shirley kids space maintainerWhat happens when a child loses a baby tooth prematurely? Well, this could lead to a series of complications linked to dental misalignment. To keep smiles even and healthy, then your children may need a space maintainer. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about how we ensure proper alignment.

The Impact of Premature Tooth Loss

When a baby tooth is lost too soon to tooth decay or injury, this could leave behind a gap that alters how the permanent teeth erupt. Without the baby teeth in place to guide them into proper position, misalignment could develop or the teeth could become impacted. To keep the space open and ensure the permanent teeth arrive as they should, limiting the risk of poor alignment, your child’s smile may benefit from a space maintainer.

Space Maintainers

We have a variety of different options advisable, and will choose the one that best suits your child. The unilateral ones are attached to one side of the mouth, and the bilateral ones to both sides. They can be fixed in place or removable, but we tend to recommend the fixed ones to ensure treatment isn’t interrupted by your children removing and misplacing them. Removable options will need to be removed for cleaning periodically. Your child will need to brush and floss as usual, and we will monitor the entire process with checkup and cleanings visits every six months. These will help ensure the teeth do not shift as a result of an exposed gap, and that the permanent ones erupt properly.

Continuing Dental Care

Space maintainers are an example of the first phase of orthodontics for kids. We can offer this part as young as age seven, and this helps prepare the smile for more traditional orthodontics in the future. Once all of the permanent teeth have erupted and properly calcified, we can move forward with the final phase as they enter their teen years. For some, this could include braces to finish shifting the teeth into proper position. For some, we can make these less visible with ceramic brackets. Invisalign® aligners could also be recommended for some teens, using clear and barely visible plastic aligners to correct misalignment, which can also be removed before meals or prior to brushing and flossing.

If you have any questions about either phase of our children’s orthodontics, or if you would like to schedule a visit for your little one, then contact our team today to learn more.

See Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist

We would like to help your children enjoy straighter and healthier smiles. To learn more about treating misalignment for little smiles, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.