You’ve probably heard about a tooth space maintainer, or even received information about getting a tooth spacer for your child. This unique item is one of the least understood dental care accessories, so The Super Dentists thought it would be a good idea to answer some key questions on the subject.
Let’s take a look at what a tooth space maintainer does, why it’s required, and other common questions.
Losing a baby tooth too early may cause a child to suffer long-term oral health problems. Fortunately, space maintainers are available to make it easier for kids to keep the space previously occupied by a baby tooth open and ensure a permanent tooth is able to develop properly. A child tooth spacer helps ensure the current teeth are properly aligned, even as new ones are getting ready to erupt and they can help avoid the need for braces down the road, not to mention prevent pain and discomfort.
Understanding the True Value of a Tooth Space Maintainer
Baby teeth commonly serve as placeholders until a child’s permanent teeth are ready to develop. In total, a child will develop 20 baby teeth by the age of 3, and these teeth typically fall out in the order in which they erupted.
Usually, a child will lose his or her first baby tooth between the ages of 4 and 7. At this point, a child’s baby tooth will loosen and fall out to make way for a permanent tooth.
But what happens if any of your child’s baby teeth come out before the age of 4? In this situation, you’ll want to consult with a pediatric dentist at The Super Dentists to guarantee that your child’s permanent teeth are erupting correctly.
However, it also is important to note that baby teeth may fall out earlier than expected for many reasons, including:
- Accidents, falls, injuries, or other reasons.
- Severe tooth decay which requires tooth extractions
- Blood diseases, metabolic disorders or other diseases/conditions can lead to early tooth loss.
A space maintainer offers a viable option if any of your child’s baby teeth are lost before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt or if a permanent tooth is missing altogether. In fact, a space maintainer will ensure your child’s teeth will develop correctly by keeping a space open until a permanent tooth fully develops.
How Can a Space Maintainer Help Your Child?
There are several types of tooth space maintainers, all of which may help your child enjoy a picture-perfect smile for years to come. Finding the right tooth spacer for your child involves finding the right dental experts to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have. The Super Dentists are ready to help today!
The major types of tooth space maintainers include:
A band-and-loop maintainer serves as one of the most common types of space maintainers. This space maintainer consists of stainless steel wire that is held in place by a crown on the tooth or orthodontic-type band adjacent to the open space. Thus, it offers ample space for the permanent tooth to erupt without crowding.
A lingual holding arch (LHA) is an excellent device to use when either multiple teeth are missing early or there are additional concerns about a lack of space for the permanent teeth to erupt. This appliance alone may prevent the need to extract permanent teeth if used correctly and in a timely manner.
Also, a distal shoe appliance is another option that functions as a tooth space maintainer. Designed to help children who lose their first permanent molar (the “6-year molar”), this tooth spacer for your child is inserted under the gums and keeps the open space from closing.
If your child loses several teeth, they may benefit from a partial denture instead of a tooth space maintainer. In this scenario, the partial denture serves as a removable option that a child can use to replace the missing teeth until adulthood. After a child becomes an adult, he or she can continue to use the partial denture or receive dental implants or a bridge to replace the missing teeth.
The Super Dentists: Your Family-Friendly Source for Tooth Space Maintainers and Everything Else for Superior Dental Care!
Does your child require a space maintainer? Remember, every child is different. But if you consult with our pediatric dentists, you’ll be able to determine whether your child needs a space maintainer and how it could help.
To learn more about tooth space maintainers, or if you have any further questions about a tooth spacer for your child, call The Super Dentists at 1 (855) GO SUPER, or text 1 (844) 765-1234. For the ultimate in convenience, schedule your next appointment online.
Come to any of our six San Diego locations to see why 1 in every 5 San Diego kids is a Super Dentists kid. Plus, our teen and parent dentistry makes The Super Dentists the ideal place for the whole family. Receive the best dental care right here in San Diego – visit The Super Dentists today!