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Mind the Gap: Space Maintainers for Kids

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Baby teeth are important because they:

  • save and guard the area where the permanent tooth will erupt
  • guide the permanent tooth into position
  • help your child chew and speak
  • encourage normal jawbone and facial muscle development

SEE ALSO: The Dangers of Early Loss of Baby Teeth

How can a space maintainer help?

A space maintainer will hold open the empty space left by a lost or removed tooth. It’s made to keep the remaining teeth steady, preventing movement (drifting or tipping) until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw.

It’s unobtrusive and most children easily adjust to them after the first few days.

Space maintainers are a lot more affordable than having to correct teeth back in place with more extensive orthodontic treatments.

What are the steps for space maintainer care?

  1. Make sure your child avoids hard foods, sticky sweets or chewing gum. These can loosen the band or get caught in the wires.
  2. Don’t tug or push or try to bend the wire of the space maintainer with your fingers or tongue.
  3. Teeth should be brushed after each meal and clean the teeth with bands especially well.
  4. Continue regular visits to your dentists.

Updated: March 31, 2019

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