A child’s baby teeth will fall out naturally, but if they fall out too soon, then the neighboring baby teeth may shift into the gap. This causes problems because when the permanent teeth erupt, their space is blocked, resulting in crooked and crowded teeth. In order to prevent these problems from happening, your child may have to wear a space maintainer if they lose baby teeth early because of disease, injury, or decay.
A dental space maintainer is an oral appliance which holds the space of a missing tooth. It is often a wire band that blocks the teeth that are trying to shift into the gap. The maintainer is small and not very visible, sitting in your mouth until it is time for the permanent tooth to erupt. A dental space maintainer will protect your child’s future dental health, so it is important to keep the maintainer in good condition by:
- Brushing and flossing regularly. Doing so keeps both the maintainer and your teeth clean. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth twice a day and flossing them at least once a day.
- Avoid playing or tugging at the maintainer with fingers and tongue. These actions can cause the maintainer to loosen or even break.
- Avoiding chewing gum and sticky candies. These can tug at the maintainer and get trapped in the areas around it.
- Visit our dentist every six months. We will examine your smile and take routine X-rays so we know when to remove the space maintainer.
If your child’s dental space maintainer become loose, then visit Mira Mesa Dental Care as soon as possible to have it repaired. When your child wears this oral appliance, they are protecting both their current and future dental health.