What is a space maintainer?
A space maintainer holds a space for an adult tooth when the baby tooth falls out or is removed early. The use of a space maintainer will help keep the room open so that the permanent tooth will erupt in it’s proper location. This helps prevent crooked teeth which may later require braces.
What types of space maintainers are there?
There are 2 types of space maintainers; fixed and removable. While the removable maintainers seem to be the best option, children tend to not wear them or loose them. Which is why the pediatric dentists at Star Kids Dental suggest using a fixed space maintainer. A fixed space maintainer is attached to existing teeth to help keep it in the same position.
When is the space maintainer no longer necessary?
The exact time for the space maintainer to no longer be necessary is based on when the new tooth erupts and how long it would take for it to be set in place. For this reason, we would suggest scheduling an appointment for a thorough review and to give you the best analysis possible.
Are there any other steps to take to help while using a space maintainer?
As a space maintainer is not something the mouth is used to, some irritation may occur. One of the best things to do is to keep brushing in order to keep the mouth and space maintainer clean. An additional step would be gargling salt water or mouth wash to help disinfect the mouth and prevent any issues.