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Space Maintainers

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In instances that a child has lost a baby tooth prematurely or a developing permanent tooth is growing in a bad position, the space for future teeth and orthodontic treatment needs to be preserved. Space maintainers are custom fabricated to fit the patient’s mouth perfectly.

Why do children lose their baby teeth?

A baby tooth usually stays in place until a permanent tooth underneath pushes it out and takes its place. Unfortunately, some lose a baby tooth too soon. A tooth might be knocked out accidentally or removed because of dental disease. When a tooth is lost too early, your pediatric dentist may recommend a space maintainer to prevent future space loss and dental problems.

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Why all the fuss? Baby teeth fall out eventually on their own!

Baby teeth are important to your child’s present and future dental health. They encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. They save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into position. Remember: Some baby teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old.

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How does a lost baby tooth cause problems for permanent teeth?

If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the teeth beside it may tilt or drift into the empty space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. When adjacent teeth shift into the empty space, they create a lack of space in the jaw for the permanent teeth. Therefore, permanent teeth are crowded and come in crooked. If left untreated, the condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment.

children dentistry in fairfax va