Do Kids Need Space Maintainers?

Do Kids Need Space Maintainers?

Dec 01, 2022

Every parent desires to give their child the best start in life. This is because you know doing so will ensure that they have an easier time during their growth and development and an even brighter future.

One of the key elements you may have to look at in your child’s life that can affect their future is their dental health. Dental health will play a fundamental role in determining their overall health and well-being.

From the moment their first tooth pops up, you need to stay on top of things. Ensure that they visit a pediatric dentist near you regularly and practice proper oral hygiene to discourage dental decay. During their growth and development, one of the key milestones you can anticipate in their dental health journey is losing their primary or milk teeth.

The milk teeth fall out, allowing permanent teeth to erupt and grow. This is a naturally occurring process; however, at times, it does not go as planned.

Factors such as tooth decay and dental trauma can make this process occur earlier than it should have, and when this happens, your child may need to get fitted with a space maintainer.

What Is a Space Maintainer?

A space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance used in scenarios where a child loses their primary teeth before their permanent teeth are ready to erupt and grow. Space Maintainers in Columbia are customized and installed to prevent the teeth from shifting into the space left by the missing primary tooth, thus maintaining the space for the future incoming permanent tooth.

Our pediatric dentist in 29223 believes that space retainers can help your child avoid orthodontic issues such as crowded or impacted teeth and malocclusions.

What are the two types of space maintainers for children?

Ideally, there are two types of space maintainers that our pediatric dentist in Columbia may recommend for your child to get. These include;

Fixed Space Maintainers

Four types of fixed space retainers can be used depending on the location of the missing tooth and the number of teeth missing. Fixed space maintainers may include;

  1. Crown and Loop

This type of retainer consists of a crown and a stainless steel wire loop. The crown is placed over one tooth on one side of the gap, and the wire loop extends and presses against the other tooth on the other side of the gap. This ensures the space is maintained to allow the permanent tooth to emerge and grow correctly.

  1. Lingual

This type of fixed space maintainer can be used in scenarios where a child is missing several teeth, such as congenital defects. They also utilize crowns and wires and can maintain the space between multiple gaps.

  1. Unilateral

This fixed space maintainer utilizes a wire and can be used to secure the space between two teeth. The wire is wrapped around the teeth positioned on each side of the gap to prevent them from shifting forward toward the gap.

  1. Distal Shoe

This space maintainer is used to retain space for the permanent first molars to erupt and grow properly. It is fixed in cases where the baby molar falls out before it should. They are placed along the gum line to guide the molars to erupt and grow correctly.

This is one of the space maintainers that will need constant monitoring by our pediatric dentist in Columbia to ensure that it is functioning as it should.

Removable Space Maintainers

These space maintainers are an excellent choice if your child’s permanent teeth are about or ready to erupt and grow in. they are designed and customized from acrylic and utilize a fake tooth that is used to occupy the space temporarily as the permanent tooth comes in.

How Long Do Kids Need Space Maintainers?

Our dentist, Dr. Amy Ellis Green, recommends that children who have had to get space maintainers should keep them until their permanent tooth erupts and take its desired spot. The duration of this process may vary from one child to the next and may take months or years.

To make this process smoother, you must ensure that you assist your child in caring for their space maintainer. This may include ensuring that they practice proper oral hygiene, do not tamper with the devices, and visit our pediatric dental clinic in Columbia regularly for a checkup on their progress.

It’s important to note that not every child will need to get space maintainers in Columbia; however, if need be, our dentist will recommend them when necessary. Contact us at We Care Pediatric Dentistry in Columbia for all your pediatric dental needs.