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Are space maintainers really necessary?

March 08, 2020 ABC Children's Dentistry

The American Dental Association tells us that most children will have a full set of baby teeth by the time they reach the age of 3. Besides helping your child to eat his or her solid foods, baby teeth provide a crucial function by serving as placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth.

But if your child loses a baby tooth too soon, the loss could affect how the permanent teeth come in later. In those instances, space maintainers can effectively “hold the space” for permanent teeth.

In this issue, we’ll talk about space maintainers; what they’re made of and the importance of their function for your child.

What are space maintainers?
It’s an appliance that’s custom-made for your child, and is made of plastic or metal. There are two types of space maintainers: (1) removable and (2) fixed or held in your child’s mouth.

Why are space maintainers needed?

Normally, a baby tooth will remain in place until it’s pushed from underneath by a permanent tooth. When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, however, the permanent teeth on either side of it may gradually move or tilt towards the empty spot. This could result in permanent teeth coming in crowded or crooked.

The space maintainer will prevent the other teeth from moving into the empty space.

This can save parents a lot of money because, if left untreated, the improper growth of your child’s permanent teeth can easily result in extensive orthodontic treatment.

When should I consider space maintainers for my child?

Timing is everything, and that’s certainly the case with space maintainers. If permanent teeth will be making their arrival shortly, space maintainers may not be necessary for your child.

Your best bet is to consult with your child’s dentist whenever a baby tooth is lost.

For Compassionate and Fun Pediatric Dental Care, Call ABC Children’s Dentistry in San Diego

At ABC Children’s Dentistry in San Diego, our mission is to eliminate any anxiety that children may carry from past experience or playground rumors by introducing, creating, and delivering dental care in a gentle, non-threatening, child-friendly and fun environment.

To schedule an appointment for your child’s dental care, call ABC Children’s Dentistry here in San Diego.

Our number is 858-780-9794. Also, you can reach us online and via email