Teeth Space Maintenance: Is It Essential among Children?

Jun 01, 2021

Your child’s oral health requires similar care as their general health. The oral care you provide establishes confidence in the child playing a significant role in their nutrition and overall well-being. Loss of teeth early causes challenges in speech and the child’s chewing abilities. It is why Lancaster pediatric dentistry recommends teeth space maintenance among children to prevent the remaining teeth from moving into the vacant space created by the missing tooth.

Society often neglects deciduous teeth because they are not expected to remain long in the oral cavity. However, their importance cannot be overlooked because they guide the permanent tooth to emerge in its place and help in proper alignment.

When primary teeth are lost early in the year before the permanent tooth emerges, dentists prevent drifting of the other teeth into the space allotted for the permanent tooth to erupt. The process is called teeth space maintenance.

Familiar Reasons for Milk Teeth Falling off Early

The most familiar reasons for milk teeth falling off early are childhood caries from prolonged bottle-feeding and removal of extensively decayed primary teeth. It is why the pediatric dentist in Lancaster advises parents not to let their baby sleep with a baby bottle containing milk or any beverages with sugar content.

What Are the Functions of Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers help maintain the circumferential area, arch length, and width to avoid supra eruption of the opposing teeth. The maintainers help improve speech abilities if the child has lost an anterior tooth while enhancing aesthetics impacted by the loss of teeth. Most importantly, the maintainers help in managing oral habits like thumb-sucking and other problems.

What Kind of Space Maintainers Do Dentists Provide?

Various types of space maintainers are available with dentists used depending on different factors—the most common of removable space maintainers and fixed space maintainers. However, sometimes children may have missing teeth due to genetic diseases requiring a partial denture instead of space maintainers. Therefore it is essential to seek advice from the pediatric dentist West Lancaster regarding this option.

Wearing Space Maintainers

Children are never cooperative with any medical treatments. When the kid’s dentist near you recommends a removable space maintainer, plenty of patience is required on the part of the parents because the child needs time to get accustomed to the appliance. Maintaining the space maintainer plays a significant role in preventing further infections. Children are advised to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing regularly and flossing if necessary.

If your child has received a fixed space maintainer, they are advised not to eat sticky foods like toffees and chewing gum with the potential to remain stuck between the appliance making it come off with the foods. Generally, patients are advised not to put their fingers or tongue trying to tug the device as it may loosen.

Frequent monitoring is essential every 3 to 6 months until the permanent tooth emerges.

When to Place Space Maintainers?

Ideally, space maintainers are best placed as soon as possible after an extraction. However, if your child has lost a tooth or the extraction was performed earlier, the space maintainer is better fixed within six months.

Removal of Space Maintainers

The appliance is removed when the permanent tooth starts penetrating the gum tissue or if your child confronts any post-operative issues.

Benefits of Space Maintenance

Space maintenance prevents misalignment problems in the future to hamper the physical and emotional well-being of the child. Space maintenance is an economical procedure than orthodontic treatments.

Caring for Space Maintainers

Caring for space maintainers is not a challenge as children are advised twice-daily brushing and flossing because it plays a supporting role at least once a day. Regular visits to the dentist providing them every three months are also essential. Children are advised against having sticky and crunchy foods for fear of losing the appliance.

Happenings If Space Maintainers Are Not Used

When space maintainers are not used on children, they tend to have drifted and tipping teeth besides a midline shift in their smile. They may have impacted permanent teeth requiring removal from the emergency pediatric dentist in Lancaster or even complicated orthodontic procedures, including removing permanent teeth. The lack of space maintainers in the child’s mouth prevents the cumbersome process of regaining lost space.

If your child has lost teeth or had them extracted, the best option is to discuss teeth space maintenance for the child’s oral and general health.

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