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08

May

Space Maintainer For A Child’s Mouth

If your child lose his or her teeth early or a primary tooth had been extracted because of dental decay, then your baby may need space maintainers. A space maintainer is a customize appliance made by an orthodontist or a dentist in metal or acrylic material. It can be either cemented or removal type. Its purpose is to make sure that a permanent tooth has sufficient space when it starts to erupt.

In other words, it helps permanent tooth to come into proper place. Baby teeth serve as a guide to permanent teeth in order for the later to be on the proper place. If a permanent tooth does not have enough space to erupt in proper place then it will shift into the open space. In this situation, orthodontic treatment may be required.

While not every child who loses baby or primary tooth early needs a space maintainer, it is advisable to consult your dentist or orthodontist to make sure whether your child needs a space maintainer or not. Removal space maintainer is usually made of acrylic. It is sometimes use with artificial tooth to help a certain space to remain open for the tooth that is yet to erupt. The cemented or fixed space maintainer has four different kinds; lingual, distal shoe, crown and loop and unilateral.

The lingual space maintainer is used for more than one missing tooth. It may be cemented to molar teeth and a wire on the inside of the lower teeth is used as a connector. Distal show space maintainer is commonly used for the first permanent molar tooth that is yet to erupt. Crown and loop as well as unilateral space maintainer is placed on one side of the mouth to maintain an open space for the erupting tooth.

Wearing a space maintainer needs proper ways to clean to keep healthy gum tissue and prevent dental plague. A good dentists will brief you and your child about the proper cleaning and what it feels to wear it whether it is removable or fixed. Proper brushing and flossing should be noted. Sugary and chewy foods are not advised for cemented space maintainer. It is also important to avoid pressing or pushing space maintainer with tongue or fingers as it could loosen or bend the appliance. The progress of treatment should be monitored regularly by the dentist or orthodontist. Regular professional cleaning is advised every six months with dental professionals.

How to Care Your Child’s Teeth and Mouth

You may not know yet that when infants are born, nearly all their primary or baby teeth have already formed but they are still hidden in the gums. After around 6 months (earlier for some babies and later for some), these teeth will start to erupt or cut through the gums. Majority of babies around the world have their first two teeth at the front bottom.

Then followed by the front top teeth and two more at the bottom. Eventually, the teeth slowly start to fill the mouth. Your child usually has all 20 primary teeth after turning 3 years old. Spaces between baby teeth are just normal. They help ensure there is sufficient room for the permanent teeth. Crowded adult teeth is the result from insufficient space between baby teeth.

Baby teeth are important to your child’s bite and help your child to properly chew food and speak. As mentioned earlier they also save space for the permanent teeth. Caring for your child’s primary teeth starts even before he or she gets the first tooth. You start by wiping the gum of your child with a clean damp gauze or washcloth. When you start to see your child’s teeth, brush them twice a day using soft toothbrush with polished nylon bristles. It is advised to soak the bristles in warm water for a couple of minutes to make them even softer.

When your child reaches 2 years of age, start brushing his or her teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. Just make sure to use a little amount of the toothpaste, about same size of your child’s fingernail will do. While most young children tend to swallow toothpaste rather than spitting it out, you should teach them to spit it out to fully avoid fluorosis and cosmetic problems in the permanent teeth, even though they are uncommon.
Floss your child’s teeth as soon as two teeth touch each other. Regular floss is fine but you may want also to use plastic floss holders. Visit your dentist or doctor and ask about fluoride.

The dentist or doctor may recommend fluoride treatments or supplements if your child does not drink fluoridated water. At some point of your child’s life, he or she wants to use the toothbrush. It is just fine, give him or her the freedom to do so, but you need to always brush your child’s teeth again after his or her turn.

Your child’s teeth may eventually fall out but until they do, you should take good care of your child’s primary teeth as they play important roles in biting, chewing and speaking.