SPACE MAINTAINERS

Introduction:

A space maintainer is a small dental appliance that is used to hold the space in a child’s mouth after a baby tooth has been lost. The space maintainer looks like a metal “wire” with a small loop or “crown” on each end. It is cemented (attached) to the back teeth on either side of the space left by the lost tooth.

Space maintainers are used when baby teeth are lost too early (before they are ready to fall out on their own). If the space is not maintained, the other teeth can begin to shift into the empty space. This can cause problems with chewing and may make the permanent teeth come in crooked.

Space maintainers are usually removed by the dentist when the permanent teeth are ready to come in (around age 6 or 7). Until then, it is important to take good care of the space maintainer and keep it clean.

Types of Space Maintainers:

There are two basic types of space maintainers: removable and fixed (cemented).

1. Removable Space Maintainers look like a retainer with a wire running across the front teeth. They are easy to take out and clean, but they must be worn as directed by the dentist or orthodontist.

2. Fixed (Cemented) Space Maintainers are attached to the teeth with a special dental cement. They are not as easy to clean as removable space maintainers, but they are more effective in holding the space.

Why are Space Maintainers needed?

Space maintainers are used when baby teeth are lost too early (before they are ready to fall out on their own). If the space is not maintained, the other teeth can begin to shift into the empty space. This can cause problems with chewing and may make the permanent teeth come in crooked.

Space maintainers are usually removed by the dentist when the permanent teeth are ready to come in (around age 6 or 7). Until then, it is important to take good care of the space maintainer and keep it clean.

How are Space Maintainers used?

Space maintainers are used to hold the space in a child’s mouth after a baby tooth has been lost. The space maintainer looks like a metal “wire” with a small loop or “crown” on each end. It is cemented (attached) to the back teeth on either side of the space left by the lost tooth.

Functions of Space Maintainers:

Space maintainers have two main functions: to keep the space open and to guide the permanent tooth into place.

  • To keep the space open: Space maintainers help by keeping the space between the teeth open. This is important because it prevents the other teeth from shifting into the empty space.
  • To guide the permanent tooth into place: Space maintainers also help guide the permanent tooth into place. This is important because it helps ensure that the permanent tooth comes in straight.

How to care for a Space Maintainer:

It is important to take good care of your space maintainer and keep it clean. Here are some tips for caring for a space maintainer:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste and floss once a day. Be sure to brush and floss around the space maintainer.
  • Avoid sticky and hard foods. Sticky foods can loosen the cement that holds the space maintainer in place. Hard foods can break the space maintainer.
  • Wear your space maintainer as directed by the dentist or orthodontist.

Conclusion:

Space maintainers are an important part of taking care of your child’s teeth. They help keep the space between the teeth open and guide the permanent tooth into place. It is important to take good care of the space maintainer and keep it clean. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Avoid sticky and hard foods. Wear your space maintainer as directed by the dentist or orthodontist. See your dentist or orthodontist for regular checkups.