Commonly Asked Pediatric Dental Questions

By Dr. Sara Bunin June 8, 2017

Many families have questions when it comes to their child’s health and especially about those precious smiles. Being a mother of little ones, I hope to provide you with some of the answers to the most frequently asked pediatric dental questions.

When should I bring my child to their first dental visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should visit their pediatric dentist by his or her first birthday. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child's smile now and in the future. The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist every six months for regular checkups and routine teeth cleanings to keep their teeth and gums healthy. At your child’s first visit we will review their medical history, go over nutrition, demonstrate proper brushing techniques and if needed do a clinical exam, cleaning, and fluoride treatment. We encourage you to prepare your child for the visit by talking about the positive aspects and why it is important to visit the dentist. At our office of Dr. Gary Kramer and Dr. Sara Bunin we are here for your child so we welcome you to tour the office so your child can feel comfortable before their first visit.

When should I begin brushing my child’s teeth?

You should begin brushing your child’s teeth when the first tooth comes in. If you are still breastfeeding make sure you are wiping your child’s mouth out with a cloth so that the milk does not sit on the teeth. Likewise if your child is taking a bottle make sure you wipe the teeth off after each feeding. Do not let your child fall asleep while nursing or get a bottle with milk or juice before bed without wiping the teeth. This can lead to early tooth decay. You can use a soft toothbrush like a baby tender. For older children, who you are helping with brushing, you should position yourself behind your child and have them tilt their head back for the best view and ease for brushing and flossing.

When should I start using toothpaste and flossing?

Up to 2 years of age you should use a non-fluoridated tooth cleanser. At the age of 2 years old the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you to start using a smear of fluoride toothpaste and encourage your child to spit out. Flossing should begin when the back molars are in and the teeth are touching to prevent cavities between the teeth. Fluoride rinses should not be used until 6 years of age.  You can find a fun toothbrush or toothpaste with your child’s favorite character on it to encourage brushing. Disney also has a great app to promote tooth brushing for two minutes.

What can I do about my child’s pacifier, finger or thumb habit?

Most children will stop their habit by two to four years old on their own. Dr. Kramer and Dr. Bunin, who are pediatric dentists, are especially skilled in watching your child’s dental development and helping to guide and coach you when your child is ready to stop their habit. Prolonged habits can lead to some dental issues so when your child is ready you can use positive reinforcement such as sticker charts, money jars, or a prize from the “pacifier fairy” when the habit stops. Some parents attach all the pacifiers to balloons and let them float away, or “mail” them to a new baby.

What are dental sealants?

A dental sealant is a resin material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth normally the permanent molars that will come into your child’s mouth around 6 to 7 years of age. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves of the teeth and acts as a barrier to protect the tooth from plaque, bacteria, and food. Sometimes they may be recommended for baby teeth that have deeper pits and grooves. You can help keep these back molars clean by assisting your child with brushing and flossing and avoiding sticky candies, fruit snacks, and gummy vitamins.

We encourage you to visit our website at or call our office at 703-978-0051 to schedule an appointment today where we will be happy to assist you in helping your child maintain their precious smiles. Dr. Gary Kramer and Dr. Sara Bunin are local to the Virginia area and have been serving our community for over 35 years. Their clinical expertise and knowledge has led them to receive numerous awards as top dentists in our community as well as their love and commitment to each patient’s smiles. We look forward to welcoming you to our dental family ☺

Dr. Gary Kramer and Dr. Sara Bunin Pediatric Dentistry

5631 Burke Centre Parkway, Suite F

Burke, VA 22015


See the links blow for helpful Pediatric Dental products:

“Baby Banana Brush”:

“ Baby Finger Toothbrush”:

“Kids Flavored Flossers”:

First Trip to the Dentist Books: You can find general ones or ones with your child’s favorite character such as Sesame street, Dora, Peppa Pig or Mickey Mouse.


“Disney App for Brushing”