Space Maintainers in Purcellville, VA

What are space maintainers?

Space maintainers are orthodontic devices designed to hold the space for permanent teeth when primary (baby) teeth are lost prematurely due to factors such as decay or injury. These devices help prevent neighboring teeth from shifting into the empty space, which could lead to alignment issues and potential orthodontic problems. It's important to note that space maintainers are often part of an early interceptive or phase 1 treatment plan. If your child experiences early tooth loss or if Dr. Minh foresees the need for early extraction of a primary tooth, he may recommend the use of a space maintainer to ensure optimal dental development. Call us today to learn more!
What to Expect

The Space Maintainers Process

Step 1

Consultation and Examination

The first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Minh Nguyen at Excelsior Orthodontics. During this appointment, the orthodontist will examine your child's dental condition, which may include taking X-rays to assess the positioning of the primary and permanent teeth. This examination helps determine if space maintainers are necessary and which type would be most suitable for your child.

Step 2

Impression and Customization

If it is determined that your child requires space maintainers, the next step involves taking impressions of your child's mouth. This is done to create custom-fitted space maintainers tailored specifically to your child's dental structure. The orthodontist may use dental putty or digital scanning technology to obtain accurate impressions. These impressions serve as a blueprint for fabricating the space maintainers in a dental laboratory.

Step 3

Placement and Follow-up

Once the space maintainers have been fabricated, you will return to Excelsior Orthodontics for the placement appointment. The orthodontist will carefully fit and adjust the space maintainers to ensure a comfortable and secure fit in your child's mouth. He will provide instructions on how to care for the space maintainers and what to expect during the initial period of adjustment. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your child's progress and make any necessary adjustments to the space maintainers as their teeth continue to develop.

Types of space maintainers and what they offer:


Band and loops

This is the most common type of space maintainer. It consists of a stainless-steel band placed around one tooth adjacent to the empty space and a wire loop that spans the gap, holding the space open. Band and loop maintainers are adjustable and can accommodate the eruption of permanent teeth.

AC braces

Transpalatal arches

These maintainers are used when multiple teeth in the upper jaw require space preservation. They consist of a wire that spans the roof of the mouth and attaches to the teeth on either side, helping to maintain the necessary gaps.

ac braces

Lower lingual holding arches

Designed for the lower jaw, these maintainers are similar to transpalatal arches but are placed on the lingual (tongue) side of the lower teeth. They prevent the shifting of teeth and help retain the space for proper eruption of permanent teeth.

Space Maintainers in Purcellville

Helpful Resources

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Check out these resources below!

Are space maintainers uncomfortable for children?

Space maintainers are designed to be comfortable and well-tolerated by children. They may feel a bit different at first, but most kids adapt to them quickly without any discomfort.

How long will my child need to wear a space maintainer?

The duration of space maintainer wear depends on the individual case. It can range from several months to a couple of years. Dr. Minh Nguyen will evaluate your child's progress during regular check-up appointments and determine the appropriate treatment length.

Can space maintainers be removed and reinserted?

Space maintainers are typically cemented in place and should not be removed or reinserted without professional assistance. If a space maintainer becomes loose or damaged, contact Excelsior Orthodontics immediately.

  • Brushing your teeth after every meal
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Being mindful of what foods you eat (extra sticky or chewy foods may break your brackets)
  • Using a Waterpik if you have one to clean around the wires and brackets
  • Using mouthwash once a day to prevent cavities and plaque build-up