Primary teeth are important for children’s dental health for two main reasons. First, they help children learn to chew their food properly and keep it in their mouths. Second, they provide a space for permanent teeth to come in and grow. The baby teeth guide the adult one on how to emerge and align. These baby teeth are designed to fall out at age six or seven as the permanent ones begin to erupt.
While the premature loss of primary teeth may not seem like a big deal, it can affect your child’s dental health. Loss of these teeth before its time can affect the dental structure and cause the permanent ones to become crooked and misaligned. It is crucial to protect your child’s teeth and gums to ensure the baby’s teeth fall out naturally.
Trauma, injury, or decay, can lead to the loss of the primary teeth. Fortunately, you can use space maintainers in Roanoke, VA, to maintain the gaps left and ensure the permanent teeth are aligned.
Space maintainers are dental appliances used to prevent the teeth from moving. They are available in different shapes and sizes and are made of metal, plastic, or acrylic.
Space maintainers are either fixed or removable, depending on the severity of the tooth movement problem. Fixed space maintainers are more common because they are more effective at preventing tooth movements.
Although they are a necessary dental device, they should not be worn for too long because they can lead to gum recession and bone loss around the teeth. A pediatric cosmetic dentist near you will explain when and how long your child needs to wear the space maintainers.
Not every baby tooth that falls out will need a space maintainer; it is only needed if your child loses the primary teeth are not yet ready to come out or are still developing.
The space maintainer is necessary because it maintains the gaps left. Missing teeth can cause the other teeth to shift into the newly available space. This reduces the jaw space and causes permanent teeth to emerge, causing other orthodontic problems.
The space maintainers are important because of several reasons that include:
When there are spaces between the gums, the other teeth will move to occupy them. This will cause the jaw space to reduce, leading to overcrowding—this is when the teeth emerge on top of each other. Overcrowding affects not only your child’s dental health but can cause teeth and jaw misalignment.
Wearing space maintainers can save time and money in orthodontic treatment fees. These devices encourage permanent teeth to come out in proper alignment.
If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely and you want them to keep the gum space in their mouth, an oral space maintainer is ideal. Otherwise, the permanent teeth could grow crooked and require braces and other costly orthodontic treatments.
The space maintainers can either be fixed or removable, and Dr. Cristelle Rodriguez will guide you in choosing the appropriate design.
The fixed maintainer is a semi-permanent tooth fixture that keeps space open for the permanent tooth. Once the permanent tooth has grown in, it can be removed.
A removable maintainer is a great option if your child’s adult tooth is almost ready to grow. These devices are designed to be comfortable and customizable to meet your child’s needs.
These devices are generally made of acrylic material and can be fitted with a fake tooth. They also make it easy for your child to care for their teeth and gums. But it is worth noting these non-fixed devices may not be as good at space management.
Space maintainers need to be taken care of to ensure their longevity and effectiveness, but our dentist in 24018 will share aftercare instructions. But brush and floss regularly, and avoid eating sticky foods like chewing gum and sticky candy, which can get wedged between your teeth and the space maintainer.
Visit Kid’s First Dental for more information about space maintainers, the different types, and what you can expect.