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A space maintainer is a unique appliance created specifically for children who have not yet gotten all their permanent teeth and who have lost a baby tooth before it was ready to come out. When there is a premature gap in a child’s mouth, the adult tooth may erupt in the wrong place or at a bad angle.

When other teeth are prepared to erupt, they might not be able to find the space to do so. All this can cause a serious bite misalignment. A space maintainer can stop this problem before it starts, literally maintaining the space left by your child’s missing tooth until the adult tooth is ready to erupt.

There are two categories of space maintainers to choose from: removable or fixed. The removable appliance is formed out of acrylic and an artificial tooth which is placed over the gap. This kind of appliance tends be a better option for an older, more responsible child who is able to remove the appliance on his or her own and clean it twice a day.

A fixed maintainer is glued to the mouth with a safe and strong dental cement and is locked down using bilateral appliances made of stainless steel wire connecting to neighboring teeth. Depending on the placement of the lost tooth in your child’s mouth, there are a variety of fixed space maintainers. Ask Dr. Joseph Basile for further details.

Adjusting to the device may take some time. You may want to pay extra attention to your child’s oral hygiene routine as well, as the device can make it both more complex and more crucial to clean the mouth.

If you have any queries about space maintainers, please phone Orthodontic Specialists, P.A. in Lakeville, Minnesota at 952-469-6760.