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What You Should Know About Space Maintainers?

September 7, 2023

What You Should Know About Space Maintainers?

Maintaining healthy baby teeth is critical to your child’s oral health and development. But what happens if one falls out before its permanent replacement is ready to come in? Dr. Patel and his team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry may recommend placing a space maintainer to safeguard your child’s oral health. We are all about setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. 

What Happens When a Baby Tooth Falls Out Too Soon?

Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, it’s essential to keep them strong and healthy because that will reflect on your child’s adult teeth and overall health. Baby teeth help with speech development and allow your little one to bite and chew with ease, ensuring proper nutrition. They support the healthy development of the facial muscles and the jawbone and maintain the space the permanent teeth need to come in correctly. 

If an upper front baby tooth is lost prematurely, the remaining teeth typically maintain healthy spacing. However, losing any other tooth early, especially a back one, can result in your little one’s adjacent teeth drifting toward the gap. That means the adult teeth will not have the space they need to come in correctly, putting your child at risk for crooked, crowded, or impacted teeth or problems with the bite. That usually translates to orthodontic treatments down the road. 

What Are Space Maintainers?

Dental space maintainers are custom-fitted stainless steel appliances we use to maintain the space left by a missing baby tooth. They help prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting into the gap, preserving the space the adult teeth need to come in correctly. Space maintainers offer a simple preventive measure to reduce or even eliminate the need for future orthodontic procedures. 

How Long Are Space Maintainers Worn?

The length of time your child will need to wear a space maintainer will depend on the location of the missing tooth and when it was lost. In general, space maintainers stay in place until the adult teeth are about to erupt. 

How Should You Care for Your Child’s Space Maintainers?

Encourage your little one to brush and floss regularly around the space maintainer to remove any food particles or debris stuck around it. Make sure to avoid sticky, hard, or tough foods to prevent damage to the space maintainers. We also recommend rinsing with salt water or a gentle mouthwash to flush away any food left behind. Most importantly, visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for routine dental exams and cleanings to allow us to monitor the space maintainer and ensure your little one’s smile stays in tip-top shape.

Space Maintainers Near Me in Phoenix, AZ

If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely due to deep decay or trauma, contact Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Patel may recommend a space maintainer to safeguard your child’s smile. Our goal is to ensure our young patients enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and happy smiles. We invite you to call us at 480-284-5076 to schedule your appointment today.