Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

In recent years electric toothbrushes have gained increasing popularity among young adults and children.  Some parents have questioned if electric toothbrushes work better than just a manual toothbrush.  There are pros and cons to which one effectively works better at removing plaque from teeth. Technique is a key component when deciding which kind of toothbrush is best for you and your family.  For children, technique is often problematic in brushing teeth.  So if a child does not have the dexterity to manually brush all tooth surfaces properly, he/she will still not be able to do so with an electric toothbrush. Parental assistance is recommended, and  helping your child is more beneficial than an electric or a manual toothbrush. We recommend allowing your child to brush his or her teeth first and a parent help finish brushing at the end. Have your child lie down on the floor with his/her head in your lap.  This allows you easier access and better visibility to your child’s teeth.  When helping your child, the toothbrush should be aimed at the gum line using a 45 degree angle.  Brushing should last a minimum of two minutes. Of the electric toothbrushes on the market, research suggests that an electric toothbrush that rotates is best.  This process is known as rotating and oscillating. The rotating and oscillating action removes more plaque and reduces gingivitis more effectively than a manual toothbrush. Whether you choose a manual or an electric toothbrush, select a brush with soft bristles.  Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles are no longer straight and firm.  Replacing your toothbrush is essential because an old brush’s bristles are no longer in the correct position to effectively clean teeth.  Also, using a toothbrush that is size appropriate for your child is important.  If you choose to use an electric toothbrush for your kids, Oral B Professional or a Sonicare for Kids is a great choice for an electric toothbrush.

Help With Sensitive Teeth

One of the most common dental complaints involves sensitive teeth.  Whether it’s biting into a cold ice cream cone or drinking a hot beverage, the pain that can come from hypersensitivity can be more than an inconvenience.

Several things can cause sensitive teeth:

  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Missing or worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities

Each of these needs to be treated by a dentist.  Ignoring tooth sensitivity or expecting it to get better on its own can cause problems to compound and bring on even more pain.  By far, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin, the soft tissue just below the hard enamel that protects your teeth.  Dentin can be exposed by one of the causes listed above, or simply because it has worn away as a result of abrasion.

Use a mouthwash with fluoride.

Mild gum disease, which again causes an exposure of the dentin, can often be treated by the regular use of a fluoride rinse.  This will help to strengthen the enamel on your teeth and reduce the bacteria that is attacking your teeth and gums.

Stop using medium or hard toothbrushes.

Your toothbrush should be one with soft bristles as most of us already use too much force when brushing.  This can further wear away enamel and cause greater sensitivity.

Start brushing and flossing regularly.

If you aren’t brushing twice a day, as well as flossing, you should start.  The buildup of plaque on your teeth creates an acid that makes already sensitive teeth even more sensitive.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers voted “Best of Southwest Florida”


Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim M. Verwest, DMD has been voted best pediatric dentist of Southwest Florida 2015 by the Ft. Myers News-Press readers. The News-Press 25th annual best of Southwest Florida awards recognizes the top businesses in the community selected by their readers. Earlier this year Dr. Verwest was named for inclusion in the Consumer Research Council of America 2015 Guide to America’s Top Dentists.

Best of SWFL Dr Tim Verwest

His professional affiliations include The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American and Florida Dental Associations and West Coast Dental Association, the Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Lee County Dental Association.  He is often a guest lecturer for various organizations and has taught classes at Florida Southwestern State College.

Dr. Verwest is a board certified Diplomat of the National Board of Pediatric Dentistry with professional interests in the areas of pediatric pharmacology, biomaterials, and pediatric anesthesia.  He believes in lifelong learning and continues his education by taking courses in pediatric sedation, pediatric oncology, sealants, prosthetics, pediatric cosmetic dentistry, pediatric materials, childhood growth and development, and more.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for the last 25 years. Areas of service include comprehensive dental exams, cleanings, composite fillings, dental hygiene education, extractions, fluoride treatments, sealants, sedation dentistry, space maintainers, x-rays and tooth nerve treatment. For more information, visit or (239) 482-2722.

How Often Should my Child go to the Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, checkups are recommended for all children two times a year. Children should be evaluated for cavities and other emerging dental issues every six months, because these problems can lead to more serious dental problems and health issues if left untreated. While it is always good to follow the official guideline mentioned above, it is also important to understand that each child is unique and his or her dental needs are equally unique. One way to help your son or daughter maintain good oral health between pediatric dental visits is to monitor brushing and oral care habits, especially if the child is still very young. Children who are two to five years of age will usually still require at least some degree of monitoring during their dental care routine. The Checkup Visit. During your child’s regular dental care checkups, they will evaluate the current state of oral health and will be able to recognize any issues. The twice-yearly checkup visits are typically the time at which problems like cavities, irregular growth patterns of the teeth, and oral decay are discovered. Thus, making these appointments for your child, and following through with them, is extremely important. Learning and Maintaining Good Oral Health. Even when your child is an infant and a toddler, good brushing and other oral care habits can be taught.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers to match car wash donations

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD will match all donations made during the annual New Horizons of Southwest Florida Super Teens Club car wash. Last year the car wash raised $1,200 for the seven super clubs, which helps at-risk children become successful, independent, and contributing members to society.

The car wash is free, but donations will be suggested. The event willinclude fun giveaways and prizes courtesy of Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers. The Super Teens Club car wash is November 14, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, located at Chick-Fil-A, 21900 S Tamiami Trail, Estero, FL 33928.

New Horizons of Southwest Florida has seven “Super Clubs”, which include K-12th grade after school tutoring, reading and leadership camps, social skill learning and teaching students’ moms to grow strong families.  New Horizons currently reaches nearly 400 children and teens at locations in Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples and provides over 80,000 hours of after school tutoring and mentoring annually at no cost to their families.  For more information, please visit

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for over 25 years. Areas of service include comprehensive dental exams, cleanings, composite fillings, dental hygiene education, extractions, fluoride treatments, sealants, sedation dentistry, space maintainers, x-rays and tooth nerve treatment. For more information, visit or (239) 482-2722.

Reasons to Brush!

With the aid of dental floss, and mouthwash is brushing twice a day still necessary? Absolutely. In fact, twice is the minimum number of brushing recommended by the American Dental Association brushing after every meal is even better. Here are five reasons why the old-fashioned or electric-powered toothbrush remains an essential part of the morning and evening routines. They are great motivators to keep the fingers pointing to the bathroom sink when the little ones insist on going straight to bed. BACTERIA BUILDS UP! Food particles accumulate in the mouth every time you have something to eat. The acids produced as bacteria break down eventually cause damage to the enamel. Don’t give bacteria a 24-hour free pass! Brushing twice a day dramatically reduces the amount of time bacteria can build up on your kids’ teeth. Also, because the cleansing benefit of saliva production decreases at night, brushing before bed is even more important.TARTAR HARDENS! Tartar is one reason why professional cleanings are necessary. Tartar, or calcified plaque, is no match for the ordinary toothbrush. But the ordinary toothbrush is an every day superhero in the sense that using it regularly removes plaque – before it has the chance to harden. PROTECT YOUR GUMS, PROTECT YOUR HEART! Who doesn’t love a good massage? Treat your gums to one each time you brush. Brushing along the gum line is just as important as brushing the surface of the teeth. Research shows that periodontal disease can lead to a range of other problems, from cardiovascular disease and bone degeneration to tooth shifting and sensitivity. FRESH BREATH! Do your kids know the meaning of halitosis? If so, its mere mention probably inspires a scrunched-up face and the expression: “eww.” No one wants bad breath. Brushing twice a day helps maintain a fresh mouth, contributing to a boost in confidence and feelings of well-being.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers Inaugural Snow Day 2015

Snow Day 2015

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD will host an inaugural community fundraiser ‘Snow Day 2015’ on October 3, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The festivities include holiday pictures with Anna and Elsa along with Olaf from the movie Frozen.

There will be snow special effects, NBC2 Chief Meteorologist Haley Webb will help predict the forecast for snow, 96.9 More FM live broadcast and music by the South Fort Myers High School Band, face painting, bounce houses and slide.

Meet various mascots including Swampee from the Florida Everblades, Miss-A-Miracle from the Fort Myers Miracle, the Chick-Fil-A cow, and a Minion, courtesy of Jumping Jacks Fun Zone. View Frozen artwork courtesy of Painting with a Twist and create kid friendly crafts in Santa’s workshop.

“This is a unique events for frozen fans, Jeffrey Shafer our Marketing Director did a great job gathering top anchors in the community,” said Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD. “If you want to have great holiday pictures to look back on come to Snow Day 2015”.

Prices are $5 for adult entry and $10 for all-day wristband for children (unlimited access to bounce house play, face painting, and VIP pictures with Anna, Elsa and Olaf). You may purchase tickets in advance by visiting Food will be available and provided by BurgerQue, The Sizzle Truck, Doner Kebeb King Karl, and Poutine Queen at an additional charge. Snow Day 2015 is located at 8016 Summerlin Lakes Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33907.All proceeds from Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers Inaugural Snow Day 2015 will benefit the Abuse Counseling Treatment, Inc. (ACT).

Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. (also known as ACT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit social service agency serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties. ACT has been providing a circle of support for victims and their families since 1978. ACT provides critical services to those in crisis through a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, forensic examinations, medical, legal and personal advocacy, violence prevention programs, children’s programs and more. For more information, please visit

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for over 25 years. Areas of service include comprehensive dental exams, cleanings, composite fillings, dental hygiene education, extractions, fluoride treatments, sealants, sedation dentistry, space maintainers, x-rays and tooth nerve treatment. For more information, visit or (239) 482-2722.





Jeffrey Shafer, Director of Marketing, (239) 482-2722 x 209,

Is Mouthwash Safe for my Child?

Mouthwashes kill germs that cause plaque, cavities, and gingivitis. Adults also like the minty, fresh feeling that follows a mouthwash rinse. Many of our patients wonder: Are mouthwashes safe for kids to use, too? The American Dental Association recommends waiting until they are 6 years or older. By this age, most kids have developed the reflexes they need to spit mouthwash out as directed. Once your child is old enough, select a mouthwash that is alcohol-free and sugar-free, and contains an anti-cavity substance like sodium fluoride. Some popular brands include ACT Kids Anticavity and Firefly Kids Mouthwash. Combined with brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups, using mouthwash can be a safe and effective way to help kids maintain good oral health. Kids with braces like using mouthwash as an additional tool against hard-to-reach plaque build-up. Let them choose the flavor, teach them how to swish, see who can swish the longest! Always supervise your children when they’re using mouthwash and don’t let them use mouthwash as a substitute for brushing!

Tooth Friendly Foods

Did you know that every time your children have a snack, the cavity-causing bacteria in their mouths have one, too? When mom and dad choose tooth-friendly foods, the risk for cavities, obesity, and diabetes goes down significantly. Increase the little ones’ odds for a cavity-free check-up with the following snack-time favorites: Water or milk. A major contributor to childhood obesity in the United States, soda is high in sugar and caffeine. Juice and sports drinks aren’t much of an improvement, loaded as they are with sugar and artificial colors. Instead, choose water or milk for essential hydration and nutrition. Fresh or frozen fruits. Kids need 1 to 2 cups of fruits a day. The vitamins in fruits are good for the teeth, while high water content helps dilute the effect of naturally occurring sugars. Choose fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried fruits as opposed to dried fruits that stick to the teeth. Dairy treats. The calcium in dairy helps maintain strong bones, build strong teeth, and protect against tooth decay. Rather than letting them open an unhealthy bag of nacho chips, offer fresh cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese as a yummy alternative. Crunchy veggies. Finger foods like carrots and celery are packed with vitamin A, helping the kids maintain resilient tooth enamel. As a bonus, crunching stimulates their gums and promotes saliva production. Low-sugar cereals. Sugar abounds in breakfast cereals. Choose low-sugar cereals instead, and while you’re in this aisle, skip chewy granola bars in favor of plain crackers. Jell-O. Kids love Jell-O so much, they’ll gladly sidestep candy for this tooth-friendly treat.


Preventing Tooth Decay

If you think cavities are an inevitable part of childhood, think again; tooth decay, which is actually an infectious disease caused by bacteria, is completely preventable. This is a good thing, because tooth decay can be painful and interfere with a child’s ability to eat, speak, and focus in school. Parents have a big role to play in helping their children’s teeth stay healthy. Here are some things you can do: Establish an oral hygiene routine. Good oral hygiene practices should start as soon as the first tooth appears. An infant’s teeth should be wiped with a clean, damp washcloth each day. Starting at age 2, a brushing routine should be established using a soft-bristled, child-sized brush and just a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Children need help brushing until around age 6, when they have the dexterity to take over the job themselves — and learn to floss. Limit sugary drinks and snacks. Sugar is the favorite food of decay-causing oral bacteria. In the process of breaking down that sugar, the bacteria produce tooth-eroding acid. Too much exposure to this acid will leave a small hole, or cavity, in the tooth and create an entry point for the bacteria to reach deeper inside the tooth. Beverages that are sugary AND acidic, such as sodas and sports drinks, are particularly harmful. Make sure your child sees the dentist regularly. Routine exams and cleanings are a must for good oral health. Even if your child is doing a good job maintaining an oral hygiene routine, there are places where bacterial plaque can build up beyond the reach of a toothbrush and floss. These areas require professional attention. We can also give your child an in-office fluoride treatment to strengthen enamel and reverse very early decay. In some cases, we will recommend dental sealants to smooth out the little grooves in a child’s back teeth. This is a quick and easy in-office procedure that will keep out food debris and bacteria for years. And, of course, we can monitor your child’s dental development.