When baby teeth are lost because your child has cavities or because of other issues, the teeth that are left in the mouth can begin to shift. A way to prevent this shifting is with space maintainers. These are small devices that are placed in the mouth so that the teeth are unable to move, keeping your child’s smile straight until the permanent teeth come through.
If your child’s teeth begin to shift before the permanent teeth erupt, then it can impact the way that the permanent teeth appear in the mouth. When the permanent teeth don’t come in as they should, then your child might need to wear braces or have other types of orthodontic treatments in the future in order for the teeth to be aligned in a natural way. A space maintainer is usually the best option if your child has several teeth that are missing at one time. This could be due to the teeth coming out on their own or from being pulled by the dentist due to oral health concerns. Most of the time, a space maintainer is used in order to keep the molars from shifting so that the permanent teeth have plenty of space to grow and erupt through the gums.
There are a few different types of space maintainers that your child can wear depending on your child’s oral care habits and how long the appliance will need to be worn. One is a fixed maintainer that will stay in place with dental cement. Your child won’t be able to remove the maintainer as it will continue to keep the teeth aligned for several years until it’s removed. If your child will only wear a maintainer for a short time, then a removable appliance will be used. It can be taken out while eating or while brushing. However, your child should keep the space maintainer in the mouth as long as possible during the day and at night to prevent the teeth from shifting.
The primary benefit that you will notice from space maintainers for your children is that it will prevent shifting of the teeth. It makes somewhat of a holding area for the permanent teeth instead of relying on other appliances that could be used that might take up more room in your child’s mouth and make your child feel uncomfortable. Another benefit is that the space maintainer can usually aid in preventing the need for braces in the future.
To learn more about space maintainers and the benefits that they have for your child, please feel free to make an appointment with Unique Orthodontics! At our convenient locations in Fresno, Old Town Clovis, Madera, the Buchanan area, and Tulare, our caring team of experienced professionals will be pleased to explain this option in full and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!