Spacing Out Isn’t Just for Astronauts – It’s for Your Teeth Too

Dec 3, 2021

Astronauts devote themselves to going out in space. Six feet of space in between people has been the SOP for daily life thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone has a personal bubble (though not everyone’s is the same size). The space between people and objects has a pretty profound impact on life as we know it, whether we realize it or not. On a smaller, more personal scale, it’s something that matters for your teeth too.

Too Much Wiggle Room

Having too much or too little space around teeth can cause some real problems. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the teeth that were around it tend to move around to fill the empty space. One of the purposes of these teeth is to hold space for permanent teeth to grow into, so you can see why having other teeth move into that space can be a problem. No one wants to deal with a baby tooth hanging out over the area where a permanent tooth is supposed to be growing in or other permanent teeth growing in where they aren’t supposed to.

Creating a Bubble

In cases like this, where a baby tooth is no longer around to reserve the space for the permanent tooth, a space maintainer may be a good solution. Space maintainers work to hold the space by preventing the teeth surrounding the empty space from moving into it. There are different types of spacers and which one is most appropriate to use will depend on which teeth are missing, as well as how many.

Maintaining the Maintainer

The space maintainer can only function as long as it’s in good condition and in its proper place. In order to keep it that way, it will be important to avoid eating chewy and sugary foods that can get caught on or stuck to the spacer. Pushing or tugging on the space maintainer with the fingers or tongue should be avoided. Careful attention to cleaning the space maintainer and the teeth around it will also be crucial, as it can be easy for food particles to become lodged in it.

The premature loss of baby teeth has the potential to pose a bit of a dilemma. More serious dental and orthodontic treatments may be avoided with the prompt seating of the proper space maintainer. Make sure to talk to our amazing Stellar Kids Dentistry doctors if you have questions about how a space maintainer can help keep your child’s teeth in good condition.

How much space you have in your mouth matters too. Read this next: What Do Palatal Expanders Do?