Space Maintainer FAQ
Q: What are space maintainers?
A: Space maintainers are dental appliance, usually made from metal or plastic, used to hold open the space left behind from losing a baby tooth. They set the remaining teeth, and prevent movement until the permanent teeth grow.
Q: Why do children lose their baby teeth?
A: Normally, a child loses a tooth when their adult teeth start to grow in, and loosen the teeth. However, an accident or a dental disease can make a tooth fall out prematurely. The empty space left behind, if left untreated, could lead to future dental problems.
Q: Why worry? Won’t baby teeth fall out anyway?
A: Baby teeth are critical for the dental health of children. These teeth effect the development of both the jawbones and muscles. Without these baby teeth, the adult teeth could grow in crooked or scrape other teeth. It’s important to remember that sometimes, adult teeth don’t grow in until 13 years old.
Q: What are some problems caused by lost baby teeth?
A: If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the teeth beside it could shift or move into the empty space. Plus, teeth in the opposite jaw could extend or shrink to fill the gap. This can call lead to a lack of space for permanent teeth to grow, therefore, creating to problems with the permanent teeth that could require extensive treatment.
Q: How do space maintainers help?
A: Space maintainers will hold open the empty space until the permanent tooth begins to grow. They are more comfortable for children, and easier on the wallet than certain other orthodontic treatments.
Q: Do space maintainers require special care?
A: Most orthodontists will stick with four basic rules.
1. Avoid chewing gum, or other sticky candy and snacks.
2. Do not push, pull, tug, or pick the space maintainer with tour tongue or fingers.
3. Remember to be diligent, and clean the space maintainer with brushing and flossing.
4. Continue your regular orthodontist visits, so that they can track your progress
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