Pediatric dentistry florida 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

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.

Tooth-Friendly Holiday Foods

Easter is slowly approaching and with that comes increased pressure to eat sugary and stain-causing foods. However, you can refrain from indulging in these snacks and keep your teeth happy this holiday. Adding these healthy foods below to your upcoming dinners are not only nutritious to your body, but healthy for your teeth, and will make the Easter bunny happy to see, as well!

Cheese-Milk Products

Having a plate of cheese is a great substitution for a plate of chips and cookies. Cheese is healthy for the teeth because it contains calcium and casein. Casein is a protein found in milk products that strengthens the surfaces of teeth, preventing the growth of cavities. Cheese also acts as an antibacterial and its low pH level helps make your mouth less acidic.

Nuts

Like cheese, nuts contain calcium and other minerals that help strengthen your teeth. Chewing on nuts may sound like it could be a bad idea because of it harshness on your teeth, but in fact, chewing on nuts stimulates more saliva in your mouth, thus keeping out bacteria. Of course, if you have problem teeth areas, stay away from hard nuts. And never, ever use your teeth to crack nuts from their shells.

Raw Vegetables

Fibrous veggies are good for dental health because of their ability to act as nature’s “toothbrushes” that clean between your teeth and remove plaque. Raw celery and carrots are prime examples of fibrous vegetables. Not only are vegetables packed with vitamins and nutrients for your teeth, but also provide plenty of energy.

Fish and Turkey

Fish and turkey are foods high in phosphorous that help keep your enamel strong and healthy. Foods with calcium and phosphate help deposit lost minerals back into lesions caused by harmful acidic foods and beverages.

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.

 

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.

Whitening Toothpaste: Why It May Not Be Effective

Let’s face it, we all want the whitest teeth possible. But have you been trying the hardest to get those desired results that aren’t apparent yet? We have a few reasons as to why your teeth may be going from dazzling to dull white using whitening toothpastes.

First, it is important to note that whitening toothpastes can’t change the actual color of your teeth. They also don’t contain peroxide which is a key ingredient for teeth-whitening. Most ingredients included in whitening toothpastes only remove surface stains, which means that it can’t lighten a stain that is deeper than surface level.

Second, the overuse of whitening toothpaste can wear down tooth enamel, which, in turn, can cause a yellowish shade on your teeth. Although it takes about two to six weeks to see results when used twice a day, it is well worth the wait instead of using the toothpaste more than you should just to have your teeth become less white than they should be.

So although whitening toothpaste may deliver some results overtime, it may not thoroughly do the job as much as teeth whitening treatments provided by your dentist.