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Little Bytes Services

Space Maintainer

Every child will eventually lose their baby teeth. But some children lose baby teeth prematurely, before their permanent teeth are ready to grow in.
When spaces between teeth are not properly maintained, it can cause issues in the future. We can place a space maintainer to preserve the area while your child waits for their adult teeth to grow in.
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What Is a Space Maintainer?

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A dental space maintainer is an appliance that leaves adequate space for permanent teeth to grow in after losing a baby tooth too early.

There are many reasons children prematurely lose their baby teeth:

  • ✓ Accidents

  • ✓ Trauma

  • ✓ Congenital defects

  • ✓ Tooth decay

Not taking care of the space created by early tooth loss may lead to more costly problems later in life.

Space maintainers can be fixed or removable. Your Palo Alto pediatric dentist from Little Bytes Pediatric Dentistry will recommend which type of space maintainer is best for your child.

What to Expect at a Space Maintainer Appointment

Although there are numerous designs, space maintainers are non-invasive treatments that are simple and fast to install. The most common appliance consists of a metal band placed around the tooth next to the space in your child's smile.

The band is attached to a wire loop that presses against the adjacent tooth. It is cemented into place with a strong adhesive. When your child's adult tooth is ready to erupt, you'll return to our office to have the appliance removed.

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Space Maintainer Frequently Asked Questions

Are Space Maintainers Necessary?

A critical function of a baby tooth is to save space for the adult tooth. When a baby tooth falls out prematurely, the remaining space may cause overcrowding in adult teeth, leading to malocclusion (improper bite) and requiring early orthodontic treatment.

How Long Do Space Maintainers Last?

Space maintainers act like a replacement for the baby tooth that was lost prematurely and remain in place until the adult teeth grow in. Children with space maintainers must practice routine brushing and visit the dentist regularly.

Are Space Maintainers Painful?

Space maintainers do not cause any pain or discomfort. If your child does experience pain, there could be an issue in your child's mouth that must be addressed by our pediatric dental team.

Do Space Maintainers Require Special Care?

The best way to care for a space maintainer is to avoid sticky foods and chewing gum. Your child should not push on the device with their tongue or fingers. Keep the appliance clean with routine brushing and flossing at home and continue going to preventative dental appointments.

Get in Touch

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Location & Hours

Little Bytes

Tuesday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Se Habla Español

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