It's crucial to preserve the space if your child's tooth comes out too soon due to decay or an accident in order to avoid future space loss and dental issues once permanent teeth start to erupt. The teeth around the open area may move if a space maintainer isn't used, which would prevent the permanent tooth from erupting. Then, there may be a larger need for orthodontic treatment.

Types of Space Maintainers

Space maintainers can be fixed (attached to the teeth) or removable, and they can be composed of plastic, stainless steel, or both.


Disposable space maintainers seem substantially more similar to a retainer that replaces missing teeth with plastic blocks. For older children who can follow instructions with consistency, a detachable space maintainer can be a wise choice.


Fixed space maintainers come in many designs.

A band-and-loop maintainer is made of stainless steel wire and held in place by a crown or band on the tooth adjacent to the empty space. On the other end of the gap, the wire sits against the tooth's side and is fastened to the loop or crown.

When the rear teeth on both sides of the jaw are gone, a lingual arch is placed on the lower teeth. On the lingual (tongue) side of the arch, a wire is positioned and fastened to the tooth in front of the gap on both sides. By doing this, the front teeth are kept from moving back into space.

A distal shoe could be advised if the second primary molar is lost before the first permanent molar erupts. As the first permanent molar has not yet erupted, a band-and-loop space maintainer cannot be secured by a tooth. A metal wire in a distal shoe appliance is placed just under the gum line to keep the space from closing.

Caring for Your Child’s Space Maintainer

There are four fundamental guidelines. When it comes to caring for your child's appliance.

  • Gum and candies are examples of sticky foods that your kid should stay away from.
  • Urge your youngster to refrain from using their fingers or tongue to push or tug on the space maintainer.
  • Make sure to brush and floss your child's space maintainer thoroughly to keep it clean.
  • Your child should continue to see the pediatric dentist for regular dental visits.
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