big top dentistry

Space Maintainers


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Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. They are small and unobtrusive in appearance. Most children easily adjust to them after the first few days.

Do space maintainers require special care?

In general, pediatric dentists have four rules for space maintainer care:

Rule 1 — avoid sticky sweets or chewing gum.

Rule 2 — do not tug or push on the space maintainer with your fingers or tongue.

Rule 3 — keep it clean with conscientious brushing and flossing.

Rule 4 — continue regular dental visits.

How will a space maintainer help my child?

Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw. It is more affordable — and easier on your child — to keep teeth in normal positions with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment.

Why all the fuss? Baby teeth fall out eventually on their own!

Baby teeth are important to your child’s present and future dental health. They encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. They save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into position. Remember: Some baby teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old.