As your child grows, it’s not uncommon for them to experience tooth loss due to reasons such as tooth decay or injury. While losing baby teeth is a natural part of growing up, it can sometimes cause problems for your child’s oral health, especially if they lose their tooth significantly earlier than what’s typical. That’s where space maintainers come into play. At Westside Pediatric Dentistry in Cincinnati, we recommend the use of space maintainers to help preserve normal tooth alignment and prevent major orthodontic concerns before they start.
A space maintainer is a temporary appliance designed to hold spacing in your child's bite after they lose a baby tooth prematurely (such as after an injury or extraction.) Essentially, it acts as a placeholder for the permanent tooth that will eventually grow into that space. The device can be made from different materials, including stainless steel and acrylic, and is removed once the permanent tooth erupts. It prevents the neighboring teeth from collapsing inward and blocking off the developing adult tooth.
Losing a baby tooth too early can cause other teeth to shift and move, which can make it difficult for the permanent tooth to come in properly, if at all. This can lead to misaligned teeth or even overcrowding, not to mention changes in the jaw, which may require orthodontic treatment in the future.
By using a space maintainer, we can help ensure that your child’s teeth develop properly and reduce the likelihood of needing more extensive orthodontic work down the road.
This temporary appliance is placed in the open space in your child's mouth and is secured to one of the teeth next to the missing tooth. It may have a small loop protruding out the side, which touches the next tooth. This helps to keep the space open and prevents either tooth from shifting into the open space. Our experienced pediatric dentist in Cincinnati Ohio, Dr. Petr Vaughan, will evaluate your child's individual needs and recommend the best type of space maintainer for their specific situation.
Overall, space maintainers are an effective and non-invasive way to ensure your child’s teeth erupt properly after losing a baby tooth too early. If you think your child may need a space maintainer, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Westside Pediatric Dentistry. Our team will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan for your child.