February 28, 2017
Your daughter has always reached milestones quickly – she walked before you ever expected it, and her first words were early, too. She’s smart and clearly advanced for her age, but this isn’t always a good thing. When she lost one of her baby teeth at only 3 years old, you immediately went to Treasured Teeth, your superior children’s dentist in Montrose, CO. Being trusted pediatric specialists, Dr. Derren Tippets and Dr. Michele Lacy, take excellent care of your daughter (as always) and advise the best course of treatment for her is a space maintainer.
What Is A Space Maintainer?
A space maintainer from your pediatric dentist in Montrose, CO is a way to preserve the alignment of your child’s baby and adult teeth. If your son or daughter loses a baby tooth too early, adult teeth can take advantage of the blank space, and erupt incorrectly. This will cause the permanent tooth to come into the empty spot, rather than the correct position. Teeth can be crooked, rotated, and completely out of place – causing the need for orthodontics later on.
To prevent this from happening, Dr. Tippets and Dr. Lacy will recommend using a space maintainer – a dental device that will serve as a placeholder for the missing tooth.
These can be:
- Fixed – Generally made of stainless steel, this will be attached to an existing tooth with dental cement or other methods your dentist will advise on.
- Removable – Usually made of acrylic, these can be taken out.
How Will A Space Maintainer Affect My Child?
A space maintainer should benefit your child’s overall oral health. While preserving alignment, your child should not notice any issues with speaking, and should only need to be moderately cautious of not chewing directly on the device itself.
How Do We Take Care Of A Space Maintainer?
Depending on the type of dental maintainer used, you and your child should be aware of the following:
- Brush and floss your teeth gently like you normally would – twice a day, for two minutes. Feel free to use mouthrinses, too, if these are part of your everyday dental regimen.
- When eating hard or crunchy foods (like carrots, for example), be a bit careful to avoid chewing on the space maintainer directly. Try to use surrounding teeth instead.
- Do your best to limit sugar if you have a removable space maintainer – since kids are already susceptible to tooth decay, sweets and carbs only compounds the problem when oral appliances are involved.
- Keep an eye on the appliance – if it looks like it’s moved out of position, or the teeth, gum, tongue or cheeks are negatively affected by the space maintainer, let our team know ASAP.
- If a permanent space maintainer is dislodged, reach out to our office right away. Saving time is important in making sure correct alignment is maintained.
Now that you know how all the benefits of a space maintainer can preserve your child’s smile, schedule your appointment with Treasured Teeth and keep your child’s smile bright and healthy!
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