Who Is A Good Candidate For A Space Maintainer?

When a child loses his or her baby teeth early, then the space that remains can close in before the permanent teeth come in. To prevent such an occurrence, dentists install dental space maintainers in such children. However, not every child is a good candidate for this treatment:

Has Lost Other Teeth Apart From the Upper Four Front Ones

Space maintainers are needed to keep the void caused by a missing tooth from closing in. The holder takes the place of the missing teeth so that the permanent teeth can erupt without a problem. For the four upper front teeth, however, there is no risk of the space closing. Dental spaces in this part of the teeth stay open until the permanent teeth, so the child doesn't need maintainers here.

Goes For Regular Dental Checkups

There is a risk of the child's gums growing over the wire arm. Such growth increases the risks of infection in that part of the gum. A dentist will need to perform a minor surgical operation to remove that part of the gum. For a child that doesn't see the dentist regularly, the risk increases because the caregiver may not notice when this growth is starting to take place. Therefore, only children with regular dental checkups are suitable candidates for space maintainers.

Has Impeccable Oral Hygiene

Although there aren't any special dental care techniques for space holders, the child still needs to care for his or her oral health. The maintainer is likely to trap more debris, such as food particles, than the natural teeth would. Regular brushing with special attention to the area around the holder is especially necessary. Therefore, a young child may not benefit much from a place holder if you aren't around to help him with his oral care.

Doesn't Have a Disease that Affects Breathing or Swallowing

Generally, your child will not benefit much from a space maintainer if it becomes loose or breaks. The loose device may cause oral irritation and cause further damage. Therefore, it isn't advisable to get the dental place holder on a child with a disease that affects swallowing or breathing, such as myasthenia. Such a disease increases the likelihood of the maintainer getting loose or breaking.

Talk to your dentist before deciding on whether to get a space maintainer for your child. The dentist may also advice you against the dental device if your child is older and about to get his or her permanent teeth. To learn more, contact a company like Village Family Dental with any questions you have.