Baby teeth stay in the mouth until a permanent tooth erupts from underneath its position and pushes it out, replacing it in the mouth. When a baby tooth is lost early, a space maintainer is often required to prevent space loss and future dental problems. Space maintainers are small metal or acrylic appliances that are custom fit to your child’s mouth to hold open the empty space created by the tooth loss. Without a space maintainer, the adjacent teeth often shift or tilt into the empty space causing permanent teeth to come in crooked or misaligned. The appliances are small and unobtrusive, with most children adjusting to them within 24 hours!