dental blog

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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Mouthguards And Teeth

Love being active in the sport you enjoy? Then keep on reading! Whether you are just mastering a sport or have tons of experience, sport mouth guards should always be a must in order to protect your pearly whites during games and even practices. You never know what can potentially come in contact with them that can cause a cracked, broken, or even lost tooth.

The Mouthguard Checklist:

  • Comfort
  • Reliability
  • Doesn’t interfere with speech or breathing
  • Immune to tearing

Mouthguard Types

Stock mouth protectors– these pre-made mouthguards are ready to go once purchased. Although they might not have a snug, custom fit, they won’t hurt your wallet and can be found at most sporting goods stores. Keep in mind that these may not be the most effective of the bunch.

Boil and bite mouth protectors– stemming from its name, you must boil the mouthguard in water in order to shape it accordingly to your mouth from biting into the warm, soft plastic. These guys can also be found at most sporting goods stores.

Custom-made mouth protectors– these are the best of the bunch! These mouthguards are crafted in a dentist’s office or laboratory Although they are the most expensive, they are made to fit your teeth perfectly with maximum comfort and reliability.

Mouthguard Maintenance

It is best to get a new mouthguard after every season to get the most out of them. For maximum effectiveness, you must also make sure there is no bacteria-buildup by doing the following:

  • Make sure your mouthguard container is always clean
  • Keep mouthguard away from hot temperatures
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pets
  • Brush and rinse with toothpaste after every use

Touch-A-Truck 2018 was a success!

We want to give a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Touch-A-Truck this year! It wouldn’t be anything without the help out staff and participants to make it all happen, and of course with all the support from our amazing patients. We are grateful to have all of you apart of our family and look forward to making more fun memories in the future!

Wisdom From Wisdom Teeth, Anyone?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. It is easiest to remove wisdom teeth when the patient is a young adult (late teens to early twenties) because the roots are not fully developed. Wisdom teeth are removed to correct a problem or prevent a problem in the future. The way in which the teeth are growing in determines whether or not a person needs to have them removed, but not all people need to have their teeth removed. It is possible to never have to remove wisdom teeth or to only have to remove one. Wisdom teeth removal can be done by your general dentist or an oral surgeon in office as an outpatient procedure.

Reasons to Remove:

Wisdom teeth may partially break through the gum causing the gum to grow over the teeth, which allows for food and germs to get trapped.
Wisdom teeth may grow in at an awkward angle, which needs surgery to remove so that the tooth does not interfere with the kar or other teeth.
Prevents crowding of the back teeth
Impacted tooth in the jaw

Extraction Process

During the removal process, your dentist/surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around where the tooth will be extracted. When dealing with multiple tooth extractions you will be placed under general anesthesia, causing your whole body to be asleep during the procedure. In most cases the removal of the teeth goes very smoothly: the dentist opens up the gum tissue around the tooth and pulls the tooth out. Sometimes the tooth is harder to extract and the dentist must break the tooth into pieces to extract it piece by piece. After the tooth is removed, the dentist will stitch up the gum with dissolvable stitches.

Recovery

The recovery process generally only lasts a few days, which includes taking the pain medicine prescribed, rinsing mouth out, and using the gauze to absorb all the excess blood. In order to minimize the pain, try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek/cheeks. Apply the ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours, after the first day use a warm wrung-out towel for the next few days. Contact your dentist or surgeon if the pain begins to get worse around the fourth day, which may be a sign of complications.

Good Dental Care Habits For Kids

You may have a lot of questions about your child’s teeth, especially if you are a new parent. But whether you are a new parent or have 10 kids, you know your children need to practice good dental care habits. So here are the answers to some of our frequently asked questions.

1. First things first: start young.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to take their children to the dentist when they turn 1 year old, or six months after their first tooth comes in. You may be thinking this is a little early for a dentist visit, but it isn’t. That first tooth that comes in is accessible to plaque, which can lead to cavities and other complications. Your pediatric dentist will be able to educate you about your child’s mouth and the proper steps needed to have a healthy smile.
This is also a good time to get advice on your child’s bad oral habits such as thumb/finger sucking and pacifier use. Don’t be a stranger. Follow up with your pediatric dentist as often as every six months. They will be able to assist you in making an oral care schedule for you child.

After jumping the hurdle of getting your children to visit the dentist, their good oral habits need to continue at home. Teaching your children proper oral hygiene habits is an investment into their overall health. Some parents may have difficulty getting their children to brush and floss everyday because “it’s not fun.” Encourage proper techniques and habits, leading by example. Show them how it’s done and they will follow suit. There are, however, some techniques you can pick up to try and make it more fun.

2. Let children pick their toothbrush and toothpaste.

There is a wide range of different products. Colors, characters, electric — kids can personalize their brushing experience to their liking. Making their own choices will help spark their interest in dental care so it won’t seem so much like a chore. Just make sure whatever they choose is approved by the FDA and ADA. Look for those letters on the packaging.

3. Offer rewards and incentives.

Parents aren’t perfect, and sometimes a little bribe here and there will work. Start small – offer extra play time or a treat over the weekend. We don’t recommend big rewards every day; this can lead to an expectation of gifts and parents definitely don’t want that. Small rewards over a larger period of time will allow for “weaning” off this technique, at the same time encouraging good oral care.

4. Educate your child.

Your children are like sponges. Teach them everything you know about oral health care and the consequences of not following proper cleaning techniques. Colorful charts are always a plus, and get your older children in on the action. Your young children look up to their siblings and are likely to follow what they are doing.

5. Make it a routine.

Children respond well to patterns and routines. Make sure to incorporate good dental care into their morning, afternoon, and evening routine. Make sure they are using proper techniques and ask your dentist if you have any questions about how to improve their daily routines.

If you have more questions about getting your children to follow good oral hygiene habits, feel free to contact us for more information. After all, we want to keep our younger generations smiling big!

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Happy National Oral Cancer Awareness Month from your friends at Pediatric Dentistry of Florida! We enjoy looking out for anyone of all ages and hope to raise awareness, along with having friends and family being conscious of this topic as well.

Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer includes any and all cancers of the mouth such as the tongue, the cheeks, and lips as well as the throat, sinuses, and other parts within the head and throat. The cancer, which often appears as a growth within the mouth, is caused by a mutation and growth in cells that can often then spread into other parts of the body.

By the Numbers

  • Approximately 45,750 people will be newly diagnosed in 2015
  • Of the 45,750 people diagnosed only about half will survive the next 5 years
  • 1 person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day
  • 115 people are newly diagnosed each day
  • IF DETECTED EARLY, a person’s survival rate increases to 80-90%

Who is at Risk?

Oral Cancer is twice as common in men as in women. In addition, those who chew or smoke tobacco, drink alcohol excessively, or are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time are more likely to develop Oral Cancer. While the average age for diagnosis is 62, this cancer can affect all ages. In addition, scientists have recently connected poor diet habits such as those without consistent fruit and vegetable intake to be at higher risk for developing this cancer. While it is certainly important to consider these risks, it’s also important to note that one in four of those diagnosed with Oral Cancer did not fall into any of the above risk factors.

The Power of Prevention

“Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.” – Oral Cancer Foundation

A Closer Look On Baby Teeth Care

There they are one day: your baby’s teeth! Now what?

As your baby begins to develop teeth, you may notice changes to more than just his or her mouth. Your baby may become more irritable or restless. In addition, you will need to begin caring for his/her teeth to keep them healthy. Prepare for your baby’s teeth by knowing what to expect, how you can help, and how to take care those baby pearly whites.

What can I expect?

Baby teeth usually begin appearing between 4-7 months, although all children are different. The first teeth to come in are usually the bottom front teeth. Sometimes teething may hurt and cause the baby to be fussy and drool more than usual.

Teething does not cause a fever. A fever usually indicates another issue. If your baby has a fever you should see a doctor to determine the issue.

What can I do to help?

You can help alleviate teething pain by:

Giving a cold teething ring or wash cloth to suck on.
Rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
Asking your doctor about infant’s acetaminophen. (Do not give your infant aspirin. Aspirin can cause serious illness in infants.)
Asking your doctor about using teething gels.

How can I take care of my baby’s teeth?

You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. You should use a damp wash cloth to wipe away plaque twice a day until the child is one year old. If left unchecked, plaque can damage babies’ teeth as they come in.

After one year of age, you should begin using a soft baby brush and a small dab of toothpaste that does not have fluoride in it. The non-fluoride toothpaste should be safe for your infant to swallow. Choose a brush that has soft bristles, a small head, and a large handle. Be on the lookout for signs of tooth decay such as brown or white spots on the tooth. Take your baby to the dentist after his/her first birthday.

If you give your child a bottle or sippy cup be sure not to leave it with your baby in the crib. Falling asleep with milk or juice in the mouth can cause decay. You can start using a sippy cup at 6 months old and should stop using a bottle at 1 year of age. Avoid sugary juices and flavored milks as these can lead to decay.

If your baby shows signs of tooth decay schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible!

Teeth Grinding Is For All Ages

What’s The Harm?

Teeth grinding can cause fractring, loosening, or loss of teeth. It can even wear your teeth down to nearly nothing. In this case, bridges, crowns, or dentures may be needed to restore/replace the teeth. In addition, chronic grinding can also affect your jaw and cause a change in the appearance of your face.

What Can I Do About It?

An easy solution is asking your dentist to fit you with a mouth guard. This will protect your teeth while you sleep. In some cases your dentist may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before you go to bed each night.

Teeth grinding is often caused by stress or sleep disorders. If you grind your teeth due to stress, ask your doctor about options to reduce stress. If you’re grinding due to a sleeping disorder, treating the sleeping disorder may eliminate or reduce your grinding.

What If My Child Grinds His/Her Teeth?

Teeth grinding is not unusual in children. It is not usually a damaging habit because children’s teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly. Typically, treatment for kids is not required.

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How Healthy Are Your Gums?

How often do you think about the health of your gums? Most people assume their gums are healthy and don’t think too much of it. However, the health of your gums is one of the most important things to consider when talking about oral health and overall health as well.

About Your Gums

Your gums are made of soft tissue and are designed to protect the bones of your teeth. This soft tissue forms a tight seal around your teeth to support the bones of your teeth and provide an adequate barrier against bacteria. For this reason, it is important to take good care of your gums by brushing after meals and flossing daily to dislodge any food particles caught in the areas between and around your teeth, as well as to prevent plaque from forming on enamel surfaces.

Why Does Gum Health Matter?

Plaque left on the tooth enamel can irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into gum disease, which is a low-grade infection of the gums that can destroy both your gums and the bones surrounding your teeth — eventually leading to tooth loss.

What to Eat

Some of the best foods to eat for healthy gums and teeth include a diet high in fiber, which means looking for items such as whole grain bread and cereals as well as beans. Fruits high in vitamin C are also good for your gums, but be sure to watch out for some types of citrus with high acidity levels. One of the hands-down best foods for oral health is celery. Consuming dairy products will help in balancing the overall pH of your mouth and drinking plenty of water will keep your gums sufficiently hydrated. Other healthy foods for your gums include leafy greens, garlic, grape seed, shiitake mushrooms, parsley, and mint.

Grocery list for healthy gums:

1) Water

2) Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt)

3) Fruits (apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, and kiwis)

5) Black and Green Tea

6) Nuts

7) Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, carrots, onions, celery and kale)

8) Whole grains