Space maintainers are great appliances that help your child save their smile if they have lost a tooth prematurely. Although not every child needs a space maintainer if they do so, it is best to visit with the dentist and determine if your child needs a space maintainer or not.
Space maintainers come in all spaces and sizes, and they are generally made of stainless steel or plastic. You can find both fixed and removable maintainers, but removable maintainers are only available to children who are old enough to take care of their appliance. A fixed maintainer is cemented to one of the remaining teeth that lie on both sides of the gap in your child’s mouth. The maintainer has a loop-like wire connected to its side, and that wire fits perfectly in the empty space, keeping the two teeth in place and allowing room for the permanent tooth to grow into. The removable maintainer is often used for the noticeable areas of the smile, like the front teeth. The removable maintainer has an artificial tooth or plastic block that fills the space, keeps remaining teeth in place, and gives your child a natural look until the permanent tooth grows in.
A space maintainer is not a permanent appliance, and it will be removed once the permanent tooth erupts from the gums or when the surrounding teeth become loose.
If you would like more information about space maintainers and how they can help your child’s smile, we encourage you to call us today! We are more than happy to meet with you and discuss your child’s options.