Smiling girl with missing front teeth

Saving Space for Grown-Up Teeth

Do baby teeth matter? Aren’t they just going to fall out anyway? Baby teeth, or primary teeth, actually serve a number of important roles! One of their key functions is saving room for the permanent teeth to erupt into their proper places. If a little one loses a baby tooth early, whether from injury or tooth decay, the remaining teeth have a tendency to shift and fill in the space left behind. This can prevent the underlying permanent tooth from coming in straight, if it all, and may cause issues with teeth alignment, such as crowding.

The good news is, there’s a way to stop this from occurring: a dental space maintainer. A dental space maintainer is an appliance that maintains space so that when the permanent tooth is ready to make its debut, it has room to erupt. If you think your child needs a dental space maintainer, read on to learn more or schedule a visit with a Spring Valley dentist for kids by calling us at (202) 237-2833.

Benefits of Dental Space Maintainers

Dental space maintainers save room between two or more baby teeth in order to allow the permanent tooth (or teeth) to come in properly.

The appliance is well tolerated by kiddos and once the permanent tooth is in place, they won’t need to wear it anymore.

By guiding the eruption of grown-up teeth, space maintainers reduce the chance that a child will develop orthodontic problems, such as crowding.

How Does a Dental Space Maintainer Work?

If your child’s baby tooth falls out prematurely or needs to be extracted, Dr. Roya will examine their mouth and evaluate their needs. If the permanent tooth isn’t going to erupt in the very near future, they may recommend a dental space maintainer.

If your child does need a space maintainer, the appliance will be custom-made just for them, ensuring the perfect fit. It will be placed in the open space between the teeth on either side of the gap, preventing those teeth from drifting. We’ll keep tabs on your child’s appliance at their regular exams, and when the underlying permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the space maintainer will be removed.

Smiling boy on dental chair

Studies show that most space loss occurs in the first 4-6 months after a primary tooth is extracted.

Tooth decay is the leading cause of the early loss of baby teeth in children.

Most kids start losing their primary teeth around the age of 6.

Happy Patients, Healthy Smiles

At our fun, bright pediatric dental office in Washington, DC, we treat all of our patients like VIPs. Let’s work together to give your child the healthy, beautiful smile they deserve. Schedule a visit at Smile Valley Pediatric Dentistry today!

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