Orange City and Deltona, FL
Did you know that if a child prematurely loses his or her baby teeth, it can have a negative impact on their dental health? Primary teeth fall out naturally when their permanent replacements are ready to emerge from the gum line, but if a child loses a baby tooth ahead of schedule, this can cause their other primary teeth to shift into the open space. This may cause the permanent tooth to become impacted when it erupts, or lead the permanent teeth to erupt crooked, affecting bite alignment, as well as aesthetics.
If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, your Orange City family dentist Dr. Terry Soule can make sure plenty of room remains for the permanent tooth to emerge by installing a space maintainer.
What is a space maintainer, and why is it important?
Also known as a space saver, a space maintainer literally fills the open area in the mouth where a lost primary tooth previously resided. Once installed, a space maintainer prevents other teeth from shifting and leaves room for the permanent tooth to emerge.
Terry Soule, DDS, offers two varieties of space maintainers:
- Removable: This is an oral appliance that looks similar to the retainer that patients receive after completing orthodontic treatment. This retainer may include a false tooth, for premature teeth that were lost in visible areas of the mouth. This type of space maintainer is recommended for visually prominent teeth, or for older children who are more likely to care responsibly for their retainer.
- Fixed: A fixed space maintainer is bonded onto the adjacent remaining teeth and remains in that gap until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge from the gum line. A fixed space maintainer is more durable and can be made in several different designs to best accommodate your child’s oral health needs.
No space maintainer is intended to be permanent. We will remove a fixed space maintainer when the permanent tooth is near eruption, or when the adjacent primary teeth start to become loose.
What can my child expect when receiving a space maintainer?
Any space maintainer installation at Terry Soule, DDS, starts by taking impressions of your child’s mouth. These impressions are used as a model to construct the space maintainer so that the alignment of your child’s bite is maintained. Once we install the space maintainer, we will show you and your child how to care for it.
If your child receives a space maintainer, keeping a good regimen of dental hygiene is vital, as bacteria and plaque can accumulate on the perimeter of the space maintainer, threatening the adjacent teeth. Continue to brush and floss your child’s teeth daily, and also visit Dr. Soule every six months for a cleaning and an examination of their teeth and mouth. You also should minimize your child’s consumption of sugary foods, especially those that are sticky or chewy.
Space Maintainers for Children in Orange City
If you have any questions about space maintainers or any of the other treatments offered as part of our pediatric dental program, please call (386) 775-1552 to schedule a consultation.
Terry Soule, DDS, offers comprehensive dental care to patients in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City.