Space Maintainers

A young boy is smiling while receiving treatment at the dentist.

Protect Your Child’s Smile with a Space Maintainer

Did you know that 57 percent of Americans cover their mouths when they smile? In addition to this, one of every two Americans prefers to smile with their mouth closed. You’ve probably already guessed the reason: they’re insecure about their teeth. Thankfully, we provide parents the option to prevent their children’s teeth from becoming crowded and crooked that may lead to insecurity. Yummy Dental & Orthodontics For Kids is proud to specialize in dentistry for kids in Chicago.

From Baby Teeth to Adult Teeth

Baby teeth may not be helpful when it comes to speaking properly or chewing, but they do have other big responsibilities. Perhaps chief among them is the fact that baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth to come in when children reach their adolescent years.

Unfortunately, injury, disease and early onset of cavities can cause a child’s teeth to fall out early or be removed by a kid’s dentist. When this happens, permanent teeth no longer have placeholders to guide them into the correct position. This may lead to crowded or crooked teeth.

What You Can Do About It

Fortunately, a children’s orthodontist can use a device called a space maintainer to hold the space a baby tooth would until the adult teeth come in. This device is custom-made after taking dental impressions. Space maintainer devices are made of metal and/or plastic and can be fixed or removable. They are worn until X-rays reveal that the permanent teeth are ready to erupt.

Fixed Space Maintainer Devices

If preferred, a pediatric dentist can cement space maintainers onto adjacent teeth. These are available in many different designs, but virtually all of them include latching on to a nearby tooth. Fixed devices are preferred for younger children because they are less easy to fidget with, break, or misplace than appliances that can be removed.

Removable Space Maintainer Devices

For older and more responsible children, we recommend the removable space maintainers. These are designed like retainers, but also include a false tooth. The false tooth also makes this a great alternative for children who lost a visible baby tooth.

Contact Your Chicago Pediatric Dentist Today!

If your child has lost some baby teeth or there were some that never grew in at all, don’t procrastinate. Contact us by phone or email to schedule an appointment. We serve the greater Chicago area, including Northbrook, Highland Park, Winnetka, and Logan Square.