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Flagstaff Children's Dental Maintainers

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Children's Space Maintainers in Flagstaff, AZ

What are space maintainers and does my child need them?

If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a custom-made space maintainer may be necessary to save space in your child’s mouth for the permanent teeth to later come in properly. Baby teeth may be lost prematurely as a result of dental trauma, dental disease, or part of orthodontic treatment.

A space maintainer will prevent untoward movement of the remaining adjacent teeth. Both cemented and removable space maintainers protect your child’s teeth by keeping them in their original position. Most children adjust to them easily within a few days.

In many cases, a space maintainer can prevent the need for future extensive orthodontic treatment.

It is important your child maintains good oral hygiene while wearing a space maintainer. This prevents plaque from building up on the gums, teeth, and the space maintainer itself. In most cases, a space maintainer will stay in your child’s mouth for several years, until the permanent tooth comes in. The dentist will evaluate your child’s space maintainer at each appointment and recommend it be removed when it is appropriate.

Space maintainers can help prevent tooth shifting!

At Flagstaff Dentistry 4 Kids we are dedicated to helping your child maintain a healthy smile. To schedule an appointment for your child with one of our kid-friendly kids dentists, please click HERE or call us at (928) 773-8517.

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Related FAQs

Of course! Not only do we allow parents to stay with their kids during exams and most treatments, we encourage it. We have found that having a parent stay with their child lessens the anxiety for both the child, as well as the parent. Younger patients will often lay in their parent's lap during the exam to provide the most soothing experience.

Also, being with your child during their dental appointment allows the dentist and parent to discuss their child's dental health and provide realtime feedback and tips.

The only exception is during General Anesthesia. Parents are able to be with their child when they fall asleep and wake up, but not during treatment. The treatment room is small and with the dentist, dental assistant and the anesthesiologist, the room is just too crowded to provide the safest environment for your child. During this time, you are asked to wait in the lobby. The office staff will bring you updates during treatment.

If a baby tooth is lost prematurely sometimes a space maintainer or spacer is recommended. Space maintainers help preserve space in your child's mouth for their permanent teeth to come in properly in the future. A space maintainer is custom fit to your child's mouth and may be on just one side (unilateral) or span both sides of the mouth (bilateral), depending on your child’s specific needs.

Space maintainers protect your child's teeth by keeping them in their original position. Most children adjust to them easily within a few days. In most cases a space maintainer will stay in your child's mouth for several years, until the permanent tooth comes in. Our dentists will evaluate your child's space maintainer at each appointment and recommend it be removed when it is appropriate.

If your child has received local anesthesia to complete their dental work their lips, cheeks, and tongue will remain anesthetized (numb) for a few hours following their appointment. Because they cannot feel these areas, sometimes children will accidentally bite them which causes them to swell. It is very important to monitor your child closely after their dental appointment and remind them not to suck, bite or chew on their lips, cheeks or tongue. Cold liquids, ice packs, or frozen treats (popsicles) will help provide pain relief if this occurs. If your child has any swelling following their dental appointment, please contact our office so it can be evaluated.

Monitoring your child’s diet and oral hygiene are important factors in preventing dental decay. We recommend helping your child brush their teeth twice a day and floss any teeth that are touching nightly. A good rule of thumb is if your child can cut meat into perfect squares they likely have the manual dexterity to start brushing and flossing on their own.

When your child is ready for this transition, we recommend you continue to supervise their oral hygiene. After nighttime brushing and flossing, only allow your child to have water before bed. Never allow your child to sleep with juice or milk overnight. Frequent sipping on sweet drinks (juice, soda, sports drinks) can increase your risk of getting cavities. Try to limit these types of beverages as much as possible. Drinking water with meals or after snacks helps wash off the food and sugars from teeth and is especially important if your child is drinking sugary beverages.

While breastmilk alone does not cause cavities, after your child’s teeth have erupted breastfeeding in combination with carbohydrates and sugars can cause cavities. It is important to begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in.