What are space maintainers?
Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that are custom fit to your child's mouth. They are small and unobtrusive in appearance. Most children adjust to them easily after a few days.
How does a space maintainer help?
Space maintainers hold open an empty space after a tooth is prematurely lost. They steady remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth erupts. It is much easier on the child to maintain an empty space then to go back after tooth has erupted and move it back with orthodontic treatment.
Why does my child need a space maintainer?
If a primary tooth is lost too soon the teeth next to it may tilt or move into the empty space. This creates a lack of room for permanent teeth to come in. The result will be crowded and/or crooked teeth requiring extensive orthodontics.