Space maintainers are a common dental care solution when children lose teeth too early, leaving a gap in their smile that can interrupt proper tooth development. It is vital to schedule regular dental visits for your children so your dentist can become familiar with their oral development and make professional recommendations on whether space maintainers are necessary.
Alert Your Dentist Immediately to Premature Tooth Loss
Call your dentist right away if your child knocks out a tooth, even if it is only a baby tooth. Children are active and as a result are susceptible to oral injury and tooth trauma.
Also, alert the dental office if your child’s primary teeth simply never develop. Your child may have been born without certain primary teeth, a condition dentists will watch for and monitor if you begin regular oral care at a young age.
Another reason for early tooth loss is if the tooth is severely decayed. Removal is necessary in these instances in order to prevent the spread of infection.
The many reasons for early primary tooth loss abound, but only a dentist can determine if a space-maintaining device is necessary and will provide the support that the surrounding developing teeth, bones and muscles need.
What Are Space Maintainers For?
The main of these appliances is to hold the neighboring teeth in place until the secondary tooth has the chance to develop. If a baby tooth falls out before a permanent tooth is ready to take its place, the surrounding teeth may shift and crowd the open space.
If this happens, it can make tooth care much more difficult, and it can also prevent the eruption of the adult tooth, causing serious orthodontic issues where they otherwise wouldn’t be. Space maintainers are effective at securing children’s smiles, giving them confidence and making sure they feel no pain or discomfort while chewing or talking.
Dental Office Takes Measurements for the Device
The dentist’s office will create a mold of your child’s surrounding teeth as well as the gap. They may send the measurements to a lab or create the device in-office. Space maintainers are either constructed as removable devices or fixed in place with dental cement.
Once the device is complete, whether during the initial appointment or at another time, the dentist will place it in the patient’s mouth and ensure it fits and will function correctly.
Tooth Care Instructions
It is important to observe all dietary instructions from the dentist, such as avoiding sticky, sugary foods that can catch and lodge in the wires or bands. Regular brushing and flossing are more important than ever, as well as cleaning the individual appliance regularly, if it is removable.
Contact Oak Hills Dentistry to find out if your child is a candidate for space maintainers due to premature primary tooth loss.