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Space Maintenance
Peachtree Corners, GA

  <br title='b11'>Pediatric space maintainerYour child's baby teeth play an important role in the healthy development of their adult teeth, and their jaw. Baby teeth play a role in your child learning to take bites of new foods, chew those foods, and learn to speak with clarity.

These baby teeth also play a role in guiding the growing permanent adult teeth into the right position. One of the primary functions of baby teeth is to reserve the space in the mouth that the adult teeth need when they begin to grow in.

What is Space Maintenance?

An injury to the tooth or decay may lead to the premature loss of a baby tooth. The resulting gap could lead the teeth on either side of the gap drifting into the vacated space. This may lead to adult teeth erupting in the incorrect position, or even potentially being completely blocked.

At Southern Family Dental Care we offer a preventive dentistry solution for our Peachtree Corners, GA area patients, with a space maintainer.

The Importance of Space Maintenance

Baby teeth do more than just allow young children to eat solid food. They also help create proper spacing for adult teeth and help the jaw and muscles of the mouth to develop properly. Without these teeth, your child's adult teeth may not necessarily be aligned like they should be.

The loss of one baby tooth can affect those around it, as well. The teeth on either side of the now empty space can shift, leading to the adult teeth under them to come in incorrectly, or potentially be blocked. If this continues for several years, a number of your child's teeth may become misaligned.

These may seem like small problems when your child is young, but if not tended to, can cause additional problems in the future. Typically, children begin to lose their baby teeth at around the age of six. Premature tooth loss can be the start of oral health problems that progress into adulthood.

Space Maintainer Device: Preserving Gaps

Understanding Space Maintainers

The space maintainer is also known as a space maintenance appliance. This device can be made from plastic, metal, or a combination of each. Space maintainers may be fixed, or they may be removable. They are designed with the goal of helping children to develop a normal and healthy bite.

They can also potentially help children to avoid needing additional orthodontic treatment later on. Each space maintainer is custom made, to ensure that the child gets a comfortable fit.

Types of Space Maintainer Devices

There are removable space maintainers and fixed space maintainers. Closely resembling an orthodontic retainer, the removable space maintainer appliance is considered to be a good option for children who are older. Older children are typically able to responsibly care for their dental appliances.

As the name would indicate, the fixed space maintainer is affixed to the teeth. It will be cemented onto the healthy teeth that are adjacent to the gap that was left when the tooth was lost. There are a number of designs in space maintainers, each providing its own benefits for the young patient.

The fixed space maintainer is the recommended solution for younger children who may not be ready for the responsibility of taking care of a removable dental appliance. Fixed appliances are also somewhat more durable than their removable counterparts.

Benefits of Space Maintenance

Premature loss of baby teeth can be the result of genetics, tooth decay, or an accident that caused the tooth to be knocked out, or come out, early.

Leaving the gap in between the teeth can cause unwanted tooth decay and cavities. This open space will also be taken up by nearby teeth, not allowing room for the adult teeth to come in as they should. A space maintainer helps prevent orthodontic Issues and maintain proper teeth alignment.

Space Maintenance for Children

When is Space Maintenance Needed?

Not every child who loses a baby tooth, or loses a baby tooth early, will need a spacer. When these teeth become loose and fall out on their own, no space maintainers are needed because the adult teeth are ready to erupt. If a child has already lost some baby teeth naturally, they may also not need a maintainer since it is likely they will lose the rest of their primary teeth soon.

However, children who are fairly young, especially those under four years old, may still have several years or more before their adult teeth start to come in. They are good candidates for spacers. Overall, however, we will need to examine your child's teeth and take their overall oral health into consideration before we can determine if they will need a space maintainer or not.

Then we can discuss and create the best and most appropriate treatment plan for them and their particular needs.

Caring for Space Maintainers

When the appliance is fitted, our dentist will discuss the best ways to clean the dental appliance.

Keep in mind that while wearing the space maintainer, it is important that your child avoid sugary and sticky foods. Foods that are on the chewier side or hard candies can also potentially damage the space maintainer.

Space Maintenance Procedure

One of the most important jobs that baby teeth have is to simply exist in your child's mouth! By taking up that space, they save room for the adult teeth that will come in later in life.

When that space isn't filled, then your child is at risk of teeth coming in wrong, creating the possibility of misalignment, crookedness, and overcrowding.

Space maintenance solves this problem and is a technique used after a tooth extraction. We place a prosthetic where the missing tooth was, and it will stay there until the new tooth comes in or when the surrounding teeth become loose.

Aftercare for Space Maintainers

Regular Check-ups and Adjustments

As always, the best thing that can be done is come in for regular check-ups so we can monitor the progress of the maintainers and ensure that your child's permanent teeth are coming in as planned.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Space Maintainers

Space maintainers are very easy to maintain. There is no extra care required, just regular brushing and flossing like you would with the rest of your child's teeth.

If for some reason the maintainer begins to cause irritation on the gums or comes loose, simply call our office and we can schedule an appointment to have you and your child come in to see us and have it adjusted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will My Child Experience Discomfort with a Space Maintainer?

It can take some time for the child to get comfortable with the space maintainer appliance in their mouth. This is often the case of whether the appliance is removable or fixed.

How Long Should a Space Maintainer Be Worn?

The length of time that the space maintainer needs to be worn will vary between patients. The space maintainer will need to be kept in place until x-rays are able to demonstrate that the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. This is true whether the space maintainer is fixed or removable.

Can Adults Benefit from Space Maintainers Too?

Adults can get space maintainers too. They may have restorative dentistry needs to support a missing tooth in cases where one has fallen out or been removed.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

If we decide your child needs a space maintainer, we will go over everything related to care of the maintainer and proper use of it with you and your child. If you have any questions after that, you can always call Southern Family Dental Care at 470-410-9774. Do not hesitate to call to make an appointment if the maintainer appears damaged or if it becomes uncomfortable for your child to eat.


3961 Holcomb Bridge Rd Suite 100
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092




Mon - Thur: 7 am - 4 pm
Fri, Sat, & Sun: Closed

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Space Maintenance - Peachtree Corners, GA • Southern Family
Prevent misalignment in your child's smile with Space Maintenance. Learn about our customized solutions in Peachtree Corners, GA. Schedule today.
Southern Family Dental Care - Clint Baugham DDS, 3961 Holcomb Bridge Rd. Suite 100, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 • 470-410-9774 • • 5/17/2024 • Tags: dentist Peachtree Corners GA •