|Space Maintainer Temecula CA
Children whose permanent teeth have not yet erupted may benefit from dental space maintainers (also known as spacers) as they wait for them to come in.
These temporary teeth save room for permanent replacements to come in. They also stop the surrounding baby teeth from shifting into the gap. Dental space maintainers can help avoid overcrowding, teeth misalignment, and other orthodontic issues.
When a young child loses a baby tooth earlier than they should or has an extraction, that will leave a gap that can cause the adult teeth around the gap to come in misaligned. In order to make certain this does not happen, our team at Picasso Dental Care will need to install a space maintainer.
This small oral appliance is necessary to maintain the correct space between your child's baby teeth and will allow their adult teeth room to erupt correctly. There are a few types of space maintainers available, each with its own rules your child will need to understand and follow.
Fortunately, once the adult tooth in this space erupts, space maintenance is no longer necessary and the space maintainer can then be removed.
What Is a Space Maintainer?
Space maintainers are typically made out of metal or acrylic materials. The maintainer is cemented onto a neighboring tooth, and not removed until the adult tooth begins to erupt. Maintainers allow the sufficient space needed for your child's adult teeth to come in.
Otherwise, teeth near the gap will want to move toward that empty space, which could potentially block the adult teeth from having sufficient room to come in. This creates many problems.
It is important for your child to be careful with the types of foods that they are eating while they have the space maintainer. Sticky or hard foods, such as caramels and hard candies, can pull the maintainer loose. Other examples to stay away from include fruit snacks or fruit roll ups and gum.
Reasons for a Space Maintainer
There are several situations in which a child might benefit from space maintainers.
Premature Tooth Loss or Extraction
Tooth decay is a common problem for baby teeth, and extractions are often necessary. Baby teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities than permanent teeth since the enamel is thinner.
Dental space maintainers are used for keeping the remaining teeth from shifting position or crowding when a tooth needs to be pulled owing to extensive decay.
Infants and toddlers have not yet fully formed their motor capacities. As a result, both upper and lower jaw front teeth injuries are common. It causes the loss of primary teeth, especially the canine and incisors, at the front of the mouth.
Space maintainers aid in the proper alignment and spacing of your child's permanent teeth should their baby teeth fall out prematurely due to trauma.
What Do Space Maintainers Look Like?
Space maintainers can be made of metal or acrylic. They resemble an orthodontic retainer in design. Some are held together by metal springs or rubber bands. They can be permanent fixtures or easily removable. Dr. Vinh Le and Dr. Quang Le can advise you on the best option for your kid.
For lost front teeth, a space maintainer can be made with a connected artificial tooth or teeth to conceal the gap(s).
If your child needs a space maintainer, we first will determine which type will work best for them and their particular circumstances. There are several different variations of space maintainers.
Removable space maintainers can be compared to mouth guards and other types of oral appliances. They can be taken out when needed, and there is more freedom in what your child can eat. This type of space maintenance appliance may even include a small artificial tooth, making it difficult for others to even tell that your child has a missing tooth.
A fixed space maintainer will hold the space for the adult tooth to come in. With a fixed maintainer, there are four options: distal shoe, crown and loop, unilateral, and lingual. These maintainers are permanent and cannot be removed at home, which means your child will need to be careful about eating sticky or chewy foods that could get caught or damage the maintainer.
They will also need to learn not to poke at the maintainer with their fingers or tongue. However, once they become comfortable with it, your child may not even remember they have a space maintainer.
Unilateral space maintainers use a wire between the teeth to hold the space open. A lingual space maintainer can be used if your child has more than one missing tooth. Wires and crowns can also be used as space maintainers.
Consult our dental professionals at Picasso Dental Care about your options.
What Do Space Maintainers Feel Like?
On average, it takes kids a few days to adjust to space maintainers' discomfort (and rarely pain). It could initially feel strange, but your child will likely forget about it within a few days.
Do Space Maintainers Hurt?
Because spacers aren't designed to cause tooth movement or shift, most people report little to no discomfort after getting them. Most kids adjust to them quickly.
How Do You Take Care of Space Maintainers?
Schedule a Consultation with Picasso Dentistry Today!
If your child's primary teeth start falling out before they should, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Vinh Le or Dr. Quang Le. Please call us at (951) 383-2021 to schedule a consultation at Picasso Dental Care to check if your child is a candidate for space maintainers.