maintainer is a removable or fixed appliance designed to maintain an
Space maintainers are usually
fitted in children when they have
lost baby teeth early. The gap left from losing this tooth needs to be held open
for the permanent
tooth to erupt in the correct position.
A baby tooth is sometimes lost
prematurely because of tooth decay or injury.
If this occurs before the permanent tooth is
ready to erupt the nearby teeth can shift or drift into the space where the
primary tooth use to be creating a lack of space in the jaw for the permanent
teeth. The teeth in the other jaw may also move up or down to fill in the
If this crowding happens there may
not be enough room for the new tooth to come in correctly, so it emerges
lopsided or is not able to erupt at all.
to not place a space maintainer to save this space may cause a
crowding condition which can make it
more difficult :
- To clean the teeth thus increasing your child's risk for tooth
- It can also make chewing difficult causing these teeth to
wear down more quickly.
- If left untreated, this condition may result in extensive orthodontic
space maintainer is important to hold or keep this space open for the permanent
teeth and to help guide them into position.
Surprisingly some baby
teeth are not replaced by adult teeth until a child reaches 12 or 14 years old!
The space maintainer is a small
metal device that is custom fitted to your child's mouth. It is firmly fixed in
the mouth and will be removed when the permanent tooth is in it's proper
It may consist of a band
attached to the tooth on one side of the space with a wire loop or spring
bridging the gap to the tooth on the other side. They steady the remaining
teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes it's natural
How the procedure
- A mold of
your child's mouth is taken at one appointment.
- The mold is sent to a laboratory
that makes the space maintainer.
- At the second appointment the metal
band is placed around the tooth that is behind the
- Next a loop or brace is placed that goes
over the gum where the missing tooth was and rests against
the tooth in front of this space.
- When the band is cemented on the tooth,
it prevents the teeth from moving into the space where the
missing tooth was and allows the adult tooth enough space
to grow into the proper position.
Benefits of this
|Avoid sticky sweets, popcorn, ice and or chewing
|Don't tug or push on the space maintainer with your fingers
|Keep it clean with brushing
|At night carefully clean around all
wires, bands and other areas of the appliance, as it tends
to trap food.|
| After cleaning, please inspect the
appliance carefully for damage.|
|Keep your 6 month check up
appointments to monitor oral health and to evaluate the space maintainer to
determine when it needs to be removed. |