Space maintainers are essential for keeping the proper spacing between the teeth if your child loses a tooth early. When there is a gap in our teeth, there is a tendency to want to take up that space and the other teeth tend to shift until there is no room for an adult tooth to move in. Space maintainers help preserve proper distance between your child’s teeth so that when their adult teeth grow in, they have adequate space.
Let’s look at the two types of space maintainers that may be right for you.
Unilateral maintainers: These band and loop maintainers are ideal if your child loses their primary 1st molar early.
Bilateral space maintainers: These are space-holding appliances that can preserve the space for prematurely lost primary teeth until the permanent teeth have erupted, such as the lower lingual holding arch and the Nance button.
If your child loses a tooth and does not get a space maintainer the result will likely be crowding of their permanent teeth. In cases of severe crowding, permanent teeth may need to be removed in order to make sure there is enough room for proper alignment. If space is lost, it often cannot be regained without removing permanent teeth. Another consequence of not maintaining space is impaction and the impacted teeth may need to be removed or surgically exposed.
Ensure your child's bright smile by getting a space maintainer today to prevent crowding and the potential for removal of permanent teeth or surgical exposure.