Are Space Maintainers Safe For Kids?

Your child’s baby teeth will begin to fall out following a specific schedule. Usually, the first baby tooth falls at around age six, when the permanent teeth are ready to take their place.

However, things happen. Sometimes the child can fall and accidentally knock out one of their baby teeth prematurely. In these cases, the dentist will likely recommend adding a space maintainer

But, you may have heard that space maintainers increase the child’s risk of cavities. Continue reading this short blog post to understand if space maintainers are truly safe for your child: 

What Are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are small orthodontic appliances used to maintain the space between two baby teeth when the child has suffered premature primary tooth loss.

Losing a baby tooth before the adult teeth are ready to grow can lead to lots of issues with your child’s tooth alignment. This can affect their bite and even lead to speech difficulties, which is why many dentists will recommend adding a space maintainer. They are only left in place until the child’s permanent teeth are ready to erupt.

What Are the Different Types of Space Maintainers?

There are two types of space maintainers available:

  • Fixed - These maintainers cannot be removed. They are the most common type of maintainer, fixed through cement or bonding material;
  • Removable - These maintainers can be easily removed, and may be completed with an artificial tooth to replace the missing baby tooth.

Your Truckee pediatric dentist can help you decide which space maintainer is better suited for your child. For instance, fixed maintainers need some time to get used to them, which may mean your child will be a bit uncomfortable with them in the beginning.

Removable maintainers are more comfortable, but they require a bit more discipline so the child doesn’t remove or lose them.

Are Space Maintainers Safe for My Kids?

Space maintainers are perfectly safe for children. They are custom-made to suit the child’s size. Even the fixed ones can be perfectly comfortable.

However, space maintainers are associated with higher risks for cavities, especially fixed ones, but it’s the maintainers themselves giving the child a cavity.

With space maintainers, oral hygiene can be slightly more complicated. Parents need to make sure they properly clean the area, as food and bacteria can become stuck in between the maintainers.

However, with proper brushing, flossing, and routine dental consultations, space maintainers are nothing to worry about!

Does Your Child Need a Space Maintainer? We Can Help

If your child lost a baby tooth and might need a space maintainer, Dr. Matthew Gustafsson can help get them fitted for one and ensure their adult smile will be happy and healthy.

Book a space maintainer consultation at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry online.

Want to learn more about our pediatric dental services? Then call us at (530) 550-9311 for a short chat!

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