Space MaintainersReston, VA
Space maintainers are orthodontic devices that hold space open for permanent teeth. While it can be exciting for children to lose a tooth, problems can occur if it happens too early. Our team provides space maintainers to prevent these issues and help permanent teeth grow straight and even.
We provide space maintainers at Precision Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry in Reston and the surrounding area. Our team can protect your child's smile. Call us today at (703) 783-1489 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
When Space Maintainers Are Needed
Baby teeth play an important role in children, not only in their speech, chewing, and appearance but also in guiding the proper eruption of permanent teeth. If the baby tooth was lost too early, the remaining teeth might shift to fill the gap and cause permanent teeth to grow crooked or impacted. As a result, children with crooked and crooked teeth may require more extensive orthodontic intervention in the future.
Space maintainers can help prevent dental problems linked to misaligned teeth. These devices allow teeth to erupt properly, which is beneficial to oral health since crooked or crowded teeth are harder to clean and more prone to decay. Taking this early step can also help children reduce the time under orthodontic treatment or reduce the need for complex orthodontic treatment later.
“These devices allow teeth to erupt properly, which is beneficial to oral health since crooked or crowded teeth are harder to clean and more prone to decay.”
Types of Space Maintainers
There are three categories of space maintainers, fixed unilateral, fixed bilateral, and removable appliances. Fixed unilateral appliances go on one side of a child's mouth. These devices cement to a tooth with a loop or wire to preserve the space. Fixed bilateral appliances are appropriate for children who have prematurely lost teeth on both sides of the mouth. They may bridge the roof of their mouth or fit against the backs of their teeth. This type of space maintainer is usually a less visible option.
Removable space maintainers look like a retainer with artificial teeth to fill in space or spaces that need to stay open. They are usually necessary if more than one tooth is missing on either side of the child’s mouth. Some children may also receive them for aesthetic reasons, such as when their front teeth are missing. Children can remove this appliance to eat, drink or brush their teeth.
“There are three categories of space maintainers, fixed unilateral, fixed bilateral, and removable appliances.”
Choosing the Right Appliance
Measurements, X-rays, and impressions will help determine the right type of space maintainer for a child. Our team will discuss the possible options with the child’s parents. While a removable space maintainer can be convenient, some children may not have enough discipline to wear them every day. If a child does not keep the space maintainer in place for enough time, it may not be effective.
While compliance is not an issue for permanent space maintainers, they also have some challenges. Patients with permanent appliances will need to avoid certain foods. Chewing gum, sticky candies, and hard foods can damage the appliance. Children must also be diligent about cleaning their space maintainers each day. Our team will help each child choose the right space maintainer for their needs for optimal results.
“While a removable space maintainer can be convenient, some children may not have enough discipline to wear them every day.”
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Risks and Considerations
Space maintainers are safe for most children, but they are not right for everyone. Special needs children and children with swallowing or breathing issues may have trouble with these appliances. Children with sensory issues may also want to consider other options since they can find space maintainers distressing.
Another risk associated with using a space maintainer is oral hygiene. Children with poor oral hygiene can develop inflamed gums. This inflammation can grow around the space maintainer and increase the risk of tooth decay. Our team can help determine whether a space maintainer is a good option for a patient’s needs.
“Space maintainers are safe for most children, but they are not right for everyone.”
Questions Answered on This Page
Q. When are space maintainers needed?
Q. What types of space maintainers are available?
Q. What kind of space maintainer does my child need?
Q. What are the risks associated with space maintainers?
Dental Care with Space Maintainers
Children with space maintainers must keep up with their dental care. Children should receive regular dental check-ups to make sure that they are maintaining good oral health. Neglecting oral hygiene while wearing space maintainers can result in dental problems and increase the risk of complications.
While space maintainers are not difficult to clean, children must be diligent with their oral hygiene routines. Space maintainers can catch extra debris and bacteria, so it is crucial to brush twice a day and floss daily to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Daily brushing and flossing will help keep space maintainers clean and help prevent gum problems.
“If your child neglects their oral hygiene, problems can develop.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a space maintainer?
A. Space maintainers are orthodontic devices that are necessary when a child loses a baby tooth early. They keep the gap open so that the permanent tooth can shift into place. Without a space maintainer, a child may develop crowded or crooked teeth.
Q. Does my child need a space maintainer?
A. Not all children need space maintainers. Often, children lose their baby teeth right before the permanent teeth appear. In these cases, space maintainers are not necessary. Our team can help decide whether a child is a candidate for space maintainers.
Q. How are space maintainers inserted?
A. Our team begins the process by taking measurements or impressions. There are removable or fixed space maintainers. Fixed appliances are attached to one or more teeth, while removable appliances work like retainers.
Q. What kind of at-home care is needed?
A. Good oral hygiene is important with a space maintainer. This appliance can trap food particles against the teeth and gums. Children should brush and floss diligently and avoid sticky foods and candies. Parents should encourage their children not to play with their space maintainers. Pushing or pulling on the device can cause it to break.
Q. When will the space maintainer be removed?
A. Once the permanent tooth is ready to shift into place, we will remove the fixed space maintainer. If a child has a removable appliance, they can simply stop wearing it. Our team will let parents know when their child no longer needs their space maintainer.
Get the Care Your Family Deserves
By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
Call Us Today
Space maintainers can help your child develop a healthy smile. Our team at Precision Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry provides children with the dental care they need to maintain their oral health. Call us today at 703-783-1489 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
If you live in the Reston area, call 703-783-1489 for an appointment in our Reston office.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2021
About our business, license, and website security
- Precision Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry was established in 2017.
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- We serve patients from the following counties: Fairfax County and Loudoun County
- We serve patients from the following cities: Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, Chantilly, Great Falls, Oakton, Vienna, Centreville and Tysons Corner
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