Space Maintenance needs for the children of Greater Orlando is no different than they are anywhere else. Let the experts at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida explain further: A baby tooth usually stays in place until it is ready to be lost on its own and replaced by a permanent tooth. With some children, this may not occur until the child is as old as age 14. Sometimes though, a baby tooth or teeth are lost too soon due to injury or dental disease. If a tooth or teeth are lost too soon, a space maintainer, also known as a spacer, may be necessary to prevent future space loss and additional dental problems.
How can the early loss of a baby tooth or teeth cause problems for permanent teeth?
If a baby tooth or teeth are lost too soon, the remaining adjacent teeth may shift or drift into the empty space. When this occurs, it creates a lack of space in the jaw for the future permanent tooth or teeth. The result is permanent teeth that are crowded and emerge crooked assuming they come in at all. These conditions will require costly, extensive orthodontic treatment.
What are space maintainers?
Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. They are generally small and typically well hidden from view. Adjusting to them is easy and occurs within the first few days of their placement.
How does a space maintainer help?
Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by the premature loss of a tooth or teeth. They stabilize the remaining teeth preventing movement until the permanent tooth or teeth that replaces the prematurely lost tooth or teeth come in. It is more affordable and easier on your child to keep teeth in normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment.
Are space maintainers easy to care for?
Yes! Space maintainers are very hygienic as they are easily kept clean with good brushing and flossing. A few rules to follow are; avoid sticky foods and chewing gum, do not push or pull on the space maintainer with your fingers or tongue and most important, continue regular dental visits.