Teeth will try to fill any space that is available. If a baby tooth comes out too early and the permanent tooth is not yet ready to erupt, the existing teeth may start to shift, move or tilt in order to fill the space. When the permanent tooth finally does come through the gums, there will be problems with crowding and possible crooked teeth that will require expensive orthodontic treatments down the road. Sometimes this treatment may even involve surgery. Space maintainers can prevent this from occurring.
Space maintainers are dental appliances that are used to hold an area in a child's mouth open
for eventual eruption of a permanent tooth. The appliance consists of a stainless steel wire and band that are cemented onto one of the teeth next to the area where the permanent tooth will come through. The use of this appliance will ensure that the proper space is preserved for the permanent tooth to come in, and that other teeth don’t develop the opportunity to move into the opening. You may want to think of space maintainers as protection against the need for braces in the future.
If your child has space maintainers in his or her mouth, you will need to see that proper dental care is practiced. Your child should avoid foods that are hard and/or sticky, such as caramels, gum or popcorn. Teeth will need to be brushed after each meal, especially those teeth where the maintainers are located. A fluoride mouthwash once a day can also help to prevent decalcification in the area of the space maintainer. If there is any problem with the wire or band, or if a tooth erupts under the wire call our Los Angeles dentist as soon as possible.