Space Maintainers

Effective Space Maintainers in Aurora, CO

Sometimes, a baby tooth falls off or is lost prematurely, leaving a gap between your child’s teeth for an extended period. This may not seem concerning at first glance, but it may eventually cause problems for the erupting tooth. Southland Smiles provides space maintainers in Aurora, CO, to help children in the community have a healthy transition from baby to permanent teeth.

What is a Space Maintainer?

A space maintainer is an oral device in pediatric dentistry designed to “maintain” the space left by a lost baby tooth. Their primary purpose is to keep neighboring teeth from moving into the gap. The space maintainer will be taken out after the permanent tooth starts to erupt because it has fulfilled its function.

Space maintainers can either be removable or fixed in the mouth and are often made out of acrylic or metal. Removable space maintainers resemble orthodontic dentures and may even feature an artificial tooth, whereas fixed space maintainers are cemented into the mouth.

Types of Space Maintainers

Southland Smiles offers several types of space maintainers in Aurora, CO, to cater to the different needs of children.

1. Unilateral – This space maintainer wraps around an existing tooth and has a loop that occupies the space left by the lost baby tooth.

2. Crown and Loop – It works like the unilateral space maintainer but uses a crown to cover the existing tooth for support instead of metal to wrap around the tooth.

3. Lingual – This is used to cover spaces left by multiple lost teeth. A metal wire will be cemented to the molars and then connected to the lower front teeth.

4. Distal Shoe – It is designed to help the first permanent molar erupt correctly. The space maintainer will be inserted into the gum line.

Problems Fixed by Space Maintainers

Space maintainers are crucial for your child’s dental health because they protect the teeth from various issues. This is because your child’s baby teeth directly influence their permanent teeth, and problems with the permanent teeth typically result from the premature loss of these primary teeth. These dental issues include the following: 

  1. Not enough room for the permanent teeth to emerge
  2. Higher chance of the permanent teeth being impacted or rupturing incorrectly
  3. Crooked, overcrowded, or overlapping permanent teeth
  4. Speech impediments
  5. Malocclusion or having improperly aligned teeth
  6. Increased requirement for orthodontic care in the future

How to Take Care of Space Maintainers

To prevent the aforementioned dental conditions from happening, your child only needs to wear a space maintainer until the permanent teeth erupt. However, you must assist your kid with space maintenance while waiting. Removable space maintainers require daily washing with mild dish soap, rinsing with lukewarm water, and routine brushing and flossing.

In addition to routine brushing and flossing, fixed space maintainers may also require specific cleaning methods, which your child’s pediatric dentist will go over with you. Furthermore, there are dietary guidelines that your child must adhere to since fixed space maintainers cannot be taken out of their mouth. Your child must avoid crunchy, chewy, sticky, firm, or sweet foods because they can harm the space maintainers or lodge under them.

Most importantly, you must tell your child not to play with the space maintainers, whether they have a fixed or removable one.

Maintain Alignment: Solutions for Growing Smiles

Space maintainers are important for your child’s dental health. Southland Smiles has experienced pediatric dentists to help you with that. We offer space maintainers in Aurora, CO, to aid with your child’s transition to permanent teeth.

Scheduling a dental appointment with Dr. Keturka is easy. Just call 720-782-8639 or click here to schedule today. We look forward to serving you and establishing excellent dental health.