Shirley, NY dentist offers space maintainers

Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for your little one. However, when this happens too early, it can cause problems for their oral health and alignment. To prevent this space from becoming overcrowded, your Shirley, NY pediatric and orthodontic team may recommend having a space maintainer placed. This will help the permanent tooth grow properly and can make sure that your child’s orthodontic timeline stays on track.

Premature Tooth Loss Can Disrupt Alignment

Your little one’s primary teeth may begin erupting around six months to a year old. At around the age of six or so, these will begin coming out to make way for the permanent set. This is a general timeline that can vary from patient to patient. While this is a natural process, some external factors can cause them to come out too early. Problems such as tooth decay or accidents may lead to one of their pearly whites coming out prematurely. This can be harmful to their smile, as it can cause the other teeth to become misaligned as they try to take up this space. It may also make it more difficult for your child to chew and speak, which can be frustrating for them.

Determining If They Need Space Maintainers

Twice a year, you should bring your little one in to see their dentist. These checkups help maintain their oral health and detect concerns early. If a tooth is lost too soon, their dentist can help prevent further issues from occurring. One helpful way to do this is with a space maintainer. Essentially, this tool can be used to keep the area open where the tooth has been prematurely lost. This will allow the permanent one to erupt without being disturbed.

Their orthodontist may recommend this as a step in phase one treatment. This step is done before braces are used to adjust their teeth. Phase one is used to examine their alignment, create a timeline plan, and make sure that their jaw has fully developed before the truth orthodontic process can begin. By doing these initial steps, the straightening process can be shortened.

Getting Started With Braces

After the necessary phase one steps have been completed, it will be time to straighten their teeth. Traditional braces are usually used for children and teenagers instead of alternatives like Invisalign because an orthodontist monitors them. Metal brackets will be bonded to each tooth and held in place with arch wire. Every few weeks, they will come in for an adjustment and to change out the bands. This process may take around one to three years depending on the patient.

Learn More About This Today

If you are interested in space maintainers or getting started with orthodontic care, call Shirley Orthodontics and Pediatrics in Shirley, NY, at 631.399.1600.