If you are the parent of a young child, by the time they turn two, you will probably have kissed your fair share of minor injuries. However, during that same time period, your baby is developing at a quick rate and that means that some injuries can actually be a bigger deal than they might seem. Specifically, injuries to a baby tooth can be something that impacts their dental health for years, so it is crucial to make the right choices if a baby tooth is lost too early.
When Should You Expect When A Baby Or Toddler Prematurely Loses A Primary Tooth?
One of the most unfortunate mistakes that can be made about a child's dental health is assuming that because primary teeth will eventually be lost, losing one or more of them early is not a problem. In fact, those baby teeth can be seen as patterns for the permanent teeth later on, and when they are not there, there is not as much of a guideline for the new tooth as to where they should erupt.
That means that there is a much higher chance of adult teeth coming in at the wrong angle, wrong place or crooked, resulting in the need for expensive and time-consuming corrections later on. The good news is that there is an easy solution; dental spacers, which provide the same measurements that baby teeth would, while preventing the pain and embarrassment of eventual dental problems.
What Are Dental Spacers?
Dental spacers are also known as dental space maintainers. They are a handy device that are made of either plastic or stainless steel. Depending on the number and size of teeth that are missing, as well as the child's age and development, a dentist at a clinic like River City Dental will determine whether a permanent or temporary spacer would be the most appropriate choice for your son or daughter.
A permanent spacer is commonly used on young children, because they lack the ability to provide the removal and cleaning that a removable one requires. Whenever possible, they will attach to the nearby tooth, preferably a molar. If that is not an option, the spacer can attach to a regular tooth nearby, using a special dental band to secure it.
If your young child was determined to be able to provide the necessary care that a removable spacer requires, it would use plastic in the shape of teeth or clips to emulate the natural tooth. It is also important to remember that when several teeth are missing, a spacer might no longer be appropriate. In that instance, your pediatric dentist might suggest a partial denture for better results.
In conclusion, a dental spacer can protect your child's dental health, often within just a visit or two. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to care for, and modern techniques do not make the presence of dental prosthetics obvious. Your child can have a normal childhood, with frequent smiles, even if an unfortunate childhood accident temporarily marred their happy grin.