San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Tooth loss increases your risk of developing oral health issues over time. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, the risks can magnify. If this has happened to your child, then the family dentistry team at Glen Park Dental can install a space maintainer to safeguard your child against potential oral health problems.
What is a space maintainer, and why is it important?
Also called a space saver, a space maintainer is an oral appliance that is placed in the mouth and fills the open area where a missing tooth once resided.
Baby teeth fall out naturally as permanent teeth prepare to erupt from the gum line. However, if your child loses a baby tooth early because of tooth decay or an injury, this can lead to problems with bite alignment, problems chewing, and even sleep breathing disorders.
Also, the adjacent primary teeth might shift into the open space, making your child’s teeth uneven, increasing the need for orthodontics later on during adolescence.
Installing a space maintainer
Glen Park Dental offers two types of space maintainers, fixed and removable. During your child’s consultation, the dentist will determine which type of space maintainer is right for your child.
Fixed – There are four types of fixed space maintainers including unilateral, crown and loop, distal shoe and lingual. A fixed space maintainer is bonded to the adjacent teeth. Placing a space maintainer is easy and convenient. Typically, no anesthetic is necessary to complete this procedure.
Removable – Usually made of acrylic, removable space maintainers are similar in nature to other orthodontic appliances. They are made to be removed from the child’s mouth for eating and cleaning.
Caring for your space maintainer
After the space maintainer is placed, you will need to monitor your child’s diet. Avoid chewy, sticky, and sugary foods, which can cause damage to the appliance. Also, oral hygiene is key in prolonging the effectiveness of a space maintainer. Allowing plaque to build up around a space maintainer can lead to the development of tooth decay.
If your child has lost one of their baby teeth due to decay or injury, contact our office at (415) 585-1500 today to learn more about space maintainers.
Glen Park Dental is here to serve patients in the areas of San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, California.