Pediatric dentistry of florida 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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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!

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

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

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.

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.

Is Fruit Juice Affecting Your Teeth?

Ahh, fruit juice. It has amazing health benefits, especially being full of Vitamins and antioxidants, but did you know that it can take a toll on your pearly whites? Here are a few reasons why:

Fruit Juice is Full of Sugar

You know how it goes- sugar contributes to cavities and plaque, which, in turn, can lead to gum irritation and many other negative factors from sugar buildup. Since many fruit juices aren’t 100% fruit juice, they contain large amounts of sugar.

Fruit Juice Reduces Tooth Enamel

We’ve heard a lot about the wearing down of tooth enamel in the previous posts, so you can consider it pretty sensitive to what you consume and how much you brush each day. Fruits with high acid content, such as limes and cranberries, can have the most influence on breaking down tooth enamel, which our teeth need to stay hard and strong!

Fruit Juice and The Youngins

It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference when drinking fruit juice from a sippy-cup. The liquids are released at a slower rate, thus, giving the liquid a chance to stay in the mouth more. With that being said, there is a higher chance of cavities forming! A good way to combat any problems would be to mix the cup with water to dilute any sugar or acids.

All in all, fruit juices aren’t the bad guys when having it in moderation, but it is important to be aware of the possible effects it can have on 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.