When your child needs orthodontic treatment, understanding each appliance will make the process easier. At Hanigan & Johnson, we provide premier orthodontic solutions to patients in Tomball and Magnolia, Texas. If your child needs a dental spacer, we can help you through every step of orthodontic treatment.
What Are Dental Spacers?
A dental spacer, or space maintainer, is a piece of metal or acrylic inserted into a child’s mouth to allow space for adult molars to grow. This orthodontic option is for children with missing primary teeth, especially molars.
When children lose their baby teeth early due to abscess, trauma or accident, other molars may move in to fill the space, causing misaligned teeth and other dental issues. Dental spacers help maintain space and allow teeth to grow without crowding.
Are Separators Always Needed?
If your child has lost a baby tooth early, that does not mean they will need a spacer. Orthodontists don’t use spacers for the upper four front teeth, which usually maintain space, or if the permanent tooth is about to erupt.
Orthodontists typically use dental spacers when a child loses a back molar too early and the adult tooth underneath is not ready to fill the space.
Are Dental Spacers Painful?
Dental spacers are often pain-free orthodontic devices. Since they only maintain space and don’t shift teeth, dental spacers should offer minimal discomfort. Before installation, orthodontists often install separators, little donut-shaped rubber bands, between teeth, which can cause some pressure.
How Dental Spacers Are Installed
Orthodontists install dental spacers similarly to other orthodontic bands around the molars. They begin by placing separators to allow room for the metal bands. After this, your orthodontist will wait a week or two for the separators to push the teeth apart.
Once teeth have moved, the dentist places a space maintainer using dental cement. This device fills the gap between teeth so the surrounding teeth don’t crowd the space.
Caring for Dental Spacers
Your care routine for dental spacers is similar to other orthodontic devices. Here are some top tips for dental spacer care:
- Avoid sticky foods that may loosen or pull out the spacer.
- Do not tug or play with the device with the tongue or fingers.
- Keep the appliance and teeth around it clean by brushing and flossing.
- Visit your dentist for regular cleanings while wearing the dental spacer.
Why Choose Hanigan & Johnson for Dental Spacers
Hanigan & Johnson can install and maintain spacers for their teeth in Tomball or Magnolia, Texas. When you visit us, we’ll treat you according to the golden rule — respect, professionalism and sensitivity. We’ll ensure your child feels comfortable when they visit us and encourage healthy oral care for a long-lasting smile.
Contact Our Team Today to Book an Appointment
At your first consultation, we will assess your child’s mouth and their need for dental spacers. Then we’ll do what we can to deliver a brand new smile at a price that’s accessible to you. Request a free consultation today to get started!