The Importance of Space

Lost ToothAs adults, we typically don’t want space between our teeth. Properly aligned, aesthetically pleasing teeth typically fit together in a “cozy” fashion. However, when it comes to kids’ smile, space can be good. Without it, permanent teeth may not have enough room to emerge. Many times, a children’s dental development proceeds as expected, without the need for intervention. But, sometimes, a helping hand is needed.

In Mint Hill NC, that helping hand is Dr. Bevin Malley. She’ll give your child the space needed for a happy, healthy, comfortable smile.

Adding Some Space

When a baby tooth is lost, it creates a space for its corresponding permanent tooth to emerge. Sometimes, though, the space left by the baby tooth isn’t big enough to accommodate the permanent one. Additionally, if a baby tooth is lost early – because of an accident, decay, or dental disease – it’s important to maintain that space and not let other teeth crowd it.

In these cases, a dental appliance called a space maintainer can preserve space needed for permanent teeth. (The exception is the four top front teeth. If one or more of these teeth is lost, a space maintainer isn’t needed. The space will remain open on its own.)

Types of Space Maintainers

Space maintainers can be made of acrylic and/or metal. They can be fixed in place or removable. The type of space maintainer needed depends on the location of the lost tooth/teeth, as well as the age of the child. For example, Dr. Bevin may recommend a removal space maintainer for an older child who can take responsibility for wearing it as directed and not losing it.

Customized Care

If your child needs a space maintainer, the team at Carolina Kids Dentistry will answer all of your questions and tell you and your child what to expect. A space maintainer can prevent additional dental work down the road and can be a good investment in your child’s smile.

Call today to schedule an appointment with Mint Hill pediatric dentist Dr. Malley.