Did you know that the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends every child see an orthodontist by age 7? According to our Merriam, KS, orthodontist for children, the benefits of an early evaluation can be significant. By harnessing your child’s growth patterns to guide their teeth naturally, a skilled orthodontist may be able to help your child achieve a healthy bite and straight teeth without resorting to extensive and expensive treatment in their teens.
One appliance sometimes used in early intervention is the space maintainer. Keep reading to learn more about this simple, non-invasive treatment method, and discover how it might benefit your child.
A space maintainer is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a small tool inserted between two of your child’s teeth to keep an existing space or gap from closing. Space maintainers are non-invasive, painless, and relatively easy to get used to, says our children’s orthodontist in Merriam.
Space maintainers are used when a baby tooth falls out or must be removed long before your child’s adult tooth grows in. If the empty space from a missing tooth is left alone for too long, your child’s remaining teeth can move and close that gap. That causes a problem later when the adult tooth finally tries to erupt. With no available space for it to fill, the adult tooth can come in severely crooked, overlap another tooth, or become impacted (trapped).
The best way to know if your child needs a space maintainer for a missing tooth is to speak with a qualified expert such as our Merriam, KS, orthodontist for children at Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry. By following the AAO’s recommendation and having your child evaluated at age 7, you’ll know whether your child can avoid significant treatment later through simpler methods early in life.
The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to orthodontics, contact Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, with a convenient location near Merriam, KS, by calling 816.759.0123 or clicking here.