Extractions & Space Maintainers
Preserving baby teeth is important because these teeth maintain the right amount of space for the adult teeth to come in. We always do everything we can to “save” a baby tooth.
However, if your child’s tooth is so decayed that it’s causing pain or gum problems, extraction may be the best option.
If we need to extract, we’ll fill the gap left by the extracted tooth with a prosthetic device to maintain the correct space and position for the adult tooth to come in.
There are several types of maintainers. Dr. Jojo and her team will recommend the best device for your child:
- Removable device, usually made of acrylic, that resembles an orthodontic retainer. It can be taken out for eating and cleaning.
- Fixed-space maintainer that attaches to the teeth or gums around the empty space. This is often used for small children can’t care for a removable device or for children who have lost a back tooth.
The maintainer should be cleaned whenever your child brushes and flosses his or her teeth – at least twice a day. Removable maintainers can be taken out of your child’s mouth and cleaned, while fixed maintainers can be brushed just like natural teeth.
If your child loses or damages a space maintainer, let us know right away so we can replace it. Failing to use the space maintainer properly can result in misaligned teeth, which can be painful and expensive to fix.
Schedule your child’s twice-yearly exams today!