Space Maintainers for a Better Smile
Losing baby teeth too early can endanger future smiles which is where space maintainers step in. Space maintainers are dental devices used for children that lose baby teeth before their adult teeth have had a chance to grow in. Not only do these devices help safeguard your child’s dental health as he grows, but they also ensure that his future smile results as it should. So, if your child is missing a tooth, talk to Dr. Cat about whether a space maintainer would help.
Protecting Tooth Alignment
Space maintainers reserve a place in your child’s mouth after a baby (primary) tooth falls out before it should. Because of the importance of baby teeth, early tooth loss can impact your child’s tooth alignment. However, space maintainers can serve as the lost tooth to allow adult teeth to grow in as they should.
Choosing the Right Space Maintainer
Not all space maintainers are the same. In fact, choosing the right fit for your child’s needs is handled specifically by Dr. Cat. She will work with you and your child to find the kind that will work best.
Patients can choose between removable devices or fixed devices. Removable devices are kind of like an orthodontic retainer and can be removed for eating and cleaning.
A fixed space maintainer is affixed to the teeth or gums around the vacated tooth space. Fixed space maintainers are often used for small children not quite old enough to care for a removable device or for young patients that have lost a tooth in the back of the mouth.
Do’s and Don’ts with Space Maintainers
Any oral device, whether or fixed or removable, requires a certain level of care to safeguard the health and teeth of the wearer. When it comes to space maintainers, it is important to remember the following:
- Do clean the space maintainers whenever your child brushes and flosses his teeth – at least twice a day.
- Do pay attention to gum health by where the space maintainer is placed. Keeping the area clean and healthy will ensure that the permanent tooth will erupt without any issues that will affect your child’s oral health.
- Do have professional in-office cleanings with Li’l Sunshine Smiles.
- Don’t miss your follow-up appointments with Dr. Botero to check the space maintainer on a regular basis to ensure that it’s doing what it is supposed to and isn’t causing any problems in your child’s mouth.
- Don’t forget to contact Li’l Sunshine Smiles if your child loses or damages a space maintainer.
If you don’t use your space maintainer device correctly it can result in misaligned teeth–an expensive and painful result! This can be painful and expensive to fix.
Don’t hesitate to call our office if we can help you with any questions or challenges you may have at 813-576-0200! Our friendly staff is always ready to lend a helping hand!!