Everything to know about dental space maintainers

Commonly known as spacers, dental space maintainers are the devices used for kids who have lost some of their baby teeth but their adult teeth have a while before they grow. As the name suggests, spacers are used for maintaining the space between the teeth for the appropriate adult teeth to grow in. They also prevent the adjacent baby teeth from moving into the open space.

It is important to consult a periodontist or orthodontist at the best dental clinic near you about using a dental space maintainer anytime your kid loses their baby teeth early. This should be taken care of especially at the back of the mouth where there is often less space for permanent teeth to erupt and develop.

Types of dental space maintainers?

Space maintainers range from the very simple to those consisting of multiple bands and wires. They are mostly custom-made for different types of teeth. Dental space maintainers can be classified majorly into two categories, that are fixed or removable.

  • Removable space maintainers: Removable space maintainers are usually made up of acrylic and are removable. They are also used with an artificial tooth for filling the gap that must remain open for the unerupted tooth.
  • Fixed space maintainers: A fixed space maintainer is, of course, fixed to a tooth or to more than one tooth. This fixation is usually done by cementing the space maintainer in place.

How does a space maintainer work?

A dental space maintainer works by keeping the space intact where a baby tooth is lost and an adult tooth is about to come through. Most spacers are fixed and are made of pieces of thin metal or acrylic that are attached to the teeth next to the empty space. It helps in preventing the adjacent teeth from shifting into the space left by the lost tooth.

How do space maintainers look and feel?

Dental space maintainers are custom-made of metal or acrylic which look similar to a retainer used after orthodontia. They consist of either metal springs or rubber bands. Both removable and fixed spencers are available and your dentist will recommend the most appropriate type for your child after performing a thorough checkup.

If the missing tooth is in the front of the mouth, you can request a space maintainer to be fabricated with a false tooth or teeth attached to fill the space. Consider discussing the different options available with the dentist.

Do they hurt?

Most parents worry that space maintainers placed in their kid’s mouth can cause pain, but rest assured that when you visit The Dental Roots for any procedure, they will be safe and comfortable in our capable hands.

Placing a dental space maintainer does not move or shift any teeth. The process is painless and even wearing the spacers does not cause any pain. Initially, kids may get irritated for having a new object in their mouth and may rub their tongues or cheeks against it. But they generally get used to them in some time.

How long should a dental space maintainer stay in the mouth?

Dental space maintainers can stay in the mouth until the adult teeth push the spacer out. Some spacers can also be removed manually. Metal spring space maintainers need to be removed when the adult tooth starts growing in. On the other hand, acrylic spacers are pushed out on their own by the incoming permanent teeth.

How to care for a dental space maintainer?

Below listed are some general rules for taking care of your child’s space maintainer.

  • Avoid any kind of sticky foods such as candies, taffies, fruit snacks or chewing gums.
  • Practice appropriate dental hygiene that must include regular brushing and flossing.
  • Continue dental visits every six months or more if your dentist advises.
  • Try to help your child not to push the appliance with the fingers or tongue.

Wrapping It Up

The most important thing to consider is consulting a dentist if your kid’s primary teeth begin to fall out earlier than expected. In this situation, children can highly benefit from a dental space maintainer. It is always better to be on the safe side rather than leave things to chance. If your child requires a spacer but is never fitted for one, he or she could be more likely to have braces when all of their adult teeth emerge. It is always recommended to visit a dental care clinic at least twice a year as it will help in detecting problems and prevent them before they become a bigger concern. If you are looking for a pediatric dental specialist, The Dental Roots is among the best options available for you in Gurgaon. Book an appointment today.

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