shirley space maintainers for kids

Children lose their baby teeth on a specific schedule, one that allows the remaining teeth on either side to guide the permanent ones into place. But if this process is complicated, this could lead to misalignment and necessitate the use of braces to correct. However, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist can prevent misalignment with space maintainers.

The Causes of Premature Tooth Loss

For children, baby teeth will fall out periodically, and permanent teeth will arrive in their place. The baby teeth on either side will help guide the permanent ones into proper position. But sometimes, a tooth is lost too soon, and this could alter how the new teeth arrive. A main factor is tooth decay that isn’t treated in a timely manner, as this allows the decay to spread and cause an infection, one that could mean premature tooth loss. This could happen if parents incorrectly assume that since baby teeth fall out, one simply ignores the decay until the tooth is gone. Injury could also be a major factor too! Which is why we recommend mouthguards for kids playing sports or martial arts.

The Impact on the Smile

When a child loses a tooth early, this means that the gap could cause the surrounding teeth to drift, and could cause the permanent ones to erupt incorrectly. This means misalignment, with crooked, crowded, and overlapping teeth. Not only will they need orthodontic treatment in their teen years, but this could impact their self-confidence levels and increase the risk of issues like tooth decay and gingivitis, as the smile is now more difficult to brush and floss.

Space Maintainers

To prevent these complications when a tooth is lost early, we provide space maintainers. This is a unique appliance that connects to the natural teeth and keeps the space open, so teeth don’t shift positions and permanent teeth are guided into place correctly. We have unilateral options attached to one side of the mouth, or bilateral attached to both sides. They can also be fixed in place or removable. Kids need to continue to brush and floss to protect their smile as they wear them.

Once all the permanent teeth have erupted and calcified, we can then move forward with braces or aligners to complete treatment if necessary. If you have any questions about our space maintainers, or about braces and Invisalign®, then contact our team today to learn more. We strove to help smiles of all ages stay healthy and even in our community!

Schedule an Appointment With Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist

We want to help protect smiles from the impact of missing teeth! To learn more about our orthodontic treatment options, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.