pediatric dentist verwest

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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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

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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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.

Five Signals Your Mouth Can Give You About Your Health

You probably give your teeth about 10 minutes of attention a day (if that) and think brushing and flossing every day means you’re in perfect oral health.

But oral hygiene deserves a bit more time, because your teeth may offer clues to other health problems. Several studies have shown a clear link between oral problems and serious health conditions in other parts of the body. Take a look at a few of these five symptoms, and be a little more aware of your pearly whites.

Symptom: Flat, Worn Down Teeth
While many people are aware that tooth grinding is a common problem, most people are surprised to learn they grind their own teeth! This is because people most often grind their teeth at night, when they’re not even aware of it. If you notice cracking or worn down teeth accompanied by jaw pain and headaches, it could be a sign of teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth at night, also known as bruxism, is a major sign of emotional or psychological stress. Relaxing before bed can help, but it may not stop the grinding.

Symptom: Sores
Sores in the mouth are a common occurrence for most people. Many bite the insides of the mouth or lips, creating sores that usually heal in a couple of days. Crater-like sores inside or outside the mouth are canker sores, which can be caused by stress, hormones, allergies, or some type of nutritional deficiency. However, if you see red or white sores that stick around for longer than a week or two, its time to see your dentist. These sores can sometimes indicate oral cancer, and your dentist could do an oral exam to identify the cause of the sore.

Symptoms: Cracking, Crumbling Teeth
Some may assume that teeth naturally deteriorate or fall away with age, which is not true. If you notice crumbling teeth or thin, translucent enamel, it could be a sign of a larger problem. You could have acid coming up from the stomach and into the mouth, dissolving valuable enamel. This condition is known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as acid reflux disease. Other symptoms of this problem may be dry mouth or heartburn. Leaving this untreated can cause problems not only for the mouth, but also for the rest of the body.

Symptom: Bad Breath
You probably don’t think twice about bad breath, chalking it up to the garlic-laden dinner from the night before. However, odor that sticks around for more than two weeks could be a sign of gum disease. When the bacteria that causes gum disease mixes with normal mouth bacteria, it creates a strong smell. A lingering smell could also point to a host of other problems, including a respiratory disease, diabetes, gastric reflux or even kidney failure.

Symptom: White Web-like Pattern on Inner Cheeks
White, lacy patterns on the inside of your cheek is most always a sign of Lichen Planus, a type of skin disease. The disease can manifest on other areas of the skin like the hands or scalp through red, shiny bumps.

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!)

FAQ’s: Dental Talk

Questions about your teeth probably pop into your head while you’re brushing and flossing or even when you least expect it. But then at your dental visit, the dentist asks, “Any questions?” Your mind then goes blank. Still, we know you have questions, so rest assure; here are the answers to the most common of the bunch!

Is there any reason to visit the dentist more than twice a year?

Every mouth is different, so some may need to see the dentist more often than others. If you have a high risk for tooth decay or gum disease, you may need to visit the dentist as often as every three months. A person with good oral hygiene is usually OK with only seeing the dentist twice a year.

Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual?

The great debate: electronic versus manual. If a manual toothbrush is used appropriately, it can be just as effective as an electric brush. This means brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day with proper techniques. Electric toothbrushes are not necessarily “better,” but they do provide some ease to the process. If you are not sure, ask us during your next visit and we will help you pick the right one.

What is plaque and why is it bad for you?

Plaque is a sticky film, made of bacteria, that constantly grows on your teeth. As the plaque collects and hides from your brush or floss, it becomes hard and turns into tartar. If not treated, tartar build up will lead to gum disease.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath originates in your mouth most of the time. A low level of saliva and dry mouth are common reasons why you may have bad breath. You need to control the bacteria in your mouth and neutralize the sulfur compounds that form from the bacteria build up.

I have a cavity. Why doesn’t it hurt?

Symptoms are not common with dental problems. You may not experience any pain with a cavity until the condition becomes severe. Don’t wait for the pain to get it checked out though. The longer you wait, the more difficult and expensive it will be to have it fixed.