What Are Space Maintainers?
Space maintainers are an orthodontic treatment used when a primary tooth is lost prematurely due to an accident, dental trauma, or tooth decay. The maintainers help guide the permanent tooth into the correct position and prevent other teeth from shifting out of their alignment.
Sometimes, your child may need a space maintainer to preserve the space for an adult tooth that hasn't yet erupted. Other times, a space maintainer may be required to prevent neighboring teeth from shifting toward a gap.
At The McLean Orthodontist, we will evaluate your child's mouth and recommend the best type of space maintainer for their dental needs. Depending on your child's age, different space maintainers may be used.
What Are The Benefits Of Space Maintainers?
Preserves Your Child's Smile
The space created by the lost tooth allows remaining teeth to drift into it and cause problems with surrounding teeth and the jaw's alignment. With a space maintainer in place, other teeth are discouraged from drifting into that area. Space maintainers can prevent your child's gapped smile from becoming crooked. This helps preserve their pleasant expression and keeps them smiling brightly.
Avoid Unexpected Tooth Loss
Space maintainers ensure each tooth is appropriately placed, reducing the risk of unexpected tooth loss as they grow.
Prevents Crowded Teeth
With a space maintainer, baby teeth can stay in the proper place while adult teeth take their designated spots without crowding each other or other baby teeth.
Improves Eating Habits
Crowded or misaligned teeth make it difficult for your child to chew food appropriately. This may lead to jaw problems that arise over time. Installing space maintainers makes it easier for children to chew and improve their eating habits in the long run.
How long do space maintainers last?
Space maintainers usually last between one and two years or until the adult teeth erupt. Some may need to be replaced sooner if the child has many erupting permanent teeth, but most are designed to last for a few years.
Are space maintainers always necessary?
Space maintainers aren't always necessary, but in many cases, they can help manage crowding issues as adult teeth come in. Dr. Bobby Marzban will assess each situation and determine if a space maintainer is needed.
Is my child a good candidate for a space maintainer?
The McLean Orthodontist is the perfect place to determine if your child is a good candidate for a space maintainer. Dr. Bobby Marzban provides friendly and knowledgeable care for his patients and can answer any questions about space maintainers and how they can benefit your child's smile. If you have questions or want more information, please call us today at (703) 356-8781!
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so don't hesitate to contact us online or call (703) 356-8781 and schedule a consultation today.
Expanders are common orthodontic appliances that widen a child’s jaw during the growth of the bones and cartilage, making it spacious enough for adult teeth. Expanders are available for the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. They have a mini-screw attached to them that you can turn using a special key to gradually widen the jaw and the dental arch. Most children who get expanders don’t report pain, and if there is any discomfort, it is tolerable. We offer 3D printed expanders with greater accuracy, easier placement, and less chair time.
It may feel like it’s too early to seek orthodontic evaluation for your child, but the American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation by age 7. Patients this young do not always need orthodontic intervention yet, but if there are issues that could worsen (and we can prevent them), getting started with braces early has the potential to prevent further more problems down the line.
Habit appliances are small devices we can use to help your child stop a potentially damaging habit—such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting—before it causes issues for their bite or alignment. Often made of metal, these devices resemble small retainers that are worn for a short amount of time to break these habits and help prevent further treatment down the line.
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