For Your Kids: Types of Fixed Space Maintainers

Your children’s milk teeth serve a very crucial role. They will not only help your kids get proper nutrition and develop proper speech but also guide the development of their permanent teeth. In fact, milk teeth’s primary role is to hold space on the gums until they are pushed out by permanent teeth later. However, there are times your children might lose their teeth before it is time for permanent tooth eruption.

In these instances, a kids’ dentist in Cottonwood Heights will often recommend a space maintainer. The plastic or metal space maintainer prevents the movement of teeth adjacent to the gap to fill it. This is because a shift of these teeth results in the development of crooked permanent teeth.

Here are some of the fixed space maintainers for children who lose their milk teeth prematurely.

Lingual Arch Space Maintainer

This consists of a wire placed on the lingual side of the arch and attached to the front side of the teeth adjacent to the gap on either side. Lingual arch space maintainers are indicated for unilateral loss of multiple teeth in the mandibular arch and bilateral loss of primary molars. This averts the shift of teeth backwards to fill gaps left on the gums.

Band-and-Loop Maintainer

This comprises a stainless steel wire held by a band or crown attached on the teeth near the gap in your child’s gums. The wire connects to the loop or crown and rests against the sides of the teeth on either side of the gap. Band-and-loop maintainers are indicated for loss of the primary molars and leave space between them for the eruption of permanent molars.

The importance of your kid's milk teeth

Distal Shoe Maintainer

This is used to maintain the space for a permanent molar whose eruption is delayed rather than after the premature loss of milk teeth. A distal shoe maintainer is more complicated compared to the band-and-loop and lingual arch maintainer. The end of its wire is generally inserted into the child’s gum line and thus keeps the gum space from closing. Continuous monitoring after the placement of this maintainer is essential to ensure the permanent molar erupts properly.

Nance Appliance

This maintainer is indicated for the loss of bilateral primary molars or the loss of multiple teeth on one side of the maxillary arch. A Nance appliance comprises bilateral bands linked by heavy wire. The archwire is placed on the palatal rugae and entrenched in an acrylic button, which rests on the mouth’s soft tissues. This way, the appliance does not interfere with the orientation of the mandibular and maxillary incisors.

These space maintainers seem like overkill for most parents. But they will save your children from costly future orthodontic procedures and appliances for the correction of crooked teeth and gaps in their dentition. It is, therefore, essential to get a pediatric dentist to advise you on the best treatment for your kids if they lose their milk teeth before they turn six years old. The above fixed space maintainers are easy to maintain and work better than their removable counterparts.

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