When back baby teeth (molars) are lost prematurely, it is usually necessary to hold the teeth on either side of the space created so it does not close up. If the space is not maintained, it will be lost and the permanent teeth will be unable to come in properly. If a canine (eyetooth) is lost early, a space maintaining appliance may also be required.
If a tooth is lost on one side of the jaw, a unilateral (one-sided) spacer is used. They are usually described as BAND & LOOPS. If teeth or a tooth is lost on both sides of the upper or lower arch, a bilateral (two-sided) spacer is used ..
Regular six month checkups are recommended to make sure the appliance is still fitting properly and that the cement has not washed out or the band(s) become loose. If you notice the new tooth erupting improperly under, or going around, the space maintainer, see your dentist as soon as possible.
To avoid the cost and time of replacement, please avoid sticky foods such as hard candy, caramel, and taffy. Also, remind your child not to "play" with the new appliance with hislher fingers or tongue.