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Space Maintainers

You may have heard of space maintainers and wondered what their function is, and how they can help in the development of your child’s natural dental needs.
space maintainer
As your children grow, their teeth and gums grow with them. Their baby teeth come in and perform their function in the development of the gums, strengthen the development of their mouth’s muscles and bones, and allow your child to chew the new foods they are learning to eat.

As they grow, your child’s mouth will grow and the baby teeth will come out in order to make room in your child’s mouth for the new adult teeth that are developing below the surface of the gums. And for a short time, your child will have a space where a baby tooth once was, a space that now awaits the adult tooth’s arrival.

As your child’s mouth is growing and making room for all the new adult teeth, sometimes some of the adult teeth aren’t as ready to come in as the baby teeth were to come out. And for this period of time, in the space where a baby tooth once was, the other adult teeth coming in around it may crowd into that space, taking advantage of the extra room that really belongs to another tooth that just hasn’t come in yet.

What Are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are likely what your dentist will recommend when this happens. Space maintainers hold the space open so that the new adult teeth have the time they need to develop naturally below the gum line. Space maintainers prevent the neighboring teeth from crowding in where the new adult tooth will soon be ready to come in. This allows the new adult tooth to complete its development and break through the gums to take its place naturally and without interference from neighboring teeth.

There are 2 Types of Space Maintainers

There are a few different types of space maintainers, and your child’s dentist will recommend the kind that is best for your child.

  • Generally, there are removable space maintainers, that your child can take out or wear.
  • Then there is the fixed type, which your dentist attaches to stronger teeth in your child’s mouth. These space maintainers stay in your child’s mouth until removed at a future dentist visit.

What is the Purpose of Space Maintainers?

The purpose of the space maintainers is to provide stability for your child’s mouth, the bones and muscles, and the teeth surrounding the space that is awaiting an adult tooth’s arrival. Once the adult tooth is ready to come in, the Space Maintainer may no longer be needed and can be removed by your child’s dentist.

With the use of space maintainers at the right time in your child’s dental development, you and your child’s dentist help give your child the best opportunity for the best smile possible.