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 a pediatric dentist. Dr. Brumbaugh is proud to be your pediatric dentist in Staunton, VA.


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 their first birthday and for their first dental cleaning and exam by the time they are three years old. If you would like to know whether your child should come to see us, 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, and deciduous teeth. They act as placeholders until your child’s permanent teeth erupt from the gum line. Our goal is to protect the primary teeth so your child’s permanent smile can grow in properly. We are also able to help when your child’s primary teeth fall out. 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 growing?

Teething is the term commonly used to describe the growth of your infant’s primary teeth. While each child is different, teething generally occurs between six and nine months. Generally, the primary teeth grow 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 do the permanent teeth grow in?

Generally, the primary teeth begin falling out and the permanent teeth grow in at 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 grow in 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 hygiene 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 gums, then gently moving it back and forth across a single tooth, working your way around the mouth. It is important to clean the whole tooth. Also have your children brush their tongue.

Flossing can be more complicated. Help your child wrap the floss around their fingers and gently place it between 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 the teeth be brushed?

If possible, brushing the teeth 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?

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


How can I help prevent tooth decay?

The best way parents can help prevent tooth decay in their child is by encouraging good dental hygiene habits 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 you a smile on your child’s face.


What eating habits support a healthy smile?

Helping your child’s smile by giving your child a well-balanced diet is important. Making sure your child receives the proper nutrition from all of the food groups is not only important to the teeth, but 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 for 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 possible and to never let your child go to bed without brushing their teeth.


What is fluoride? How can it help?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is scientifically proven to prevent 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. 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 dental 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, have your child hold the tooth in the mouth while you travel to our office or place it in a container of milk. In these situations, we will try to see you and your child immediately. Please give our office a call!


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, we may suggest a mouth guard. Mouth guards are designed to protect the teeth, gums, and lips. Many sponsored activities require the use of mouth guards or other protective gear. We will work together with you to determine the best mouth guard to use for your child’s specific situation.