A space maintainer helps to hold the empty space left by a missing tooth. If your child has lost a baby tooth too early, the remaining teeth may shift into that space, leaving no room for the permanent tooth to come in later. A space maintainer keeps the remaining teeth in their place until the permanent tooth is ready to take that space.
Why does my child need space maintainers?
A baby tooth usually stays in your child’s mouth until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose a baby tooth too soon. A tooth might be knocked out accidentally or removed because of dental disease. Without anything there to hold the empty space, the remaining teeth may shift, causing permanent teeth to come in crooked or crowded. Having a space maintainer can keep your child’s teeth in place to help avoid orthodontic treatment later.
What special care do space maintainers need?
Here are some tips for caring for space maintainers:
- Avoid sticky sweets or chewing gum.
- Don’t tug or push on the space maintainer with your fingers or tongue.
- Keep it clean with conscientious brushing.
- Continue with regular dental visits.