Shirley, NY, dentist offers space maintainers for kids

While losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for your child, losing them too early can cause problems. Without intervention, this can lengthen the orthodontic process. Luckily, your team at Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatrics in NY can help if this happens with a space maintainer. This can be used to promote proper growth of the adult teeth when they are ready and prevent misalignment.

When Should Baby Teeth Be Lost?

Your child’s first tooth should grow around the age of six months to a year old. Once it grows in, they can come in for their first dental checkup. Around three years old, their full set of primary teeth should be developed. This may vary between each child, and your dentist will track the growth of their dentition during biannual checkups. Then, from the ages of around six to twelve, they will begin losing their primary teeth as the permanent ones erupt. During this time, it is important to not pull out loose teeth and let the process happen naturally. If a tooth has come out too soon, it can cause problems and may disrupt your alignment. This may happen due to an accident, such as knocking it out.

The Purpose Of Space Maintainers

Space maintainers are exactly what they sound like. They are a tool used to hold the area where a tooth has been lost prematurely. This helps ensure that the other teeth do not shift out of place and disrupt the permanent one as it grows in. They can be fixed or removable, but we recommend fixed so that it does not accidentally come out. When the adult tooth erupts, the space maintainer will come out as well. Your child can brush and floss their teeth as usual and should continue seeing the dentist for checkups.

Beginning Phase One Treatment

Phase one orthodontic treatment helps ensure that any potential problems can be corrected before your little one begins braces. You can bring your child in for their first orthodontic consultation around the age of seven years old. During this appointment, the dentist will take X-rays and create the treatment plan for them. Then, corrective treatments can begin. Space maintainers, retainers, and other tools may be utilized to ensure that their grow develops properly, and their oral cavity has enough space to shift teeth into the proper position.

Finally, the second phase of the orthodontic treatment can begin. This is when braces will be added. Traditional braces are recommended for younger patients. However, if you are an adult seeking treatment, you can ask about clear braces or Invisalign for a more discreet option.

Does Your Child Need A Space Maintainer?

Talk to our team at Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatrics at 631.399.1600 to schedule an appointment.