There are many ways to create your beautiful smile, and your Salem OR orthodontist, Dr. Castilla, can determine which is best for you. For pediatric patients, an important orthodontic step may be the use of a space maintainer.
Why a space maintainer?
Kids start to lose their first set of teeth, called deciduous teeth, about the age of 6. As these “baby” teeth fall out, they make room for a child’s permanent teeth to take up residence in the mouth. While this is the typical schedule, every mouth is different. Sometimes baby teeth fall out early, get knocked out, or, rarely, are extracted for a dental health reason. Premature loss of baby teeth can affect the eruption of permanent teeth by changing the path the emerging tooth may follow.
If a there is a long period of time before the new tooth is due to arrive (the last set of molars typically erupt around the age of 12, with “wisdom” teeth arriving at 18-20 years of age), other teeth can shift and move into the space that is meant to be occupied by the permanent tooth.
Space maintainers save seats
To help avoid this type of crowding, orthodontists use space maintainers. A space maintainer is an orthodontic appliance placed in a child or adolescent’s mouth that stops teeth from shifting and crowding the permanent tooth when it erupts. Your Salem OR orthodontist uses a few different kinds of space maintainers, depending on your child’s unique circumstances:
- the Nance appliance
- the upper lingual holding arch
- the lower lingual holding arch
At Castilla Orthodontics, we are dedicated to patient education and understanding. If one of these space maintainers is used as part of your child’s orthodontic care, Dr. Castilla and her team will explain why and how the space maintainer works.
The space maintainer experience
The type of care required with a space maintainer is similar to that of any orthodontic equipment– regular and dedicated oral hygiene is a must! Flossing and brushing is important to control plaque, as well as your keeping regular appointments with your general dentist and hygienist.
Our team will be able to tell you what to expect after placement of the appliance and will be available to answer any questions you may have.
We love to speak with our patients. For a free consultation on how Castilla Orthodontics can create your beautiful smile, schedule an appointment today.