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Space Maintainers 

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How a Children’s Tooth Space Maintainer Can Help Your Child!

When baby teeth fall out before permanent teeth are ready to fill the gap, other teeth can shift into that space, causing trouble when the second tooth grows in. A children’s tooth space maintainer can solve this problem.

Different Types of Children’s Tooth Space Maintainers

Dentists use two kinds of space maintainers for children.

Fixed Space Maintainers

There are four versions of fixed space maintainers:

  • Crown and Loop. Here, a tooth on one side of the gap is crowned and a surgical steel loop presses against the tooth on the other side to stop it crowding in.
  • Lingual. This space maintainer uses crowns and wires to keep spaces involving more than one tooth open.
  • Distal Shoe. Only used to preserve the gaps necessary for permanent first molars to grow into, these maintainers are placed in the gap’s gum line. They guide permanent molars into the correct position as they grow.
  • Unilateral. Here, a wire is wrapped around the teeth bordering the gap to stop them from moving into it.
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Removable Space Maintainers

These aren’t quite as effective as fixed space maintainers, but they can be useful when the missing tooth is almost ready to fill the space. Removable maintainers can include a fake tooth, so they are appropriate when appearance is an issue.
One benefit of a removable space maintainer is that it can be taken out for brushing and flossing, making it easier to look after the child’s natural teeth.

Does My Child Need a Space Maintainer?

Baby teeth are for more than eating. They help jaws grow properly and save space for the permanent teeth waiting beneath a child’s gums. Maintaining that space should baby teeth fall out prematurely can save kids from expensive and painful treatment later.

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