Pediatric dentistry of florida tim 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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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!

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 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!

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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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!

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.