Space maintainers are commonly used when a baby (primary) tooth is lost early and the adult permanent tooth is not ready to erupt. Baby teeth are important for many reasons and one is to hold the space available for incoming permanent teeth. When a baby tooth falls out early due to illnesses, accidents, decay or pathology, the other neighboring teeth might shift and cause the permanent tooth from erupting with adequate space. In order to allow permanent teeth to emerge naturally and comfortably, Dr. Rawson may recommend a space maintainer and/or refer your child to an orthodontist (a dentist who specializes in braces).
A habit appliance is useful for some patients to help stop thumb or finger sucking and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. Dr. Rawson may recommend a habit appliance to minimize the consequences that the habit of tongue posture can have on your child’s teeth positioning and arch shape and/or refer your child to an orthodontist (a dentist who specializes in braces).