When a baby tooth is lost too soon, the teeth next to it may tilt or drift into the empty space, affecting the growth of the permanent tooth. If left untreated, this condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment, since the permanent tooth may be crooked due to crowding. Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by the lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position in the jaw. Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic material. They are custom-made to fit your child’s mouth and are small and unobtrusive in appearance. Most children adjust easily to them after the first few days.