Why Premature Tooth Loss Is a Big Deal
Losing a tooth prematurely can be a traumatic experience for a child. But it can also lead to various problems in your child’s oral health.
Although your child’s first set of teeth are temporary, they play a large role in the development of the mouth. Those teeth help your child bite, chew, and speak properly. Additionally, baby teeth help guide permanent teeth into the proper position.
But if your child loses a tooth too early, it will take some time before the permanent tooth comes through. In the meantime, your child may develop problems with speech or eating habits. Additionally, without a primary tooth there to maintain the space, a nearby permanent tooth may drift and take the wrong position. This could cause a chain reaction that affects the position of other teeth, resulting in a crowded or crooked smile.
If your child loses a tooth prematurely, he or she may benefit from a special appliance known as a space maintainer.
What Is a Space Maintainer?
A space maintainer is an appliance made of metal or plastic (or a combination of both) that is used to hold a space open until the right tooth comes in.
There are two variations of space maintainers: fixed or removable.
A fixed appliance is attached to your child’s teeth using cement, so it doesn’t move. If your child is prone to play or remove with the retainer, he or she may benefit from a fixed space maintainer.
A removable appliance is similar to an orthodontic retainer. It can be easily inserted and removed from the mouth. A removable appliance may be equipped with a false tooth, which is used to temporarily replace the missing tooth.
In the cases of both fixed and removable space maintainers, we will make impressions of your child’s mouth to help us manufacture a custom-fit appliance. Your Carmichael pediatric dentist will determine how long your child should wear the appliance, which is when the new tooth is ready to erupt.
Do you think your child would benefit from a space maintainer? If so, please contact the Marconi Dental Group today to set up an appointment. A dentist will be happy to take a look and help you determine the best form of treatment for your child.