Primary (baby) teeth exist in part to help guide the growth of permanent (adult) teeth. If primary teeth fall out too early due to disease or trauma, space maintainers may be used by our dentists to prevent space loss and guide the permanent teeth.
Primary teeth stay in place until a permanent tooth comes in from underneath its position and pushes it out, taking its place in the mouth. It is important to remember the fact that some teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old.
What happens if you don’t get a space maintainer for your child?
Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked. If left untreated, the condition may require future Orthodontic treatment.
Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position. It is more affordable to keep teeth in their normal position with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with Orthodontic treatment.
What is a space maintainer?
Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. Most children adjust to them quickly.