Dental Care Procedures

We welcome the opportunity to thoroughly explain procedures recommended for your child when you visit Camp Smile, and in the meantime, check the listings below for brief explanations of the most routine dental procedures.

Infant Oral Health

We are pleased to offer comprehensive infant oral exams for infants less than 18 months of age and feel this is a great way to get your baby off to a lifetime of healthy smiles. Cleaning your baby’s mouth is very important.

  • Clean your infant’s gums after feeding. This can be easily done by cradling your baby in one arm, wrap a moistened washcloth around the index finger of your free hand, and gently massage their gum tissues.
  • Try not to put your baby to bed with a bottle.
  • Infants normally begin teething between four and six months of age. His/her gums may be red and swollen which may increase the saliva flow. Help ease these symptoms by giving your infant a clean teething ring or cold, wet washcloth. Cold temperatures are soothing, so you may want to chill the teething ring.
  • Remember that dental decay is an infectious, transmissible disease. Avoid testing the temperature of your infant’s bottle with your mouth, sharing utensils, or cleaning a pacifier or a bottle nipple by putting it in your mouth. Help stop the transmission of bacteria that cause tooth decay (cavities) by practicing these tips.
  • Begin to wean your baby from the bottle as your infant begins to eat more solid foods and drinks from a cup. Gradually begin to offer a cup for water. By age 12 to 14 months, most children can drink from a cup. Promote healthy habits now by limiting the frequency and amount of sweetened beverages and foods you give your child. Prevent your baby from walking around with his/her bottle or sippy cup.

Toddler Oral health

  • Brush your child’s teeth as soon as they come in with a soft bristle brush twice a day. You are welcome to use training toothpaste or a smear (grain of rice) of regular or kid fluoridated toothpaste.
  • PM brushing is extremely important to remove any food or drink in the form of plaque off the teeth prior to sleeping as the saliva does not move through the mouth while sleeping leaving your child at an increased risk for tooth decay.
  • It is extremely important to limit the carbohydrate or prolonged sugar exposures your child has in a day’s time. It is best to keep your child’s mouth sugar and acid free for as much of the day as possible that is why water is best for in between meal and snack hydrating.

Radiographs

Dental x-rays are taken on an individual basis to access the growth/development of your child as well as diagnose dental disease. Dr’s Raether and Augustyn follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s guidelines as to the frequency and timing of dental radiographs. Camp Smile utilizes the latest digital technology in dental radiography.

Sealants

Sealants are a protective coating that we apply to mainly permanent molars which are very anatomical (groovy) for prevention of dental decay (cavities). We at Camp Smile have a unique policy, if we place them, we replace them free of charge to maximize their benefit to your child as sealants have the potential to break down or be lost.

Fillings/Restorations

When the decay is removed from a tooth, it is replaced with “filling” material. Fillings play an important role in maintaining your child’s health. Unfilled cavities never go away and get bigger with time. We offer two options for filling your child’s teeth Amalgam (silver) filings or Tooth-Colored fillings in the forms of composites or glass ionomers. We will discuss in greater detail to determine which is best for your child.

Crowns

Crowns on primary teeth are typically made of stainless steel (for strength) and are silver in color. Often on front teeth white composite crowns can be used. Your child’s pediatric dentist will discuss with you the best option for your child.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless Steel Crowns are placed on primary teeth to protect, seal and strengthen a tooth:

  • After a pulpotomy/pulpectomy has been performed
  • After large decay has been removed
  • To correct a malformed tooth
  • To preserve a tooth with severe attrition/sensitivity

Stainless steel crowns are considered a good temporary restoration to save the primary tooth until the permanent tooth can erupt and take its space keeping the primary tooth if at all possible is very important.

A primary tooth can be restored with a stainless steel crown during one appointment. The decay is removed, the tooth is shaped for a crown then the crown is cemented. A crowned tooth must be brushed and flossed just like other teeth.

White Crowns

White crowns are used on front teeth and back teeth for esthetic reasons but are very similar to stainless steel crowns. The zirconia all white crown is a great option to maximize esthetics. Your doctor will discuss whether zirconia crowns are a good option for your child.

Composite Strip Crowns

This type of composite crown is used on front teeth and utilizes bonding materials to allow the esthetic composite material to adhere to the remaining enamel on the teeth. This is the most esthetic crown available for front teeth however there has to be sufficient tooth structure remaining in order for it to bond.

Pulp Therapy

Damage to a tooth’s inner nerve tissue sometimes requires treatment of the pulp. Pulp Therapy involves removing the soft tissue within the tooth, the pulp, when it has become infected and inflamed from either trauma or decay. Our doctors gently remove the infected tissue out of the root canals of the tooth and fill the void with an inert material. The procedure is completed with the placement of a filling or more commonly a crown. Because your child’s comfort is our priority, our team offers various levels of anesthesia and sedation therapy to keep them relaxed.

Tooth Extraction

Keeping your child’s teeth is the best and preferred solution. In the instance that a tooth has too much damage to be repaired or an abscess is present, it may be recommended to extract the tooth. Postponing or forgoing a recommended tooth extraction may lead to complications, pain, and additional costs. Dr.’s Raether and Augustyn offer many methods of anesthesia and sedation so feel confident that your child will be comfortable and relaxed as their extraction is done.

Interceptive and Comprehensive Orthodontics

Many times if a malocclusion or crooked teeth are caught early enough, there are several guiding procedures that can be done to minimize your child’s need for braces. This may include treatments such as disking, space maintainers, retainers, and partial braces. If braces are still required, we are pleased to assist your child in creating a beautiful, healthy, esthetic smile with comprehensive orthodontics.