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5 Benefits of Visiting a Pediatric Dentist

The Difference

Let’s face it – for some in past years visiting the dentist wasn’t the most fairy tale experience.  Put your mind to ease by selecting a multi award winning practice and the most loved pediatric dentist in Southwest FloridaDr. Tim Verwest, DMD & Associates who are specially trained and board certified for treating pediatric patients.

While general dentists can perform the same work, visiting a pediatric dentist provides a slew of extra benefits:

Office Decor 

We’ve got fun just about everywhere you look! From video games, to community initiatives and educational lobby experiences for children of all ages to enjoy!

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Better Training

Kids aren’t always the most cooperative of patients.  A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school solely focused on treating young patients.

In the additional training, the focus is on child psychology, growth/development, and learning all of the tips and tricks of the trade for examining and treating children.

Specialized Treatment

In the circumstance that your child needs more comprehensive dental treatment, pediatric dentists are specially trained to handle special needs and to children with extensive dental treatment needs.

Oral Health Care Education

Since Pediatric Dentistry of Florida’s staff work solely with kids,  we know how to engage in educational learning.  Even more, we have props and teaching tools that are appropriate for all ages. To become part of our dental family, please fill out the form below and we will contact you immediately as possible. Thank you and we look forward to serving you!

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Is Fruit Juice Affecting Your Teeth?

Ahh, fruit juice. It has amazing health benefits, especially being full of Vitamins and antioxidants, but did you know that it can take a toll on your pearly whites? Here are a few reasons why:

Fruit Juice is Full of Sugar

You know how it goes- sugar contributes to cavities and plaque, which, in turn, can lead to gum irritation and many other negative factors from sugar buildup. Since many fruit juices aren’t 100% fruit juice, they contain large amounts of sugar.

Fruit Juice Reduces Tooth Enamel

We’ve heard a lot about the wearing down of tooth enamel in the previous posts, so you can consider it pretty sensitive to what you consume and how much you brush each day. Fruits with high acid content, such as limes and cranberries, can have the most influence on breaking down tooth enamel, which our teeth need to stay hard and strong!

Fruit Juice and The Youngins

It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference when drinking fruit juice from a sippy-cup. The liquids are released at a slower rate, thus, giving the liquid a chance to stay in the mouth more. With that being said, there is a higher chance of cavities forming! A good way to combat any problems would be to mix the cup with water to dilute any sugar or acids.

All in all, fruit juices aren’t the bad guys when having it in moderation, but it is important to be aware of the possible effects it can have on your teeth.

 

Dr. Verwest donates to foster care children in Lee County

FORT MYERS, Fla. (October 6, 2016) – Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD donated toothbrushes to foster care children in Lee County. The donations will go to the Donate4Kidz Foundation. They provides care packages for foster care children in need. Sarde Howell, a seven year old home-school student reached out to the pediatric dentist for a community service project.

“We deeply care about children in our own community and want to help out as many as we’re able to,” said Dr. Verwest. “We thank Sarde for letting us be part of his community project”.

Pediatric Dentistry of Fort Myers regularly donates to improve community health and hygiene. In 2014 the office donated over 20,000 free toothbrushes to children in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte County.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for over 25 years. Areas of service include comprehensive dental exams, cleanings, composite fillings, dental hygiene education, extractions, fluoride treatments, sealants, sedation dentistry, space maintainers, x-rays and tooth nerve treatment. For more information, visit www.DrVerwest.com or (239) 482-2722.

 

Local Dentist Recognized as America’s Best Dentist for 2016

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The National Consumer Advisory Board has named Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim M. Verwest, DMD one of America’s Best Dentist for 2016. Selections are done based on a proprietary assessment of a dentists experience, training, continuing education, and commitment to excellence to ensure the most impartial unbiased review of all applicants.

Dr. Verwest is a board certified Diplomat of the National Board of Pediatric Dentistry with professional interests in the areas of pediatric pharmacology, biomaterials, and pediatric anesthesia.  He believes in lifelong learning and continues his education by taking courses in pediatric sedation, pediatric oncology, sealants, prosthetics, pediatric cosmetic dentistry, pediatric materials, childhood growth and development, and more.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for the last 26 years. Areas of service include comprehensive dental exams, cleanings, composite fillings, dental hygiene education, extractions, fluoride treatments, sealants, sedation dentistry, space maintainers, x-rays and tooth nerve treatment. For more information, visit www.DrVerwest.com or (239) 482-2722.

Caring for teeth with braces

Braces are often placed in patients between 10 and 14 years of age to correct crooked or overcrowded teeth. “The benefits of braces are many,” says Ken Sutherland, DDS, Delta Dental senior dental consultant. “Straight teeth, an attractive smile, improved dental function and, often, improved overall health are all results of wearing braces.”

Below are some answers to questions about staying comfortable and healthy while wearing braces.

Why is good oral hygiene with braces so important? Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains. Food can also react with the bacteria in your mouth and the metal in the braces to produce a bleaching effect, which can cause small, permanent light spots on the teeth.

How should teeth and braces be cleaned? It is best to brush after every meal and use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss (available at drug stores) at least once a day to clean between braces and under wires. Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure all food particles are gone. If you don’t have your toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth vigorously with water.

How do braces feel? The wires that are used to move teeth into position are usually tightened at each visit to the dentist or orthodontist. This causes pressure on the teeth and some discomfort. Eating soft foods and taking a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®, for instance), can help. Also, braces can rub against the inside of the lips. If this is a problem, a special wax can be placed on the wires to keep them from chafing (available from your dentist or orthodontist and at drug stores).

How long do braces have to be worn? It depends on how complicated the spacing or occlusion (bite) problem is. Most braces are worn for 18 to 30 months. After the braces are removed, the patient wears a retainer, which is used to maintain the position of the teeth while setting and aligning the tissues that surround the newly-straightened teeth.

Should any foods be avoided? Yes. Sweets, soda and other sugary and starchy foods can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Sticky and chewy foods (caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits) can stick to braces and be difficult to remove. Biting and chewing hard foods, such as some candies and nuts, ice, beef jerky and popcorn, can break wires and loosen brackets. Avoid damaging wires on the front teeth by cutting carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating them.

Baby pacifiers: Pros and cons

Should parents let their infant use a pacifier? According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), there are benefits as well as a downside to baby pacifiers.

On the positive side, pacifiers provide a source of comfort to infants. Pacifiers can also assist in reducing the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, according to the AGD. Because babies with pacifiers sleep less deeply than those who sleep without pacifiers, they can be aroused from a deep sleep that could result in the stopping of breathing.

The downside of pacifiers is the effect they can have on the growth and development of the teeth and mouth. Prolonged pacifier use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth, prevent proper growth of the mouth and create problems with tooth alignment. Parents who give their baby a pacifier should consider these points:

  • Restrict pacifier use to when the infant needs to fall asleep.
  • Look for a pacifier with ventilation holes in the shield, as they permit air passage. This is important if the pacifier accidentally becomes lodged in the child’s throat.
  • Always clean the pacifier before giving it to a child.

Breaking the pacifier habit

The AGD recommends that children stop using pacifiers by age two. (Up until that age, any alignment problem with the teeth or the developing bone is usually corrected within six months after pacifier use is stopped.)

Breaking the habit is not always easy. Here are a few suggestions for helping a child wean from the pacifier:

  • Dip the pacifier in white vinegar.
  • Pierce the top of the pacifier or cut it shorter to reduce sucking satisfaction.
  • Leave it behind on a trip.

Always throw away a used pacifier; it is not sanitary for another child to use or to save.

An apple a day may keep the dentist away

Dietary habits of schoolchildren encourage an increase in sugar intake leading to a greater risk of cavities, reports the Academy of General Dentistry.

Over a 15-month period, researchers tracked the dietary habits and monitored the teeth of preschool children before and after the start of school. Results show that decayed, missing or filled teeth and initial cavities of the children jumped from 9.7 (at age five) to 15.3 cavities (at age six), an increase of 5.6 cavities within one year. Over the length of the study, the percentage of cavity-free schoolchildren dropped from 23 to 19 percent.

The easiest way parents can help children prevent tooth decay and cavities at school is to monitor their eating habits. For example, parents can offer their children healthy snack alternatives, such as apples, bite-size carrots or other foods that are naturally sweet, and instruct children to avoid candies, chocolate, caramels, chocolate milk and other foods that contain refined sugar. Cavity-causing organisms feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. Sticky, chewy candy especially can linger on teeth throughout the day. If children do happen to eat sugary snacks at lunch, they should brush and rinse with water or eat a piece of fruit to help clean teeth surfaces and gums.

Also, parents should find out what their child’s school lunch program offers. If programs do not offer healthy alternatives, talk to the school about incorporating healthy lunches or snacks.

Finally, parents should consider professionally-applied sealants as another way to protect children’s teeth from cavities. Sealants, a thin coating of bonding material applied over a tooth, act as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria. They can be put on as soon as the child’s first permanent molars (back teeth) appear.

Holiday sweets can be tough on teeth

The winter holidays are known for sweet treats and tempting goodies, but that doesn’t mean that you have to end up at the dentist with cavities in January.

How do sweet foods and drinks cause cavities?

When you eat sugary foods or drinks, naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and create acids as a by-product. These acids then wear down the tooth enamel, making it weaker and more susceptible to tooth decay as well as a host of other problems, including gingivitis.

Snacking on sweets throughout the day or during an extended period of time (such as at a holiday party) is especially harmful, since damaging acids form in the mouth every time you eat a sugary snack and continue to affect the teeth for at least 20 minutes afterwards.

“Snacking on sweets and sugary beverages throughout the day can increase the chance of tooth decay and gum disease,” said Dr. Kevin Sheu, managing dental consultant for Delta Dental. “Brushing and flossing after snacks definitely reduces bacteria.”

5 tips to stay cavity-free

Keep cavity-causing bacteria in check by adding these strategies to your holiday routine.

  • Balance out your sweets with other foods. Eating sugary and carb-rich foods as part of a balanced meal can lessen their impact on your teeth.
  • Choose sweets that don’t stick around. Instead of sticky foods that get on and in between your teeth, go for items that dissolve quickly, limiting their contact with your enamel. For example, swap out caramels and candy canes with plain dark chocolate.
  • Brush afterwards. Always keep a toothbrush to brush away foods and plaque after you eat. If you’re consuming foods or beverages that are high in acid, like oranges and wine, make sure to wait 30 minutes. Acid can soften the enamel, so brushing too soon can actually damage your teeth.
  • Stay prepared. You’ll have no excuse to skip brushing and flossing if you always keep a toothbrush, travel tube of toothpaste and container of floss in your bag or car.
  • Rinse to refresh. When you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with tap water to wash away food particles and bacteria.

Use your holiday vacations to spend more time brushing your teeth. If you’re relaxed or have more free time during the day or with your morning or nightly routine, you can use the time to brush more thoroughly and develop better oral care habits.

It isn’t necessary to brush vigorously to get your teeth clean. What’s important when brushing your teeth is not how hard you scrub, but that you use the proper technique and that you do a thorough job. And that takes time. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two to three minutes to get the most thorough cleaning.

If you get into the habit of brushing for two to three minutes every morning, every night and after every meal during the holidays, you may keep those good habits when your regular routine resumes.

Sealants Critical to Children’s Oral Health

Sealants are plastic coatings that protect those difficult to reach pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth from the bacteria that cause tooth decay. A quick and painless procedure done in your dentist’s office, sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molars as soon as possible after they fully erupt in the mouth, usually between the ages of six to eight for first molars and 10 to 12 for second molars. While sealants are not necessary for all children, they are particularly beneficial to children who are at higher risk for tooth decay. But, how do you know if your child is at higher risk?Although overall oral health risk is a combination of genetics, personal habits and diet, history of decay is a good predictor for future risk of decay. Your child is considered to be at higher risk if he or she has had a cavity filled in the past three years. The good news is you may be able to help prevent future cavities by making sure your child receives preventive care, including having sealants applied to first and second molars.

Although approximately 60 to 70 percent of cavities can be prevented by placing
sealants on children’s teeth, a recent study by Delta Dental shows that 60 percent of
children age 6 to 9 who are at higher risk of tooth decay did not receive sealants on
their first molars, and 80 percent of children age 11 to 15 did not receive sealants on
their second molars.1

These figures are particularly striking when you realize that many dental plans cover preventive care, like sealants, at as much at 100 percent of the cost. As a parent, you want your child to be as healthy as possible, and that includes protecting their teeth.

Help With Sensitive Teeth

One of the most common dental complaints involves sensitive teeth.  Whether it’s biting into a cold ice cream cone or drinking a hot beverage, the pain that can come from hypersensitivity can be more than an inconvenience.

Several things can cause sensitive teeth:

  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Missing or worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities

Each of these needs to be treated by a dentist.  Ignoring tooth sensitivity or expecting it to get better on its own can cause problems to compound and bring on even more pain.  By far, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin, the soft tissue just below the hard enamel that protects your teeth.  Dentin can be exposed by one of the causes listed above, or simply because it has worn away as a result of abrasion.

Use a mouthwash with fluoride.

Mild gum disease, which again causes an exposure of the dentin, can often be treated by the regular use of a fluoride rinse.  This will help to strengthen the enamel on your teeth and reduce the bacteria that is attacking your teeth and gums.

Stop using medium or hard toothbrushes.

Your toothbrush should be one with soft bristles as most of us already use too much force when brushing.  This can further wear away enamel and cause greater sensitivity.

Start brushing and flossing regularly.

If you aren’t brushing twice a day, as well as flossing, you should start.  The buildup of plaque on your teeth creates an acid that makes already sensitive teeth even more sensitive.