Protect Your Child’s Oral Development
MARSHFIELD Space Maintenance
The premature loss of a primary tooth can have a number of negative effects on your child’s oral development. However, if your child’s tooth must be removed due to an injury or decay before it falls out naturally, space maintainers ensure your child’s proper oral development.
What Is a Space Maintainer?
When They are Necessary
Space maintainers are a special type of dental prosthetic, used when a baby tooth has been lost prematurely due to a tooth infection, dental trauma, or any other dental health issue. At Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry, both removable and fixed space maintainers are available. Space maintainers are placed in the area where your child’s missing tooth once was in order to prevent other teeth from shifting into the now-empty socket. This ensures that your child’s permanent teeth can grow in properly, and that no other dental health issues keep your child from proper oral development.
Premature Loss of Primary Teeth
Understanding The Effects Of Tooth Loss
Space maintenance is important if your child has prematurely lost a baby tooth, because missing teeth can have a number of negative effects on childhood oral development. Once a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth tend to shift toward the empty socket, in an attempt to fill it up. This can lead to bite issues and problems with tooth alignment, as well as the improper eruption of permanent teeth. Placing a space maintainer prevents these issues, and keeps your child’s mouth healthy until their adult teeth come in.
The Importance Of Proper Tooth Spacing
Benefits Of Space Maintenance
The biggest benefit of a space maintainer is that it helps preserve the proper tooth spacing in your child’s mouth after a tooth is lost. This can help your child avoid serious issues with oral development. If a space maintainer is not used, this can lead to the eventual necessity of orthodontics or even oral surgery.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN GETTING SPACE MAINTAINERS PLACED?
When your child needs space maintainers placed, there are a few things you can expect during the process. First, your child’s dentist will examine their teeth to determine the best type of space maintainer to use. Then, they’ll take impressions of your child's teeth to create a custom-fitted device. The space maintainer will be cemented onto your child's teeth and will need to be checked regularly to ensure it is still functioning properly.
TYPES OF SPACE MAINTAINERS
There are different types of space maintainers that your child's dentist may recommend, depending on their needs. One type is a removable space maintainer, which can be taken out for cleaning and eating. Another type is a fixed space maintainer, which is cemented onto your child's teeth and cannot be removed. Both types of space maintainers are effective in keeping space open for permanent teeth to grow in.
WILL IT HURT YOUR CHILD TO WEAR SPACERS?
It's normal for your child to experience some discomfort when first wearing spacers or space maintainers, but it should not be painful. They may feel pressure or soreness in their mouth, but this should subside after a few days. If your child experiences severe pain or discomfort, contact your dentist.
CAN MY CHILD EAT WITH SPACE MAINTAINERS IN THEIR MOUTH?
Yes, your child can eat with a space maintainer in their mouth. However, it's essential to avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage or dislodge the appliance. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on which foods to avoid and how to care for the space maintainer to ensure that it lasts until your child's permanent teeth grow in.
WILL SPACE MAINTAINERS AFFECT MY CHILD'S SPEECH?
It's normal for your child to experience some difficulty with speech initially when wearing a space maintainer. However, most children adjust to the appliance quickly, and any speech issues usually resolve within a few days to a week. If your child continues to struggle with speech, consult your dentist for further evaluation.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD'S SPACE MAINTAINER FALLS OUT?
If your child's spacer falls out, contact your dentist immediately. It's crucial to have the appliance reinserted as soon as possible to prevent any shifting of the remaining teeth. In the meantime, instruct your child to avoid eating hard or sticky foods and practice good oral hygiene to prevent bacteria buildup in the gap.
CAN SPACE MAINTAINERS BE ADJUSTED IF THEY BECOME UNCOMFORTABLE?
Yes, if your child experiences discomfort or irritation from their space maintainer, contact your dentist. They can make adjustments or modifications to the appliance to ensure that it fits comfortably and does not cause any pain or irritation.
WILL MY CHILD NEED TO WEAR A SPACE MAINTAINER FOR EVERY MISSING TOOTH?
Not necessarily. Your child may not need a space maintainer for every missing tooth, depending on their age and the location of the gaps. Your dentist will evaluate each case individually and recommend the appropriate treatment plan.
ARE SPACE MAINTAINERS VISIBLE WHEN MY CHILD SMILES OR TALKS?
Space maintainers can be visible, depending on the location and type of appliance. However, most space maintainers are made of tooth-colored materials that blend in with the natural teeth, making them less noticeable.
HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE MY CHILD TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR SPACE MAINTAINER?
It's important to encourage your child to maintain good oral hygiene habits while wearing a space maintainer. This includes brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily. It's also important to avoid sticky, sugary foods that can cause the spacer to become loose or dislodged.
Preserve Your Child’s Smile
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
If your child is suffering from a decayed tooth, an oral injury, or if you suspect that your child’s tooth may need to be extracted, call us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Julie. At Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry, we offer space maintainers to support proper oral development and minimize any potential complications. Give us a call at (781) 205-1124, or come to our office at 3 Proprietors Drive, Marshfield, MA 02050 to get started.