How To Care For Your Child's Space Maintainer

Is your child about to get a space maintainer in San Antonio, TX, soon? Then you’re probably wondering how you can protect their oral health after the appliance is fixed to their smile. 

Many parents are weary when they learn that space maintainers can increase their child’s risk of developing cavities and other oral health issues. The appliance itself is not to blame; it can make oral hygiene just a tad more difficult.

But with some preparation, you can protect your child’s smile. Here are two important things to keep in mind after your child gets a space maintainer:

Supervise Their Oral Hygiene

Kids tend to be rather superficial when it comes to properly brushing and flossing their teeth. Actually, lots of adults are guilty of that too. 

But after getting a space maintainer, parents should check in with their little ones and make sure they don’t skip this essential part of their oral hygiene routine. You can show your child how to clean around the maintainer for the first few times, and then let them do it by themselves.

Change Their Diet

Some foods aren’t exactly compatible with space maintainers. Here is a list of treats your child should avoid while wearing this appliance:

  • Sticky foods: Caramel, toffee, and other such candies can stick to the space maintainers and teeth. Unless your child brushes their teeth right after having these treats, they can increase the risk of cavities.
  • Hard foods: Nuts, chips, crackers, and similar hard foods require a bit more force to break down while chewing. This can wear down the space maintainer and lead to damage, which means you’ll need to take your child to a pediatric dentist to get a new one ASAP.
  • Chewing gum: Most chewing gums aren’t that sticky and won’t dislodge the appliance, but kids like the sugar versions, so as a general rule, they’re not ideal when wearing space maintainers.

When to See a Pediatric Dentist 

In most cases, the space maintainer will not cause any issues for the child. However, you might need a consultation with a pediatric dentist if you notice:

  • Visible damage to the appliance
  • Signs that the permanent teeth are erupting
  • The child is complaining of oral pain.
  • Sign of cavities or tartar build-up in the nearby teeth

Most pediatric dentists will want to see the child regularly for consultations after getting space maintainers just to make sure their smile is protected. Still, if you notice any of the above signs, it’s worth a visit. 

How Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry Can Help 

Your child lost one of their baby teeth too early. Come see Dr. Angie Sage for a short consultation to find out if space maintainers are the right solution for them.

Request an appointment at Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry online, or call us at (210) 822-8381 for a chat.

Back to the blog