Space Maintainers

Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are very important!  One of their most important jobs is to hold space in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow in.  

All teeth prefer to touch each other side-to-side.  If a primary tooth is lost too early, the teeth around it may shift and move to come closer together.  That movement could be permanent and could prevent other adult teeth from being able to fit! 

Any time a baby tooth is lost early, either from infection or from natural tooth exfoliation, your pediatric dental specialists will talk to you about treatments to help assure that all of the adult teeth will be able to fit in your child’s mouth.  We may decide to make a special appliance for your child.  Some appliances are “glued in” so your child cannot remove it.  Other appliances can come in and out of your child’s mouth.  Based on your child’s needs, the pediatric dentist will discuss options with you.  Some of these options include:

  • Lower lingual holding arches
  • Nance appliances
  • Trans-palatal arches
  • Band-and-loop space maintainers
  • Distal Shoe appliances
  • Removable space retainers