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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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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

Nighttime Oral Health Care

Keeping your mouth clean isn’t just a day job. It’s just as important to practice nighttime oral care as it is to keep your teeth clean during the day. The (somewhat gross) fact is, when you are sleeping, you are not swallowing your saliva. Eight hours of doing this increases the level of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath and plaque buildup. Bad oral hygiene can turn into tooth decay or gum disease, so make sure you follow our steps to keeping your mouth clean at night.

Every night before you go to sleep: brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. This is the best routine you can get into to prevent future problems with your mouth. So let’s break it down.

Brushing

We recommend that you brush after dinner and before you go to sleep. Doing so will clean your mouth of any plaque buildup and will give bacteria less to feed on. Using an FDA and ADA approved toothpaste with proper brushing techniques will reduce your chances of tooth decay and gum disease.

The ADA suggests the following brushing technique:

Brush at at 45-degree angle to your gums.
Gently brush back and forth on all outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Use short strokes as wide as your tooth.
Turn your toothbrush vertical to clean the inside of your front teeth.
Brush your tongue to rid of any leftover bacteria and prevent bad breath.

Flossing

While skipping the floss at night may feel like a shortcut, you’re not doing yourself a favor. Flossing helps clean your mouth in the spots your toothbrush physically cannot reach. If you don’t remove that plaque, bacteria will feed on it while you are sleeping. Also, plaque buildup can turn into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

The ADA suggest the following flossing technique:

Use an 18-inch piece of floss.
Wind the floss around the middle fingers of each hand.
Tightly hold the floss and insert between your teeth using your thumb and forefinger.
Curve the floss in a C-shape around the side of your tooth.
Gently run the floss up and down against the side of your tooth.
Floss in between every tooth in your mouth, and don’t forget about your back teeth.

Therapeutic Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes are different from your generic cosmetic mouthwash and do much more than just freshen your breath. They contain certain ingredients that help fight cavities, strengthen the enamel on your teeth, and prevent gum diseases like gingivitis.

How To Get Rid Of White Spots On Your Teeth

What are white spots the spots on my teeth?

Whether you have had them all your life or are recently seeing them appear, white spots on teeth are very common. These white spots are a sign of mineral loss, and often point to thinning tooth enamel.

What causes them?

The cause of white spots can vary and its therefore important to know what exactly is the cause of your white spots. Some white spots begin during childhood as a result of using too much fluoride before your teeth were fully developed. These white spots likely formed from excess calcium buildup.

Another cause is poor dental hygiene habits, especially while wearing braces when the buildup of plaque can be hard to reach. Dry mouth can also lead to white spots. Without adequate saliva production, acids that erode tooth enamel don’t neutralize and therefore begin wearing down your teeth.

How can I get rid of them?

While some teeth can be treated with simple cosmetic procedures, other white spots require much more attention since they are closely linked to the overall health of your teeth. Common treatment plans for cosmetic fixes can be bleaching or porcelain veneers. The best course of action is to make an appointment with a Dental Care Center dentist to decide the cause of your white spots. Your dentist can then select a course of treatment that will protect the health of your teeth.

What steps can I take to prevent them in the future?

In order to prevent white spots, we suggest having regular check-ups with your Dental Care Center dentist as well as brushing and flossing correctly throughout the day. We especially urge those who wear braces take extra care in brushing and flossing routines to remove plaque build up in hard-to-reach places. In addition, try to avoid overly acidic and sugary food and drinks that can damage tooth enamel. Instead, choose mineral-rich foods like dairy products, meat and eggs and those foods containing lots of Vitamin D.

10 Of The Most Interesting Facts About Teeth

You may not think about your teeth much. You might even consider them boring. But here are 10 fun and interesting facts about your teeth that just might catch your attention.

1. Teeth are like fingerprints; no two teeth are the same. Even identical twins have signature teeth that are individually special to the person.

2. Saliva acts as a rinse to rid teeth of sugar and bacteria. We produce around one to two quarts of saliva a day, which adds up to two swimming pools worth of saliva in a person’s lifetime.

3. About 73 percent of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss their teeth.

4. Each year, approximately 5 million teeth are lost to sports related injuries.

5. George Washington’s legendary wood dentures are a hoax. The President’s dentures were constructed from gold, lead, and elephant and hippopotamus ivory.

6. Children between the ages of 5 and 6 usually have 20 teeth, while adults have around 32 permanent, including wisdom teeth.

7. Newborn babies are generally perceived as toothless. However, 1 in 2,000 babies is born with a tooth.

8. Before minty fresh toothpaste was invented, a concoction of charcoal, ash, chalk, lemon juice, tobacco, and honey was used to clean teeth.

9. Teeth grills may have originated as early as 2,500 years ago, as some Native American tribes were infamous for teeth bedazzling, using resin to embed gems in their teeth.

10. The plaque found on your teeth is composed of more than 300 species of bacteria. (Yuck!)

Procrastinating a Dental Visit?

Whether being busy, or having anxiety about going to the dentist, procrastinating a visit can have serious consequences.

When we see a patient due to pain or sensitivity, often this pain and the treatment they consequently have to receive could have been prevented. In some cases, the issued could have been avoided by maintaining proper oral hygiene and dental checkups every six months.

Checkups allow dentist to help you prevent issues or catch issues early. Early detection, before symptoms of pain appear, is often extremely important and can dramatically reduce the amount of treatment needed.

There is a higher chance of cavities forming, gum disease, or a number of other oral issues in the duration of a dental absence. This can lead to tons of dreadful side effects, including root damage, severe tooth aches, and even tooth loss.

If your little one hasn’t been to the dentist in over six months, they’re due for a visit! We recommend you schedule an appointment as soon as possible and continue to schedule regular visits every six months. In addition, if you experience any discomfort or pain, do not delay seeing a dentist. Making time for a visit will provide healthy and pain-free smiles to last a lifetime!

Dental Health Tips During Cold And Flu Season

It’s that time of year again.. people are coughing and sneezing and germs can be anywhere at any place. Not many people enjoy getting the flu, so it is best to be on your toes with your dental care! You must always make sure you are first taking care of yourself in order to stay healthy and flu-free this season. So have no fear about the cold and flu season being here; we have a few tips to help you get through the next few months happy and healthy (hopefully with a smile, too!).

Keep up with good oral hygiene practices

We all know you don’t want to be bothered when you’re sick and all you want to do is rest, but maintaining daily brushing and flossing habits can go a long way. You also must not share your toothbrush along with not necessarily replacing your toothbrush after you recover, but only after the 3-4 month mark of usage when the bristles begin to separate from each other.

Choose cough drops carefully

These guys are good for dry or sore throats, but they also contain sugar. It is best to purchase sugar-free cough drops to avoid any cavity-causing bacteria that can sit in your mouth and eventually make its way onto your precious pearly whites, which can cause buildup over time.

Hydrate yourself

Drinking lots of fluids can give you huge benefits; such as preventing your mouth from getting dry which can lead to cavities in the end. It is important to keep in mind that liquids containing large amounts of sugar can cause cavities due to the bacteria that causes cavities feeding off of the sugar. With that being said, water would be the best option when choosing something to guzzle down.

Resist brushing too early

If you feel the need to vomit, resist brushing for at least 30 minutes prior. Since your teeth are coated in stomach acid, brushing can just make things worse by distributing the acid all over your teeth. An alternative would be to swish and spit a mixture of water and one tablespoon of baking soda in order to wash away any stomach acid that can cause harm to your teeth.

What You’re Consuming Can Have an Impact on Teeth Staining

If you are noticing your smile starting to losing its sparkle and shine, its time to take action. First, lets find the source of the staining; what could be causing your teeth to go from dazzling to dull? A huge factor can be certain foods or drinks you are consuming. Some culprits of teeth staining include beets, blueberries, soy sauce, tomato sauce, soda, coffee, tea, wine, and grape or cranberry juice. If you’re not ready to give up some of these things just yet, we have a few simple solutions to keep all these satisfying eats and refreshments by your side without harming your pearly whites.

  • Drink with a straw: This will prevent any liquid from getting near the visible front surfaces of your teeth
  • Use a tongue cleanser: This removes any residue on the tongue that can cause your teeth to bathe in staining.
  • Drink or rinse with water: This will help wash away any dark liquids from the teeth
  • Floss, floss, floss!: Since plaque attracts stains, the more plaque you eliminate will prevent further staining
  • Choose an antibacterial mouthwash: This will diminish any stain-catching plaque
  • Brush after every meal: This will greatly decrease the chance of stains settling on your teeth

 

Old vs. New Toothbrushes: When to Replace Them

At Pediatric Dentistry of Florida, we want to kick off the new year with your oral hygiene being on point. You may have mastered the art of proper brushing, but do you ever wonder when it’s time to replace your toothbrush? Over a period of time, you might notice the bristles on your toothbrush starting to spread out. This can be an indication to replace your plaque-attacker. Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD recommends to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months to avoid bacteria build-up from brushing overtime. Happy cleaning!

Quick Tips to Keep Bacteria at Bay:

  • Store your toothbrush upright in a glass to allow it to air dry
  • Swish it in 100 percent white vinegar
  • Do not share toothbrushes to avoid the exchange of bodily fluids and bacteria
  • Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly under running water to remove any excess toothpaste and other residue

Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD collects 930 lbs. of food for Harry Chapin Food Bank

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD collected 930 lbs. of can-food donations during their “Touch-a-Truck’ event. All food collected will benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

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