Baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, serve as placeholders for adult teeth, and guide them in their proper places. Ideally, permanent teeth push out the baby teeth; however, dental caries or injuries may cause their premature loss.
It’s important to maintain this space to prevent overcrowding of the adult teeth, which may lead to misalignment. In cases your child loses his teeth prematurely, Dr. Michelle Bottin, who performs pediatric dentistry in Minneapolis, MN, and many other services, may recommend space maintainers.
Applying Space Maintainers
Space maintainers are custom-made appliances that keep the space between baby teeth. This helps the permanent tooth to erupt into its proper place, keeping straight alignment of your child’s teeth. This can help reduce or even eliminate the need for orthodontic work, such as braces, later on in your child’s life.
Our priority action is to perform a comprehensive oral exam on your child. This helps us determine the most appropriate type of space maintainers for your child. They may be made of stainless steel and/or plastic, depending on your child’s needs.
There are two general types of space maintainers: removable and fixed. The former is usually made of acrylic, most often used to fill a space that must remain open for a non-erupted tooth. On the other hand, we cement the fixed type directly on your child’s mouth. It has four sub types depending on the location of the lost teeth.
Wearing the Space Maintainers
Just like your child’s natural teeth, these also require proper dental care. We will provide instructions on proper tooth brushing and flossing to keep the integrity of your child’s space maintainers.
We may advise your child to avoid chewy and sugary foods, such as gum or candy, which may loosen the appliance. We may also remind your child to avoid pushing the appliance with his or her tongue to prevent its breakage.
Regular Visits for Monitoring
After applying the space maintainer, we will remind your child to keep his or her dental visits to our clinic. In this way, we can evaluate their effectiveness and monitor the growth of your child’s teeth. We may remove them once we have ascertained that adult teeth are growing in properly.
Losing a baby tooth does not immediately require space maintainers; this determination requires our expert dentist’s clinical eye. That’s why we highly recommend regular dental visits to ensure your child’s normal teeth development.
From regular cleaning to cosmetic dentistry in Minneapolis, MN, and the nearby areas, our skilled dentists are ready to assist you. If you have any further questions about space maintainers, call us at (612) 638-1234. You may also complete our form to schedule an appointment for your child.