shirley space maintainer

When your child loses a tooth to injury to tooth decay, then this gap could impact the alignment of the smile. To guide smile growth and prevent complications, we may suggest a space maintainer. In today’s blog, your Shirley, NY, pediatric dentist and orthodontist talks about how space maintainers can help little smiles.

The Risks of Premature Tooth Loss

Children could lose a tooth earlier than expected for a number of reasons. For example, untreated tooth decay could lead to an infection that causes premature tooth loss. Likewise, injury to the side could be a factor as well. When teeth are lost earlier than they should be, even if they were going to fall out on their own anyway, this could alter how the permanent teeth erupt. As a result, teeth could be crooked, crowded, or overlap one another. As they grow, this misalignment could also become more severe and lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as well as embarrassment with their appearance. But we can help lower the risk of poor alignment!

The Space Maintainer

A space maintainer is a custom-fitted oral appliance that is designed to keep the areas with a missing tooth open, so the teeth don’t shift or crowd one another, and so the permanent teeth can erupt without complication. This limits the severity of misalignment until your child is old enough to wear braces or aligners to complete the process. The device could be unilateral, or attached to one side, or bilateral, and attached to both. There are also removable and fixed options, although we tend to recommend fixed. That way the device can’t be lost and the treatment progress isn’t interrupted. They’re easy to care for, kids just need to continue brushing and flossing properly. We will also monitor them with checkups every six months!

Completing Your Child’s Smile Correction

When your child reaches the teen years, we can complete the correction of the smile with either braces or clear Invisalign® aligners. We want all of the permanent teeth to erupt and the surfaces properly calcify. We can help choose the option that best addresses their uneven smiles and offers optimal results. If you have any questions about treating misalignment in childhood and the teen years, then contact our team today to learn more. There is still time to see us and use your 2022 dental benefits before they expire at the end of the month.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Shirley, NY, Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist Soon

We want to help your little ones avoid the complications, such as premature tooth loss. To learn more about treating poor alignment in little smiles, then contact Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Shirley, NY, by calling (631) 399-1600.