What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment and care of children, including infants and adolescents. Pediatric dentists complete many years of training after dental school and open practices just for children in order to achieve the status of pediatric dentist. Dr. Brumbaugh is proud to be your pediatric dentist in Staunton, Virginia.

When should my child first visit the dentist?

At the practice of Dr. Brumbaugh, we follow standards suggested by the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry when it comes to your child’s first dental visit. We suggest bringing your child to our office by the age of 2. If you would like to know whether your child should come in for a visit, please contact us today.

What are primary teeth? Why are they important?

The primary teeth are your child’s first set of teeth. They are often called baby teeth, milk teeth or deciduous teeth. They act as placeholders until your child’s permanent teeth erupt from the gum line. Our goal is to protect primary teeth so your child’s permanent smile can grow in properly. We will guide you through each step of the growth process, from infancy to adolescence.

What is teething? When will my child’s teeth start erupting?

Teething is the term commonly used to describe the growth of your infant’s primary teeth through the gumline. While each child is different, teething generally occurs between six and nine months. Generally, the primary teeth erupt in pairs. During this time, your infant may show signs of discomfort and stress. Many products are available to help your child through the teething period. Dr. Brumbaugh has many recommendations for you if your child is teething. Please give us a call!

When will my child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt?

Generally, the primary teeth begin falling out and the permanent teeth erupt around age 6. This process of change can continue until your child is well into adolescence. In most children, the permanent teeth, except for the third molars, have fully erupted by age 13. The third molars, known as wisdom teeth, may erupt as late as early adulthood.

How do I properly brush and floss my child’s teeth?

Dr. Brumbaugh will work closely with you and your child to create an effective and fun dental routine. As soon as it is possible, help your children brush their teeth on their own. We suggest having your child hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums, then gently move it in a circular motion on a single tooth, working their way around the mouth. It is important to clean the whole tooth. Remember to also have your children brush their tongue.

Flossing can be a little more complicated. Help your child wrap the floss around their fingers and gently place it between the teeth, following the curves of each tooth as they move the floss slowly up and down. To help, special flossing sticks may be useful and less intimidating to children.

When should teeth be brushed?

If possible, brushing twice a day is ideal — once in the morning and once at night. For older children and teenagers, bringing a toothbrush to school and brushing after meals can also help keep decay at bay.

How much toothpaste should I use for my child?

At the dental office of Dr. Brian Brumbaugh, we recommend using no more than a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush. Be careful not to let your child swallow the toothpaste or ingest toothpaste from the tube.

How can I help my child prevent tooth decay?

The best way parents can help their children prevent tooth decay is by encouraging good dental hygiene habits at an early age and making sure they visit their pediatric dentist regularly. There are many ways to make dental care fun and engaging for children, including special products geared towards their age range. Toothbrushes that sing, toothpastes that change color and our special No Cavity Kids Club are all ways to help put a smile on your child’s face.

What eating habits support a healthy smile?

Helping your child’s smile stay healthy by giving your child a well-balanced diet is important. Making sure your child receives the proper nutrition from all of the major food groups is not only important to the teeth but also to your child’s overall health. One of the most important things you can monitor is snacking. Limit snacking throughout the day and try to be cautious with sugary candies and junk food. Fruits, vegetables, healthy crackers and water are all ideal snacks.

Foods and snacks that are sticky or sugary can easily get trapped on the teeth and cause decay. It is important to brush after every meal as often as possible and to always have your child brush their teeth before going to bed.

What is fluoride? How can it help?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is scientifically proven to prevent tooth decay. Applied topically to the teeth, fluoride bonds with your child’s growing tooth enamel to permanently strengthen it. Your child will receive fluoride during their routine cleanings and exams. Dr. Brumbaugh may also suggest fluoride-enriched products or fluoride supplements if necessary.

What should I do if my child knocks out a tooth?

When a tooth falls out, rinse the mouth out with warm water and then apply a cold compress to the area. If the tooth is a primary tooth that has naturally fallen out, no further action is necessary. If the primary tooth has been knocked out due to an accident or trauma, call our office and schedule an appointment. A space maintainer may be needed to help the permanent teeth grow in properly.

If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, there may be a chance it can be reattached. After rinsing the crown of the tooth only, place it in a container of milk. Call or come into the office right away. In these situations, we will try to see you and your child immediately.

My child plays sports. How can we protect their teeth?

If your child is involved in intense physical activities, such as wrestling, football, basketball, skateboarding and more, it is a good idea for your child to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are designed to protect the teeth, gums and lips. Many sponsored activities require the use of mouthguards or other protective gear. We will work together with you to determine the best mouthguard to use for your child’s specific situation.

When should I schedule my child’s regular six-month hygiene visit?

The best way to keep your child cavity free and comfortable at the dentist is to have regular six-month hygiene visits. Your child’s assistant will provide a reminder card that shows the month we will be expecting to see your child, which will be six months from your current appointment. The appointment times are made available two months ahead, and we ask parents to contact our office to schedule a specific date and time for their child during the recommended month. The best times get reserved first, so we encourage our parents to call us as soon as they know their schedule for their child’s appointment week. We schedule younger children in the morning and middle or high schoolers later in the day.

Will I receive a reminder for my child’s reserved appointment?

As a courtesy, we will send you a reminder email or phone call.

What do I do if I have to cancel my child’s appointment?

Dr. Brumbaugh and staff understand that sometimes there are unavoidable short notice conflicts with your child’s appointment, or your child is sick unexpectedly. Because we have dedicated a staff member, as well as allotted time with Dr. Brumbaugh, for your child’s appointment, it is very important to call as soon as you know you cannot make the appointment so we may provide an opportunity to care for another child.

A cancelled appointment within 24 hours may incur a fee based on past history.

How can I get in touch in the event of an emergency when the office is closed?

As a service to patients, we have a 24-hour answering service available if your child has an emergency during non-office hours, including weekends and holidays. This service may also be used to request a phone call from our patient coordinator, and we will return your call as soon as we return to the office.

PLEASE NOTE: This service is not to be used to cancel your child’s appointment.

If your child has an emergency during non-office hours, please call our office at 540-213-2244, choose option 6 and leave a message. We will return your call as soon as we return to the office.

What happens if I am going to be late for my child’s appointment?

Our office strives to be on time and run efficiently. Your child has a specific allotment of time for their visit, which is why we recommend that you arrive 10 minutes early to their appointment. Unfortunately, if you arrive more than 10 minutes past your reserved appointment time, we will have to cancel your child’s appointment and a fee may apply. However, we will do our best to fit your child back into the schedule if there is availability for that day.