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Dentistry for Children – Space Maintainers
With the help of space maintainers, the empty space is saved until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. The space is kept open, preventing a permanent tooth from coming in crooked. Your dentist can apply the space maintainers (spacers) for your child.
Importance of Baby Teeth
Just because baby teeth are eventually replaced with permanent teeth doesn’t mean they no longer require attention.
Their role is important in ensuring healthy development of your child’s teeth. Baby teeth serve as a guide for the permanent teeth when it’s time to come through. If this space is not preserved, chances are surrounding teeth will shift into it.
Add to that, baby teeth also help your child speak and chew their food properly. They’re also crucial for facial muscle development and normal jawbone growth.
Please note, however, that not all empty spaces in your child’s mouth will need a space maintainer (spacers). Your dentist will examine their teeth to determine if an oral appliance is necessary.
Types of Space Maintainers
Space maintainers (spacers) can be simple or come with bands and wires. The common ones we use in our practice are the cemented or removable types.
- Fixed or cemented. This type of space maintainer can be applied on a space for a single tooth or more than one tooth. The appliance is applied on the space itself and cemented in place.
- Removable. As its name suggests, this oral appliance can be removed and worn back in. We’ll see after checking your child’s mouth which one – either the cemented or removable option – would work better for their needs.
Benefits of Using Space Maintainers
- Saves the empty space so the permanent tooth can erupt with no issues.
- Prevents surrounding tooth from occupying empty space.
- Allows your child to play, speak, and eat as usual.
- Lets you save money for its affordable cost.
- Avoids the need for complex and costly dental treatments down the road.
How to Care for Space Maintainers
- Always stay on top of your home care routine. Remind your child to brush their teeth, especially before sleeping at night.
- Avoid serving your little one hard or sticky food. These food types can get caught in the wires and cause the band to loosen.
- Tell your child not to play with, push, or bend the appliance wires with their fingers or tongue.
- Most important, take the lead in routine dental check-ups. Let’s work together so your child sees every dental visit as a positive experience.
Visit us at Rundle Dental in Calgary NE. We’ll see if your child needs space maintainers to ensure smooth transition from baby to permanent teeth.