Orthodontic Space Maintainers

Should your child ever lose a baby tooth prematurely, we recommend scheduling a visit with our team to see if a space maintainer is needed.

Space maintainers are small oral appliances that fit comfortably over teeth and prevent nearby teeth from shifting into gaps in a patient’s smile that are caused by losing a baby tooth or teeth too early. To learn more or schedule a consultation with our team, please contact us!

little girl smiling

Are space maintainers necessary for everyone?

Space maintainers are not necessary for every child. If your child has a wiggly baby tooth, the adult tooth underneath it is likely pushing on the tooth from the bottom and is almost ready to grow in. This means that even if your child pulls out their loose tooth on their own, they should not need a space maintainer, as the adult tooth is ready to take the place of the baby tooth. Space maintainers are used in cases where a baby tooth is accidentally dislodged before the adult tooth underneath is ready to erupt from the gums.

boy at the dentist

How long will my child have to have a space maintainer on for?

It varies from patient to patient. If your child has one or more space maintainers, you can examine their gums occasionally to see if the adult tooth is beginning to grow in. We also recommend visiting our office routinely, or at least twice per year, so that our team can clean the space maintainer and the teeth around it and see if it’s ready to come out yet. While your child has a space maintainer, we recommend that they take extra good care of their teeth and gums so that tooth decay does not develop underneath or around the space maintainer.

piggy bank

Are space maintainers expensive?

Space maintainers are not very costly in comparison to other orthodontic treatments, although we understand that any unexpected dental costs can take a toll on a family’s annual dental budget. We always recommend that patients utilize space maintainers in cases where nearby teeth may block an adult tooth from growing properly, as they are typically the better investment in the long run. If you are concerned about financing the cost of your child’s space maintainer, please visit our financial page or contact our front office.

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