Do Space Maintainers Hurt?

As a parent, your child's oral health is paramount, and understanding the various procedures and treatments available can be daunting. One question we often encounter is, "Do space maintainers hurt?" Let's dive into this topic to provide some clarity.

What are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are dental devices often recommended when a child loses a baby tooth prematurely. The primary role of this device is to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt in the correct position. Without it, adjacent teeth might drift into the empty space, leading to alignment issues later on.

The Placement Process: Is It Painful?

The process of placing a space maintainer is typically painless. Your orthodontist will take an impression of your child's mouth, which is then sent to a dental lab where the custom space maintainer is made. Once ready, the device is cemented onto the adjacent teeth. Your child might experience some discomfort as they adjust to the new appliance, but any pain should be minimal and temporary.

Adjusting to Life with a Space Maintainer

While the device itself doesn't cause pain, it may take a little time for your child to get used to it. They might experience some irritation in the cheek or tongue as it rubs against the device. However, over time, this discomfort will decrease as the mouth adjusts to the new appliance.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Space Maintainers

Proper oral hygiene is crucial when your child has a space maintainer. Regular brushing and flossing should continue, but special attention is needed to clean around the device thoroughly to prevent plaque buildup. It’s important to guide your child on how to floss effectively around the maintainer, possibly using tools like floss threaders to navigate around the wires and bands.

Additionally, it’s essential to avoid sticky or hard foods that could dislodge or damage the maintainer. Encourage your child to steer clear of candies, gum, popcorn, and nuts, which pose a risk to the integrity of the appliance.

Regular Check-ups Are Vital

Regular check-ups with your orthodontist are essential when your child has a space maintainer. These visits allow the orthodontist to monitor the progress of the incoming permanent tooth and ensure that the maintainer is still in the correct position and in good condition. It’s also an opportunity for the orthodontist to make any necessary adjustments to the maintainer and to check for any issues in oral hygiene that might affect the treatment. Consistent visits to the orthodontist contributes to the overall success of using a space maintainer and helps maintain your child's oral health.

Schedule an Appointment in Tysons Corner Today

At The McLean Orthodontist, we understand that your child's comfort is crucial during any dental procedure. Dr. Bobby Marzban and his team are committed to providing gentle, personalized care to ensure your child's experience with space maintainers is as comfortable as possible. If you have more questions or if your child needs a space maintainer, don't hesitate to reach out to us at (703) 356-8781. Schedule an appointment today, and let us guide you on the path to your child's optimal dental health.