Losing milk teeth and eruption of permanent teeth is like the rite of passage of growing up for children.
But losing milk teeth earlier than intended is not ideal. The space created does not stay as it is on its own.
Space maintainers are the answer in this situation.
Space maintainers are the devices that maintain the space made available due to early loss of milk teeth.
Why would someone lose milk teeth?
Early loss of milk teeth maybe due to various reasons like :
- Advanced dental caries
- Advanced infection
- Not taking dental treatment in time
- Financial reasons
Wondering what would happen if space maintainer isn’t applied?
In absence of space maintainers –
- Neighboring teeth shift into the space available
- There is no or little left for permanent teeth
- Crowding in future
- Loss of bite
It is important to apply a space maintainer as soon as the wound of the milk tooth has healed. This prevents future problems. The space maintainer is kept until the permanent tooth starts its eruption. It is then easily removed and the permanent tooth is let to erupt in proper place.
Space maintainers are of many types like :
1.Removable space maintainers –
Removable space maintainers are recommended when front teeth are lost early. It is removable, serves the purpose of maintaining the space and also gives good aesthetics. So the child doesn’t have to live with a gap in the smile.
2.Fixed space maintainers –
- Unilateral – these space maintainers are recommended when one or more milk teeth are lost only on one side.
- Bilateral – these space maintainers are recommended when one or more milk teeth are lost on both sides.
It is essential to take care of milk teeth till it is time for them to fall off.
But don’t let early loss of milk teeth become early loss of smile.
Space maintainers are the smile saviors.