Dental Appliances

What is a Space Maintainer?

Dental space maintainers (or spacers) are devices used for children who have lost baby molars but their permanent teeth have a while before they will grow in. They hold space until the permanent tooth is developed enough to grow in. They also prevent the remaining adjacent teeth from moving or tipping into the open space.

What Do Space Maintainers Look and Feel Like?

Space Maintainers are custom-made appliances fabricated from acrylic and/or metal. They can be fixed (glued in place) or removable. They look somewhat like retainers an orthodontist may use.

What is a mouthguard?

There are several types of mouthguards used in dentistry:

Athletic Mouthguard

These appliances are worn by athletes to protect the lips and gums from bruising and cuts. It also protects the teeth from being chipped or knocked out and protects the jaw from fracture, dislocation, and the head from concussions. The mouthguard provides cushioning from the blow and redistributes shock during forceful events. The thickness of a properly fitted mouthguard reduces concussions to the head because it absorbs the force of a blow to the jaw instead of allowing the force to be transmitted through the skull base to the brain.

Our custom-made athletic mouthguard is usually fitted to the upper teeth, and because it is form-fitted, it stays in place and allows an athlete to communicate better with other players.


Nightguards are designed to protect teeth and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) from injury due to nighttime grinding, also called bruxism. Like athletic mouthguards, they provide cushioning between the upper and lower teeth and jaws. Similar to athletic mouthguards, the night guard is designed to absorb the force of impact between the two jaws by covering the surfaces of the teeth. It thereby prevents wear of the enamel and tooth structure and also prevents pressure into the joint space (TMJ). Our custom-made night guard is a form-fitted appliance that stays in place during the night time of grinding the teeth together.

If you live in or around the Catonsville, Ellicott City, or Eldersburg areas and you think your child may need a dental appliance, please call us. Our pediatric dentists can guide you about the types of appliances available and what is appropriate for your child.

Catonsville (410) 788-4555, Ellicott City (410) 203-2410 Eldersburg (410) 549-1212