A pediatric dental exam at Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix includes cartoons and your child’s pick of a gift from a “treasure chest.” What it lacks is the tension and cries of an uncooperative toddler squirming in the dental chair and an anxious parent longing for the ordeal to be complete.
Dr. Koppikar offers a family-centered level of pediatric dentistry that is attuned to making the child feel comfortable and teaching the parents how to care for young teeth.
At Biltmore Dental Center, pediatric dentistry exams are free for children under two years old. A father himself to two children, Dr. Koppikar believes it is essential that children learn from example and education. He believes that introducing children to dental visits and reinforcing daily brushing and flossing by the parent at an early age can help ingrain these practices into a pattern of lifelong proper dental care.
More than 25 percent of preschoolers ages two to five have some degree of tooth decay, notes a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Economics also play a factor. 25% of our nation’s children account for 80% of all childhood cavities.
Education is the best prevention for pediatric dental problems. That is what Dr. Koppikar instills in his young patients and their parents. In addition to cleaning and observing any potential future jaw or tooth structure problems, the pediatric dentist is instructing how to care for teeth properly. He will also take the child’s medical history and the dental history of the parent to assess the potential for future dental problems. He also evaluates if the child uses a pacifier or sucks his or her thumb, which can lead to tooth formation issues. He can suggest behavior modifications to reduce these habits when they extend beyond the toddler years.
Dr. Koppikar follows the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), which recommends first dental checkups for all children by the age of one or six months after their first tooth emerges. This is because pediatric dental problems often take root in infancy. From the time the infant’s first tooth pierces the gum line, parents need to begin twice daily cleaning with a toothbrush or clean cloth. In addition, parents and caretakers should ensure the infant is not falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth, which can leak formula or juice, which contain sugars that immediately begin eroding the tooth enamel.
Lastly, as parent, if you are wary of dental exams, it is important not to impart that apprehension to your child. At Biltmore Dental Center, we make dental care for all ages relaxing, pleasant, and fun.