What Are Space Maintainers?

Are you looking for more information on space maintainers? A space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance made out of metal or acrylic material that is custom-made by dentists to hold a space for permanent teeth when children prematurely lose their baby teeth.

The space maintainer guides the permanent teeth into their proper position, preventing the teeth from shifting or drifting into a space reserved for other teeth.

Types of space maintainers

There are two types of space maintainers used by dentists, the fixed space maintainer and the removable space maintainer.

Fixed space maintainers

These space maintainers are cemented into place to hold a space for permanent teeth until they erupt from your child’s gums. The three different types of fixed space maintainers frequently used by dentists are:

  • Lingual: This space maintainer is used if your child has more than one missing tooth. It is usually cemented to molar teeth, connected by a wire wrapped around the inside of the lower front teeth.
  • Distal shoe: This space maintainer is used to hold space for your child’s first permanent molar tooth. Unlike other space maintainers, the metal used is inserted into your child’s gum line to prevent the space from closing. Since the metal is inserted into the gums, your dentist will require you to bring your child in for routine checkups to monitor the progress of the erupting tooth and make sure it shifts into its proper place.
  • Unilateral: This space maintainer is also known as the crown and loop. It is attached to only one side of the mouth and is put in place to hold space for a single tooth. The space maintainer is wrapped around the outside of a tooth then connected to a metal loop that keeps the space intact.

Removable space maintainers

Removable space maintainers do the same job as their fixed counterparts. However, instead of being made from metal, they are made of acrylic and can be taken out at any time. If your dentist is worried about your child losing bone density in their jaw, they will recommend using an artificial tooth to fill the space until the permanent tooth erupts.

How long does my child have to wear space maintainers?

The answer to this question depends on the child. Some children’s permanent teeth come out quickly while others do not. In some cases, your child will have to wear the space maintainers for months and in other cases, it could take a few years.

Caring for space maintainers

Unlike other orthodontic devices like braces, space maintainers, especially removable ones, are not very durable, which is why you need to make sure your child takes proper care of their maintainer. Here are a few tips to help your child take care of their space maintainer.

  • Stay away from sticky foods and candy
  • Avoid biting down on hard foods like apples and carrots
  • Do not tamper with the maintainer using their tongue, fingers or other objects
  • Practice good oral hygiene

The bottom line

Space maintainers help to guide your child’s permanent teeth into the right space and can save you a lot of money on future orthodontic treatments. If your child has started to lose their baby teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out whether they need to get space maintainers.

Are you considering space maintainers in the Rhinelander area? Get more information at https://www.bruceortho.com.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Can Parents Prevent Crooked Teeth During Childhood?

Parents cannot dictate completely whether or not a child gets crooked teeth because there are hereditary factors that certainly play a large role. But, there are certain things that can be done to increase the likelihood of a child’s teeth growing in straight. This avoids the need for teeth straightening.By having a full understanding of…

An Orthodontist Answers: Do Teeth Hurt After Braces Are Removed?

It is a big day for the orthodontist when a patient finally gets their braces removed. Many people report experiencing some level of discomfort when the orthodontist adjusts their braces throughout treatment. Once you get that beautiful smile, you might be wondering if that same discomfort is to be expected when you finally get your…

Tips For Cleaning Your Teeth When You Have A Permanent Orthodontic Retainer

Permanent orthodontic retainers are made of thin wire sealed against the back of the teeth to keep them in place. The retainers are invisible and their presence is only felt when you press your tongue on your teeth. The feeling might be strange at first, but it will become a normal part of your teeth…

When Should My Child See A Kids Orthodontist?

kids orthodontists are more specialized in working with children, and most parents are grateful for that. Orthodontics can be pretty involved, which can be difficult for children. However, with the help of kids orthodontists, more and more children are feeling better about their orthodontic treatment. Knowing when to take your child to a kids orthodontist can…

Recent Posts

Can Parents Prevent Crooked Teeth During Childhood?

Can Parents Prevent Crooked Teeth During Childhood?

Parents cannot dictate completely whether or not a child gets crooked teeth because there are hereditary factors that certainly play a large role. But, there are certain things that can be done to increase the likelihood of a child’s teeth growing in straight. This avoids the need for teeth straightening.By having a full understanding of…

An Orthodontist Answers: Do Teeth Hurt After Braces Are Removed?

An Orthodontist Answers: Do Teeth Hurt After Braces Are Removed?

It is a big day for the orthodontist when a patient finally gets their braces removed. Many people report experiencing some level of discomfort when the orthodontist adjusts their braces throughout treatment. Once you get that beautiful smile, you might be wondering if that same discomfort is to be expected when you finally get your…