If you have kids at home, then you know that accidents happen! Dental emergencies can occur and cost your little one a tooth long before the permanent tooth grows in. When such a premature loss of a tooth occurs, dentists in Sterling Heights MI may recommend a space maintainer. In this article, you’ll discover if your child needs a space maintainer and why the orthodontic experts at Dental One Care may recommend one.
What Is a Space Maintainer?
A space maintainer is a custom-made dental appliance made from acrylic. Your orthodontist in Sterling Heights may make a removable or a permanent space maintainer for your child. Fixed dental space maintainers fall into several categories, such as the crown and loop, the distal shoe, unilateral, and the lingual space maintainers. The orthodontics professional at Dental One Care will discuss these different types with you during your consultation if your child ever loses their baby teeth prematurely and a space maintainer is deemed necessary.
Why Is a Space Maintainer Necessary?
Primary/baby teeth play an important role during the development of your child’s jawbone. They are also vital in how your child speaks, the child’s social skills and the overall alignment of their smile.
When the experts at Dental One Care give your child a space maintainer after that child has lost a primary tooth, the maintainer helps all those functional and developmental issues proceed without impediment.
Without this space maintainer, Dr. Tim Lyons, an orthodontist at Lyons Orthodontics in El Dorado Hills CA, explains that the remaining teeth could move to cover the existing gap. The jawbone in the area of the gap could also fail to grow normally since there is no stimulation in that area.
How Do I Know My Child Needs This Device?
Each situation or patient is different. So, the best way to know whether your child needs a space maintainer is by visiting Dental One Care. The Sterling Heights orthodontist will assess your child and make the best recommendation based on the unique circumstances observed. For example, some kids who lose baby teeth around the time when permanent teeth have started growing may not need a space retainer since the permanent tooth will soon emerge and occupy the space.
How Space Maintainers Work
As already mentioned, space maintainers are usually made from acrylic (plastic) or sometimes metal. The appliance can be anchored to the nearby teeth either temporarily or permanently. So, the space left by the lost baby tooth remains.
If a space maintainer isn’t occupying this space, other teeth will shift and occupy that space. This will, cause other problems, such as misalignment of the remaining teeth and the permanent teeth could be impacted when they finally emerge.
Your child will have to be monitored at Dental One Care so that when the permanent tooth emerges or starts emerging, the space maintainer is removed by the orthodontist.
Dental x-rays are necessary to keep tabs on the development of permanent teeth in your child having a space maintainer. Our orthodontists use these captured images to determine the most appropriate time to remove the space maintainer.
Taking Care of a Space Maintainer
It’ll take a few days to get used to the space maintainer in their mouth. Support your child during this adjustment period until the child is no longer conscious that the device is even there.
During the time that the space maintainer is in place, watch what your child eats. Avoid giving him or her chewy foods, candy, and gum since these may damage the space maintainer.
It is also important to pay added attention to oral hygiene while your kid has a space maintainer. The area around the space maintainer is particularly susceptible to the formation of plaque. So, proper brushing and flossing are vital. Follow the cleaning instructions given to you by the orthodontist at Dental One Care.
You should also instruct your child not to use his or her fingers to push or tug at the space maintainer since doing so can damage the appliance or loosen it.
The experts at Dental One Care have extensive experience in orthodontic care around Sterling Heights, MI. If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, contact us at Dental One Care today.