Space Maintainers

Improving Children’s Smile Alignment

When a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, the alignment of the permanent teeth is in jeopardy. In order to prevent misalignment and leave the space open for the adult teeth to arrive, we may recommend a space maintainer.

What are Space Maintainers?

A space maintainer is a small device made from either plastic or possibly steel that is placed where a missing tooth once stood. The device prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting, allowing a permanent tooth to erupt correctly. Some are removable and others can be fixed in place depending on your child’s need. The space maintainer will be custom-made using impressions of the teeth to ensure a comfortable and accurate fit.

Caring for a Space Maintainer

In order to protect the health of your child’s smile, we urge parents and kids to take care of their new space maintainers. Each day the child needs to brush twice, once in the morning and again before bed. We also recommend avoiding sticky or hard foods, which can become stuck or possibly even damage the device, even causing them to become loose.

When Does a Child Require Them?

We recommend them when a child loses a tooth prematurely. Common situations include tooth loss via trauma, severe decay. Infection, or health issues that cause early tooth loss.