Space Maintainers: Protecting Your Child’s Dental Health and Smile

Space Maintainers: Protecting Your Child’s Dental Health and Smile

Jul 01, 2023

What are Space Maintainers for Children?

A space maintainer is a simple device that helps to preserve the spaces between your child’s teeth. These devices are typically recommended when a primary tooth is lost too early or needs to be extracted due to decay or injury. The surrounding teeth may shift without a space maintainer, leading to misaligned or crowded teeth. This can affect the appearance of your child’s smile and cause problems with their bite and chewing ability.

By using space maintainers in Scarsdale, NY, parents can ensure that their children’s dental health is well-maintained. Space maintainers come in various types, including removable and fixed options, and are custom-made for each child.

They come in two versions– removable and fixed. A removable space maintainer resembles a retainer and can be taken out for cleaning, while a fixed space maintainer is cemented into place by a dentist.

Fixed space maintainers are preferred over removable ones as they offer better results and reduce the risk of loss or damage. They are also more convenient for parents who don’t worry about their child losing or forgetting to wear the device.

How do Space Maintainers Work?

When a tooth is missing, there is space left behind that can cause adjacent teeth to shift or tilt, affecting the bite and alignment of the teeth. Space maintainers prevent this from happening by keeping the surrounding teeth in their proper position until permanent teeth emerge.

The metal wire of a space maintainer is carefully placed and attached to the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap. The wire sits flush against the dental arches and applies gentle pressure to hold the remaining teeth in their correct positions.

This allows enough room for new teeth to grow without interference from neighboring teeth that may have shifted into the space.

If your child has lost one or more baby teeth earlier than expected or has had to undergo primary teeth extraction, consider discussing the option of a space maintainer with a pediatric dentist near you.

Care and Maintenance of a Space Maintainer

A space maintainer is a device to keep the spaces between teeth open after a child prematurely loses a tooth. This ensures that the permanent teeth have enough room to grow into their proper position.

Children should brush twice daily, ensuring they clean all surfaces of their teeth, including the areas around the space maintainer. Parents can also assist younger children in cleaning hard-to-reach places and ensuring their child brushes for at least two minutes each time.

Flossing tips for children with space maintainers are equally important. A floss threader can help get the floss under the device. Alternatively, interdental brushes or water flossers may be effective as well. Regular dental check-ups will also help ensure that the space maintainer is still functioning correctly and firmly in place.

Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Using a Space Maintainer

A space maintainer can be essential in maintaining a child’s oral health, but it is important to use and maintain it properly. Improper use of a space maintainer can lead to discomfort, irritation, or even damage to the teeth and gums. One common mistake is not cleaning the appliance correctly. This can result in plaque and bacteria buildup, leading to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.

To avoid these problems, children should brush their teeth twice daily, paying close attention to the areas around the space maintainer.

Regular dental check-ups are equally important in maintaining proper oral health with a space maintainer. A dentist in Scarsdale, NY, will ensure that the appliance still functions correctly and remains firmly in place. While a space maintainer can be valuable in preserving your child’s dental health, it must be used and maintained properly to prevent potential issues.


Space maintainers are an important dental appliance that can help prevent future orthodontic problems for your child. You can avoid more invasive and costly procedures by keeping the necessary space in your mouth. Visit Smile Scarsdale for more information about space maintainers.

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