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Dental Space Maintainers: Why Is It Necessary For Children?

sample dental space maintainers

A child may lose a tooth before adult teeth can come in. In such cases, dentists apply dental space maintainers to leave a space open. They have to create enough distance for the permanent teeth to grow in after a premature loss of the baby teeth. If you open this link, you will proceed to a dental care provider, committed and in full service for you.

Since this portion is more applicable for kids, let us first discuss how pediatric dentistry plays a vital role in your children’s oral health.


Pediatric dentists

Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry that covers dental concerns of infants up to young adults. Dentists under this dentistry encourage parents to bring their children to their clinics earlier. At an early period, it would be best to establish good oral health practices for the kids. As a result, the future of their oral health will be brighter to enjoy.


Benefits of pediatric dentistry

Here are the reasons why it is better to bring your kids to a pediatric dentist.

  1. Comfortability of kids: Pediatric dentist has undergone education about approaches for children. As a result, it is easier for them to make the kids feel at ease inside the dental clinic. Kids will become calmer and feel happy to go back to the clinic without stressing out.
  2. Specialized training: This training focuses on solutions to potential dental problems a kid can experience. Because of this specialization, they can work well with young jaws and teeth.
  3. Education about childhood habits: Common habits can cause dental issues as well, such as thumb-sucking and teeth grinding. Pediatric dentists studied these habits and can provide creative solutions to work out and remove these habits permanently.
  4. Has a full understanding of children’s growth: Changes are very typical to children. The oral health condition of young individuals can happen quickly. In this case, a pediatric dentist is the best person who can assist with your kid’s oral health condition.

Pediatric dentists have several options to address your kids’ oral health problems. They even have answers to a premature loss of a tooth. Please continue reading to know more information.


What are dental space maintainers?

Space maintainers are orthodontic appliances or devices that dentists use in pediatric dentistry. Its function is to manage the premature loss of baby teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide of the permanent teeth.

Space maintainers for children can either be removable or fixed depending on what the dentist prefers to use in your child.


Why is it necessary?

In the case of a premature loss, it leaves a space in the child’s mouth. As a result, the permanent teeth will lose their guide and could erupt incorrectly. This incorrect growth of the teeth can cause trauma, disease, overcrowding, or decay.

They use space maintainers for this reason. It does not allow permanent teeth to simply grow into that space from the tooth loss. The space maintainers will keep that space open until the right permanent tooth comes in.

If space is not maintained and the teeth grew incorrectly, your child might need to undergo orthodontic treatment. However, not every premature loss of baby teeth needs space maintainers. For example, the lost teeth are located in the front, space maintainers are no longer necessary. The space in the frontal part of the teeth will keep itself open until a permanent tooth grows back in.


Common causes why there’s a need for space maintainers

Other several reasons contribute to why a child needs to have space maintainers. We have mentioned them below.

  • little boy with tooth decayBaby tooth decay: Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of why a tooth falls off. In case the child’s teeth have decay, the dentist has to check it at the earliest possible time. This way, you can prevent the infection from spreading out to its neighboring teeth.
  • Over-retained teeth: The baby tooth already loosens, but then tightened back again into the gums. In effect, it prevents the eruption of the permanent teeth.
  • Tooth loss due to trauma: During childhood, injuries are very common. It is when children are still developing their motor skills. As a result, there is a high possibility of premature tooth loss.


Types of space maintainers

Space maintainers fall under three categories. Let us differentiate them more below.

  1. Fixed unilateral appliances: These space maintainers apply to just one side of the mouth. Two of the common kinds of this space maintainer are the band and loop maintainer, and the distal shoe.
  2. Fixed bilateral appliances: This category of space maintainers apply if there is tooth loss on both sides of the mouth. Common types f this category are transpalatal arch, lingual arch, and Nance arch.
  3. Removable appliances: These are removable partial dentures that help after a premature loss of a baby tooth. This category is best applicable if there is more than one lost tooth on either side of the mouth. Additionally, it provides esthetic support, especially if the lost tooth is located in front.


Proper care for space maintainers

To be able to keep the space maintainers in good condition, you should apply proper care to it. This way, you can make it last longer.

  • While your child has space maintainers, limit them from eating sticky sweets, popcorn, chewing gum, or other sugary foods that can loosen or stick into the appliance.
  • Prevent them from tugging or pushing on the space maintainers either using a finger or tongue.
  • Practice oral hygiene for the space maintainers by brushing or flossing to remove food particles in the teeth.
  • Conduct regular inspection of the dental space maintainers carefully. This will help you detect if there is damage.
  • A regular visit to the dentist is necessary. This will provide close monitoring of your child’s oral health. Moreover, the dentist can immediately evaluate and determine if the space maintainers are already subject to removal.



Age does not matter when it comes to oral health issues. Oral health issues can occur at any time, even at such a young age. With this in mind, choosing a trusted family dentist or a pediatric dentist is important for your child’s dental care.

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