Space Maintenance

Missing Baby Tooth and Space Maintenance

Your child should get their first full set of baby teeth at around three years old. Primary teeth enable them to eat their first solid foods and serve an especially important function as placeholders for their permanent teeth. If your child loses their baby teeth prematurely, or their permanent teeth are late in erupting, Smile Time Kids may recommend space maintainers to support their mouth until the gaps are filled naturally with their permanent teeth.

Most children start to lose their baby teeth by the time they are 6 or 7, but every child is different. Some children lose teeth earlier than they are supposed to because of illnesses, accidents, decay, or other injuries. Although losing teeth early might not seem like a serious problem, complications can occur if the baby teeth are not in place for as long as they should be.

The entire staff at Smile Time Kids LOVES children. We enjoy their budding personalities and their constant search for answers. We are a compassionate, caring, and patient team when working with your child. Their young smiles are important to us. Call us today at 765-373-3100 with any questions you have regarding your child or stop by Smile Time Kids at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN, 47374.

Proper Care for Your Child’s Space Maintainer

It will take time for your child to adapt to wearing a device. During this time, we will keep an eye on oral hygiene, jaw growth, and permanent teeth progression. The maintainer may need adjustment periodically and requires immediate attention if it gets damaged.

Your child will need to brush twice daily and floss between their teeth once a day. They should avoid chewing gum, biting hard candy and fruits, and pushing or pulling the device with their fingers.

Implications for your child if a baby Tooth Falls Out Early

Baby teeth play the crucial role of holding a space available for incoming permanent teeth. Unfortunately, if baby teeth fall out early, the other teeth might shift or spread differently, which could leave the permanent tooth without a place to go. Complications stemming from inadequate dental space can include:

  • Drifting- When teeth go missing, the other teeth make up for the void by drifting into the space. This can create ineffective bite pattern with gaps, which can also affect your growing child’s self-esteem because of an irregular smile.
  • Tipping Teeth- Inadequate space might also cause the teeth to “tip” as they enter through the gum line, creating crooked permanent teeth that are more susceptible to uneven wear and cracks.
  • Arch Issues- A crowded smile can cause arch or midline issues, making future orthodontic work much more difficult.
  • Dental Impactions- Teeth that do not have the necessary space waiting for them can become impacted near the jawbone, which can be painful for your child or cause infections, as well as affecting nearby teeth.

Why You Should Consider a Dental Space Maintainer

Regardless of why your child has a missing primary tooth, it is important to consider a space maintainer to ensure that as they develop permanent teeth they erupt naturally in the correct locations. If one primary tooth is missing for more than a short period, the child risks other teeth becoming loose because they are not properly supported. When this happens, the loose teeth can move into the spaces intended for other teeth. This affects permanent teeth when they erupt by guiding them into incorrect positions. Suppose your child loses primary teeth to make way for permanent ones that will erupt shortly. In that case, it might not be necessary to fit maintainers. However, if permanent teeth are some time away, Smile Time Kids might recommend a space maintainer as a suitable solution.

To ward off these kinds of problems, Smile Time Kids often will recommend a space maintainer to prevent future orthodontic problems. Space maintainers are designed to hold open the area where the tooth has been lost, allowing permanent teeth to emerge naturally and comfortably.

Make an Appointment for Your Child Today!

Smile Time Kids would like to share the recommendations of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. They suggest bringing your child in for their first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts or by the time your child is one, whichever occurs first. We will work with your child and treat them like family. We love happy and healthy children. Afterwards, children should visit at normal intervals just like you would schedule your own dental checkups. Call 765-373-3100 today to make an appointment with Smile Time Kids. Our office is located at 1002 Oak Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Let us keep your child healthy together.