Depending on your child’s dental needs, it is possible that you heard the term “space maintainer” used by your child’s dentist on their last visit, and you could be wondering what that term means. A space maintainer is nothing to worry about, so to help you get more familiar with what it is and what purpose it serves, let’s check out some more information on the topic.
What is a Space Maintainer, Anyway?
A space maintainer is a custom dental appliance made using acrylic or metal by a dentist or an orthodontist. Space maintainers for kids teeth are able to be cemented into a kid’s mouth in order to keep a space open for a child’s permanent tooth to erupt and work on growing into its permanent position in your child’s mouth.
These devices can also be removable, depending on the case.
Are Space Maintainers Really Necessary?
The main reason we have baby teeth as children is to essentially act as placeholders for our adult teeth when they are ready to come in. If one of your child’s baby teeth ends up coming out before it is time, the permanent tooth might end up growing in crooked. A space maintainer will help to ensure the area with the newly missing baby tooth will contain plenty of space for the new tooth to come in straight and healthy.
Easy to Place, Easy to Deal With
A space maintainer should not mess with your child’s ability to function properly with the rest of their teeth, and can be brushed over easily. Let your child continue to do their usual dental routine after their space maintainer has been placed, and let them know it will not be permanent. Once their adult tooth has come in nice and strong, that maintainer will be able to be removed so your kid can show off his or her brand new permanent tooth.