Baby teeth serve critical purposes in our early childhood development. When a tooth is lost too early, that space may need to be held open with a space maintainer until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.
Baby teeth are made to fall out
Your toddler is running down the hall and suddenly trips and falls – and knocks out a tooth. Your child is playing basketball with friends and the ball hits them in the jaw – and a tooth is gone. Your child’s teeth are very crowded – we need to pull a tooth so they’ll fit properly.
But these are just baby teeth, so losing them early isn’t a problem since they’ll come out anyway, right?
Not always. We offer space maintainers in our north Phoenix pediatric dental office to keep the teeth properly spaced for the permanent teeth to fit.
A crucial role of baby teeth – holding space for permanent teeth
Baby teeth should fall out naturally when the permanent teeth are ready to come in. This amazing design provides baby teeth so your young child will be able to speak, bite, chew and have a symmetrical facial shape during the years prior to the permanent teeth appearing. Baby teeth provide the proper spacing for permanent teeth to come in. If even one baby tooth is missing, the jaw may shift and teeth move, causing problems which may eventually require orthodontic treatment to correct.
Problems for permanent teeth when losing a baby tooth too early
When an upper front baby tooth is lost, generally the teeth retain their spacing. But the loss of any other tooth prematurely, especially back teeth, can cause adjacent teeth to drift into the space. This creates problems when the permanent teeth come in, such as:
- Crooked teeth
- Overbite, underbite or crossbite
- Impacted tooth
- Major orthodontic expense to correct the problems
- Possible loss of a permanent tooth as part of orthodontic work
A simple fix – the space maintainer
Our north Phoenix pediatric dentist recommends saving the space with a simple appliance – a space maintainer. This stainless steel piece is custom-fitted to your child’s mouth and holds an empty space open until the permanent tooth erupts. Most children adjust to them easily in just a few days. By retaining this space now, you avoid potentially costly and uncomfortable orthodontic treatments in the future.
Space maintainers for Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry patients
If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, call our north Phoenix pediatric dental office right away. We’ll evaluate the situation and determine if a space maintainer is needed. We want to be sure your child has the best chance for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.
Looking for a gentle, friendly pediatric dentist in north Phoenix, north Scottsdale, Carefree, Desert Ridge, Tatum Highlands, Cave Creek or Pinnacle Peak, AZ? Your child deserves the highest quality care for their dental health. Call Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. 480.284.5076
Helping little smiles grow up to be big, healthy, happy smiles!
For gentle, friendly, child dental care, call Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry at 623.322.2277.
Serving infants, toddlers, kids and teens in the Deer Valley, Glendale, Arrowhead Ranch and surrounding areas.