Space Maintainers FAQ

Why do children lose their baby teeth?

A baby tooth usually stays in until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. Unfortunately, some children lose a baby tooth too soon due to an accident or dental disease. When a tooth is lost too early, Dr. Meggan may recommend a space maintainer to prevent future space loss and dental problems.

Why all the fuss? Baby teeth eventually fall out on their own!

Baby teeth are important to your child’s present and future dental health. They encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. They save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into position. Remember: Some baby teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 years old.

What are space maintainers?

Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by a prematurely lost baby tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw. It is more affordable-and easier on your child-to keep teeth in normal position with a space maintainer than to move them back in place with orthodontic treatment. Even if Dr. Meggan recommends a space maintainer, there may be other reasons your child may require orthodontic treatment in the future.

What special care do space maintainers need?

No sticky candy or chewing gum. Inform your child not to tug or push on it with the tongue or fingers. Keep it clean with conscientious brushing and flossing. Lastly, and most importantly, continue with regular preventative dental care. When it’s time to take the space maintainer out, Dr. Meggan will remove it or if it’s loose can re-cement it.