Healthy Smiles Start Here Book Appointment

Space Maintenance

When a child loses a tooth prematurely due to decay or accident, preserving that space is vital. This prevents adjacent teeth from shifting, leading to dental complications and a higher likelihood of orthodontic treatments later on.

Types of Space Maintainers

Space maintainers can be crafted from stainless steel or plastic. They come in two primary types:

    1. Removable: Similar in appearance to a retainer, it has plastic sections to occupy the space of the missing tooth. Suitable for older children who can manage it responsibly.
    2. Fixed: These are more permanent and come in various designs.
    • Band-and-loop: This uses stainless steel wire anchored by a crown or band on the adjacent tooth, bridging the gap.
    • Lingual arch: Ideal for lower teeth when there’s a loss on both sides. A wire is set on the inner side, connected to the neighboring teeth, preventing them from moving into the gap.
    • Distal shoe: Useful when a second primary molar is lost before the first permanent molar emerges. A wire is slightly inserted under the gum to keep the space open.

Caring for Space Maintainers

For optimal care:

  • Avoid giving your child sticky foods like candies.
  • Discourage them from fiddling with the maintainer.
  • Ensure regular cleaning through brushing and flossing.
  • Continue regular visits to the pediatric dentist.