Baby teeth help save space for permanent teeth and help with the normal development of jaws, bones and muscles. Some of the baby teeth are not replaced until 12-14 years of age. However, early loss of baby teeth due to dental disease or injury can result in shifting and drifting of adjacent/ opposing teeth and can cause the permanent teeth to become crowded or locked in the bone requiring extensive orthodontic or surgical intervention.
In case of early loss of baby teeth, space maintainers help save the space for permanent teeth, until they are ready to erupt.
Space maintainers are metal or plastic appliances that are custom fit to your child’s mouth. Children usually get accustomed to them in a few days.
After placement of space maintainers, it’s important
- to avoid chewing gum/sticky sweets
- to not push or tug on the space maintainers with fingers or tongue
- to regularly brush and floss
- to maintain routine recall visits