How a Space Maintainer Works

 In Dental

Did your child lose a tooth before its time? He or she may need a space maintainer. A space maintainer is an orthodontic device made specifically for children who lose primary teeth prematurely and are waiting for their adult teeth. Premature tooth loss includes primary teeth that were knocked out in an accident or lost due to tooth decay.

When a tooth is lost before its time, your child’s alignment can become affected. A space maintainer can help maintain proper alignment so the adult tooth can grow in properly and so your son or daughter will avoid needing later orthodontic attention.

Depending on your child’s age and mouth, Dr. Michael Bowen will suggest one of many kinds of space maintainers. These generally fall into two categories: removable and fixed. The removable kind is similar to that of a retainer. A fixed space maintainer, on the other hand, attaches permanently to the teeth or gums around the empty space. This is typically a wiser choice for children who are too young to care for a removable device or for those who are missing a back tooth.

Caring for a space maintainer prolongs the device’s lifespan and ensures that it does its job the right way. It needs to be cleaned during your child’s twice daily oral hygiene routine. Removable maintainers need to be taken out and cleaned, while fixed space maintainers entail focused attention when they brush their teeth. Your child should also take good care of the gums where the space maintainer is placed.

If you think your child might need a space maintainer, don’t hesitate to call Great Big Smiles Orthodontics in Scottsdale, Arizona at 480-948-4200 for an appointment. We are the defenders of your family’s smile.