I’ve Heard about Space Maintainers? Are They Ok for My Child?

Things happen. Especially with children, things happen—scrapes, bruises, and of course, baby teeth falling out prematurely. Though the two former issues seem more immediate, baby teeth falling out are definitely an issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

The reason behind this is spacing. If the space between the remaining teeth goes on, untreated, then permanent teeth may come in at the wrong place or angle. Though this may seem like just a future cosmetic problem, incorrectly placed permanent teeth may cause poor periodontal health, pain, and discomfort.

Fortunately, here at Smiles 4 Keeps we can create custom space maintainers that are an easy solution to hold the gap into which permanent teeth can erupt.

What Exactly are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are custom creations, by an orthodontist, to perfectly mold the space between remaining teeth. Not every baby tooth that is prematurely lost needs to be replaced by a space maintainer. However, without proper consultation with an orthodontist, losing that space may mean requiring extensive further orthodontic treatment to make room for permanent teeth.

No one wants their child to have to go through a potentially painful orthodontic procedure—especially when it is completely avoidable. Make an appointment today with us to prevent further teeth crowding in your child and to talk with us about which space maintainer is right for your child.

Space maintainers are a simple, yet elegant, solution to prevent the future crowding of permanent teeth. And, as any orthodontist will tell you, less crowding means less extensive orthodontic procedures and less severe braces. There are two kinds of space maintainers. Both are equally effective.

1. One option is the removable space maintainer. As the name suggests, these can be removed from the mouth easily. Generally, they look like retainers with the addition of an artificial tooth that may be made of plastic or other material. These space maintainers are incredibly comfortable. However, they do require the discipline of the child to actually wear the maintainer.

2. The second option is a fixed space maintainer. Again, the name really does spell out the major difference between the fixed space maintainer and the removable space maintainer. Another major difference is that fixed space maintainers may not require a replacement artificial tooth. Instead, the gap is maintained through other means.

Helping Your Child Adjust to a Space Maintainer

Of course, for children there is a period of adjustment that is necessary to become comfortable with an object in their mouth, holding their teeth apart. But, space maintainers are incredibly comfortable because they are custom made to fit your child’s teeth.

Space maintainers, unlike braces and other orthodontic appliances, are not meant to move or shift teeth, rather they are there to support and maintain the structure of the remaining baby teeth. So, they are not painful and are very safe.

With thorough brushing, flossing, general oral health care, and regular dental check ups, space maintainers are effective at maintaining the natural gap between teeth and are safe to use with children.

If your child has lost any baby teeth prematurely, please make an appointment with us, at Smiles 4 Keeps, to discuss the advantages of space maintainers for your child!

Coronavirus Announcement

Out of concern for our patients and staff, our office is following the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and avoiding close contact with people. Our offices are closed with the exception of our Scranton office.  All scheduled appointments are cancelled. The Scranton office will only be seeing emergency patients. Please call 570-346-7760 for emergency service.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Be well and stay safe,
The Smiles 4 Keeps team.