dr tim verwest fort myers

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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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.

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!

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

Easy-To-Make Desserts (Tooth-Friendly Edition)

Can’t seem to stay away from the sweets? Obviously, sugar isn’t that great for you and eating too much of it can lead to tooth decay. But it makes everything taste so good! *Sigh* If you enjoy a nice dessert after dinner, try one of these five favorite low-sugar recipes.

Grilled Stone Fruit

Pick your favorite stone fruit (any fruit that has a large “stone,” or seed inside). Peaches, apricots, plums, and nectarines all work great. Grilling these fruits bring out the juicy flavors so there is no need to add any sugar. Serve with Greek yogurt and berries.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Fruit

Dark chocolate is a great substitute for milk chocolate, which contains more sugar. Melt your chocolate by heating and stirring in short intervals in the microwave or by stove top. Pick your favorite fruit and dip it in the melted dark chocolate for the perfect treat. Yum!

Date Shake Popsicle

You only need four ingredients: 2 cups of low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 12 chopped, pitted dates, ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and ¾ cup of low-fat milk. Mix them together to make this dessert sweet without any added sugar. Use a blender to mix ingredients and an ice tray with popsicle sticks to freeze. Mix it up with some of your favorite fruits instead of dates.

Tropical Parfait

Plain, low-fat yogurt goes great with any tropical fruit. We love to add kiwi, pineapple, and mangos to ours, but it really doesn’t matter which ones you choose. We guarantee it will be delicious. Layer fruits and yogurt, and top it off with almonds or coconut. Mmmm.

Banana Ice Cream

All you need is one ingredient – 2 ripe frozen bananas. That’s it! Blend bananas in a food processor and serve. You can add coconut milk for a creamier texture if you like. For a firmer ice cream, put it in a airtight container and freeze to your liking. Don’t hesitate to add other, fruits, nuts, and honey for extra enjoyment!

A Chipped Tooth: No Big Deal Or Something Serious?

Oh no! You’ve fallen, bumped into something, or bitten down on a hard piece of food. The result? You’ve chipped a tooth. Maybe a huge piece of your front tooth has broken off and your speed dialing one of our dentists for a repair or maybe you have a small tooth fracture that you intend to just live with. Either way a broken or chipped tooth could point to further damage in your mouth than what you may initially see or feel. Therefore your safest option is to go in for an evaluation and X-ray to make sure you are aware of all of the damage and know your options for repair.

No Big Deal: If your chip was solely a break to the tooth’s surface and didn’t effect roots, gums, or nerves, you are likely to have an easy, quick, and cost effective cosmetic fix such as a filling or bonding.

Something Serious: In the even that the chip weakened the rest of the tooth, you then become at greater risk for the tooth to further fracture or crack. In addition, if the chip led to significant nerve damage, a root canal could be necessary if attention isn’t given to treatment or healing.

Smiling Can Go A Long Way

Smiling is something most people do without even thinking about it most of the time. You might smile at a familiar face, something that you find funny, or for no reason other than you’re in a good mood. There is actually more to smiling than just a reaction to your surroundings. Smiling can actually make you happier, healthier, relaxed, and much more!

Smiling makes you happier

Most people smile when they’re happy, but smiling also makes people happy. Your body knows that smiling is associated with happiness. Endorphins are released in your body when you smile. Endorphins are the chemicals in your body that make you feel happier. Smiling even if you don’t feel happy will make your mood happier to match your smile.

Smiling relaxes

The same endorphins that make you happier can also make you less stressed. These endorphins spread around your body easing tension and acting as a natural pain killer for your body in any stressful situation. Smiling also reduces the activity of cortisol which is a hormone that is more active when you are stressed. The less cortisol, the less negative feelings which means more positive feelings.

Smiling boosts productivity

You’re more apt to work when you’re in a good mood. If you were in a bad mood and you needed to do something that wasn’t that enjoyable, you probably wouldn’t be as motivated as you would be in a good mood. we know now, smiling boosts your mood so smiling while working will make work more enjoyable for you.

Smiling is contagious

Everyone wants to make the world a better place, why not start with a smile? University of Wisconsin-Madison Ph.D. student in psychology, Adrienne Wood, studied the effects of smiling on other people. She concluded that sensorimotor simulation in our brains is what causes us to smile at other people that smile without even realizing it. The researchers concluded that we trigger the same emotional state in ourselves as the person we are mimicking, which allows us to make an appropriate social response.

Smiling creates trust

Imagine you’re on a street with vendors on it. One looks bored and uninterested while the other is making eye-contact and smiling; which one do you think you would go to? It goes without saying you would be more attracted to do business with the one that is smiling and looks happy. If you smile, other people are more likely to trust you because trust and happiness are usually related.

Although there are many reasons to smile:

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do” – Mother Teresa

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.