Objective: A lower lingual arch is usually recommended as a holding device to maintain arch length and to prevent mesial migration of the mandibular first molars. Despite its widespread use, comparatively little is known about the effects of a lower lingual holding arch on preservation of lower arch dimensions and tooth position and the impact of the device on mandibular growth. The aim of this study is to evaluate the skeletal and dental effects of the lower lingual holding arch with regard to arch dimension, positions of mandibular molars and incisors, and usual mandibular growth. Study design: Thirty-four children (18 males and 16 females) who needed space maintainers were included in the present study. The patients were divided into two groups according to whether they were missing second primary molars on one or both sides. Group 1 comprised 16 children (8 males and 8 females, average age 8.8 +/- 0.9 years) with a missing second primary molar on one side; Group 11 comprised 18 children (10 males and 8 females, average age 8 +/- 0.7 years) with extractions on both sides. Lateral cephalograms, dental pantomograms, and study casts of the patients were taken at the beginning and the end of the study period. Average treatment time was 20.4 +/- 4 months. Results: Lower incisors moved forward and Incisor Mandibular Plane Angle (IMPA degrees) increased in both treatment groups. Statistically sign cant differences between the groups were found when comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment arch dimension and position of mandibular molars. Results were better for lingual arches with extraction on one side than with extraction on both sides Conclusions: A lingual arch seems to be an effective tool for maintaining arch length, and was not found to impair mandibular growth.