keep the teeth from crowding and letting the developing molar develop.
After application, Dr. Dan and the team will sit down with you and your child to go over proper care for your teeth and also the space maintainer. And in the event that any damage or unforeseen problems occur, it’s not a worry, you can simply let Dr. Dan know and we can work on getting it repaired or replaced.
How long does my child need a space maintainer?
Space maintainers can last from a couple of months to years. Like we mentioned above, the purpose of a space maintainer is to protect the empty space for a developing, permanent molar. It is until the permanent molar is fully developed and ready to erupt, that a space maintainer can be removed. Dr. Dan will help you evaluate how long your child can expect to have the space maintainer.