What You Should Know About Space Maintainers

Space Maintainers


Your little one’s baby teeth play a critical role in their oral health and development. If teeth are lost too soon due to decay or trauma, our team at Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry may recommend a space maintainer. Here’s all you should know about space maintainers and how they safeguard your child’s smile.

Dental Space Maintainers

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Your child’s baby teeth play a significant role in speech development. They also support chewing, ensuring your child gets the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong. Healthy growth of baby teeth also plays a role in the development of the facial muscles and jawbone.

Maintaining healthy baby teeth reflects on your child’s oral health into adulthood. These tiny pearly whites save the space needed for aligned adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost before the adult tooth is ready to replace it, the neighboring teeth may shift, leading to crowding and future orthodontic problems. Future permanent teeth may erupt in abnormal angles, sometimes in front or behind their correct location, and may become a factor in more plaque, calculus, and cavity formation.

What Are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are fixed or removable oral devices that are made of plastic or stainless steel. As the name implies, a space maintainer helps maintain the space left by a missing or extracted baby tooth. That helps ensure the adult tooth has the space to come in. At Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry, we prefer fixed space maintainers to eliminate the possibility of them being lost or swallowed. Your little one’s space maintainer will stay in place until the new tooth erupts.

Do All Missing Teeth Need Space Maintainers?

Not every missing baby tooth will need a space maintainer. We typically don’t place maintainers on spaces left by the four upper front teeth. If a permanent tooth is about to erupt, we don’t usually recommend a space maintainer. Dr. Azi will evaluate your child’s unique needs and determine whether a space maintainer is needed to safeguard your child’s smile.

Dental Hygiene with Space Maintainers

It’s important to continue brushing at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and an age-appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste. It’s also important to floss regularly around the space maintainer to prevent plaque buildup and keep your little one’s gums healthy. Remind your child to stay clear of sticky or hard foods, which can misalign, break, or damage the space maintainer.

It’s important to visit Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry for routine dental check-ups. Dr. Azi will inspect your little hero’s spacers and monitor the progress of the incoming teeth to make sure everything stays on track.

Space Maintainers Near Me in Laguna Hills, CA

If you’d like to learn more about safeguarding your child’s smile with a space maintainer, contact Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Azi is happy to answer your questions and address any concerns. We invite you to call our office at 949-342-1484 to schedule your little hero's appointment or request one online today!

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