Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers sponsors Future of Art 2016

Gallery Alliance for the Arts

For the second consecutive year Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD will be the exhibit sponsor for Future of Art at the Alliance for the Arts. Works of art created by elementary and middle school students across Lee County will be on display beginning April 6 with an opening reception on Wednesday, April 6 from 5-7PM. Work created by high school students will then be exhibited with a second opening reception on Wednesday, April 20 from 5-7PM and will remain on display until April 30.

“The Alliance for the Arts really has done a wonderful job over the last 24 years with this project, we’re lucky to be involved with the last two,” said Dr. Verwest.

This is the 24th year the Alliance has partnered with the Lee Arts Educators Association (LAEA) to provide students with an opportunity to display their artwork in a formal exhibit. This annual show features more than forty schools and hundreds of pieces of art in a wide variety of mediums.  Judges will select winners in several categories and award a Best in Show.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for over 26 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.

Proper Brushing and Maximizing the Benefits of Braces

Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

While you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you should see the orthodontist approximately once a month. He or she will check the condition of your braces and other appliances to make sure that they are putting steady pressure on the teeth in order to achieve the effect that you want.

Regular visits are also important to identify potential problems. If you are having difficulty maintaining clean teeth, your dentist/orthodontist may show you the proper technique for brushing and flossing your teeth with braces. Many dentists/orthodontists recommend cleaning your teeth after every meal or snack if you wear braces. And some dentists recommend a fluoride mouthwash to help control plaque buildup in the places that are tough to reach with a toothbrush.

To brush your teeth with braces, use a two-step system – brush from the top down and then from the bottom up – to help dislodge any particles that may be stuck in the brackets. You can also use a specially designed brush to clean between brackets. When flossing, use a floss threader or a floss with a stiff end and thread it carefully under the main wire (called the arch wire) between each tooth, then floss carefully between the teeth, and be sure to avoid putting pressure on the arch wire. In case your orthodontist doesn’t mention it, keep in mind that it will probably take about three times longer to clean teeth with braces than to clean teeth without braces, so plan accordingly.

Flossing Essentials for Teens

Flossing Essentials for Teens

Oral care is important for children of all ages, including teens, who may be the least likely to brush and floss regularly due to less parental supervision and their own busy schedules. But good oral hygiene is important for teens for several reasons:

  • At this time, teenagers are acquiring their last permanent teeth and some are acquiring wisdom teeth. Teeth that have just erupted (come through the gums) are especially susceptible to plaque and decay, so twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing is important.
  • Teens are following their own timetables. Teens are taking more responsibility for their own diet and nutrition habits, and they may be eating at all hours and less likely to adhere to the bedtime brushing and flossing routine that might have worked when they were younger.


Rather than trying to impose a routine that fits a younger child’s schedule, help your teen adapt a healthy oral care routine to suit their life. Are they more likely to floss right before they leave for school in the morning than before they goes to bed at night? Fine. Do they prefer a mint floss, like Oral-B® SATINfloss®, to contribute to fresh breath or a regular floss or spongy floss? Encourage them to keep floss in a purse or gym bag and remind them how a healthy smile and fresh breath can make anyone more attractive.

Make Flossing Fun for Kids

Tips To Remember To Make Flossing Fun For Kids

To get kids into the habit of daily flossing as part of a good oral care routine, parents need to make flossing fun and easy. Some kids complain, “Flossing hurts my gums,” but that need not be the case. Kid-friendly flossers, like Oral-B® Stages® 3 Flossers, are designed for children’s small mouths and sensitive gums. Using age-appropriate products can help young children have a positive association with oral health and get them accustomed to daily flossing.

Here are some other tips for parents to help teach good oral care habits:

  • Monitor children younger than 8 years old to make sure they use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing their teeth. And be sure that they spit out the toothpaste rather than swallowing it when they’re done brushing.
  • Make oral care a family event. Brush and floss your own teeth at the same time as your child. You are setting a good example and demonstrating the correct techniques for brushing and flossing.
  • Buy the right size. Choose a toothbrush that is the right size and design for your child’s level of development. Toothbrushes for toddlers have wide, easy-to-grip handles, small, narrow heads and soft bristles. Toothbrushes for older children have slightly longer handles to reflect an older child’s improved coordination and larger heads to accommodate growing mouths and teeth.


Make Oral Care Cool for Kids and Teens

Making Oral Care For Kids Cool

As kids come into their own, they’re more conscious than ever of how their bodies are changing. And that includes their mouths. In fact, common teenage concerns can include braces, bad breath and teeth whitening. Oral-B can help you create an oral care routine to address your teen’s concerns and lifestyle.

Children and teens love gadgets, so they may be excellent candidates for electric flossers, such as the Oral-B Hummingbird. Electric flossers are helpful for older adults who may have trouble handling floss, but children and teens may find them just cool enough that they are more motivated to floss. Electric toothbrushes can also make oral care more appealing to children and teens. And remind your on-the-go kids that they can keep some regular floss in a gym bag and use the electric flosser at night, in the morning before school or whenever they’re more likely to remember to get that daily flossing done.

Some electric flossers have ergonomic handles, and you can find electric toothbrushes and flosses in a variety of sizes and shapes. The important thing is to let your child or teen choose the flosser. If they like it, they will be more likely to use it. As with an electric toothbrush, an electric flosser may help promote healthier gums by stimulating the gum tissue. Even younger children can use electric flossers, although they should use them under adult supervision.

A floss threader is another handy gadget that may appeal to children and teens who wear braces. This device makes it easier to thread floss under the main wires of braces. A threader looks like a needle, and works basically the same way: Insert the floss through a loop on the end, and slide the threader under the wire. Note to adults: Threaders work well if you have a dental bridge, too.

Dental Hygiene Tips for Kids

Dental Hygiene Tips For Kids

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay in children is to get them enthusiastic about daily dental hygiene. After all, tooth brushing is probably not at the top of your child’s list of favorite things to do. But you can make it more acceptable – and even fun — by choosing a toothpaste and toothbrush that your child will like and will want to use.

Look for toothpaste with fluoride that’s child-friendly, with flavors and colors that appeal to kids, such as Kid’s Crest. There are toothpaste choices more appropriate to adult needs as well, so many families find themselves using more than one type of toothpaste.

Knowing how to brush your teeth is just as important as the type of toothpaste you choose. Teach children the proper technique early to help encourage them to develop good oral health habits. Explaining how to brush your teeth doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these simple steps to get kids off to a good start.

  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
  • Move the brush back and forth gently, in short strokes, over the fronts, backs, and tops of your teeth. Don’t scrub hard along the gum line; you can irritate your gums.
  • Don’t forget to brush (and floss) behind your top front teeth and behind the bottom front teeth. (The area behind the bottom front teeth is prone to tartar buildup and needs attention.) Use the top bristles of the brush to reach this area—some toothbrushes have a slightly longer tip to make it easier to reach these spots.

Making Kids Comfortable With Oral Care

Dental Care

Dental care plays an important role for health and appearance, both in childhood and throughout adult life. Preventative dentistry is so good these days that our kids can look forward to keeping those pearly whites bright and shiny all their lives. And we now know so much about keeping fear and pain out of dental care, that kids should have no reason to worry when it’s time for those twice-a-year visits. Here are a few things you can do to be sure your child gets the right care and develops an attitude that will ensure that his smile stays bright for a lifetime.

Pick A Kid-Friendly Dentist

There are pediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in kids’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your community, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude and interaction with children tell you it’ll be a good experience. Ask your health care provider for some suggestions if you don’t know where to start.

Visit Ahead Of Time

Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place. You can also bring a well-behaved 3-year-old with you on your own checkup so they can get used to the idea.

Examine Your Own Attitude About The Dentist

Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can sometimes give off negative messages about the dental chair without even knowing it. The parent who can be most positive about the visit should be the one to accompany the child to the dentist.

Respect Those Baby Teeth

Even though your child will lose his or her baby teeth, proper care and treatment, including fillings, sealants and extraction of dead teeth, will help ensure that the jaw and teeth underneath grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that you didn’t have as options when you were a kid. Also remember to ask your dentist about fluoride rinses to help better protect your child’s teeth from decay.

Establish A Routine

Going to the dentist isn’t the only thing that is important. Keeping up with a good oral health routine at home is key. Here are a few things that you can do at home between visits to maintain good oral care:

  • Teach kids to brush twice a day. Good times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise at least the evening brushings for kids under the age of seven.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard ones scrape the gums . Change the brush every three months or sooner if it wears out.
  • Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for at least two minutes. According to dental recommendations, two minutes is what it takes to get the job done, and kids often have difficulty keeping time.
  • Make sure your child is getting some sort of fluoride. Fluoride is available in mouthwashes and rinses, toothpastes, supplements or in fluoridated tap water.
  • Avoid sticky and sugary foods and drinks. They can cause decay (cavities).

With good dental care at home and in the dental office, as well as the right amount of fluoride, your child can learn to grow into adulthood with a healthy smile.

Brushing teeth: for kids, toddlers, and babies

It’s never too early to get children in the habit of good oral care. Of course, it’s up to parents to take the “first steps.” Finding new ways to model good dental habits and practice them with your kids is key. The sooner kids begin to take charge of their own teeth, the happier and healthier they (and you) will be. And the payoffs over a lifetime are immeasurable.


If you think it’s a challenge to teach your kids good oral care, you’re in good company. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. And studies show that almost 50% of kids between 6 and 8 have had at least one cavity. These are just a couple of reasons why it’s so important to help kids understand right from the start that proper dental habits are a smart idea.


There’s a lot of information you can discover, but these basics are a good beginning.

  • Help prevent plaque bacteria by gently cleaning a newborn baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings. Just be sure to use water only, not toothpaste.
  • Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle of formula or juices that contain sugar.
  • Once teething begins at about 4 to 6 months, get little ones used to having their teeth brushed. Extra-soft bristles and a pea-sized dab of non-fluoride toothpaste are best.
  • Even babies can develop gingivitis, decay, and cavities, so it’s a good idea to see a pediatric dental professional early—use a “first visit by first birthday” strategy.


Showing by example and making it fun is the name of the game. When everyone brushes at the same time, it becomes a family ritual that kids look forward to.

  • At about age 2, it’s OK to start using fluoride toothpaste—but make sure there’s no swallowing. Want to teach the proper length of time for brushing? Try singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or another upbeat favorite for two minutes.
  • Oral-B® Electric Toothbrushes have lots of designs that feature popular animated characters. Now kids can have more fun brushing with their buddies from Disney® and Pixar®.
  • Usually by ages 3 or 4, all 20 primary or “baby” teeth have appeared. Permanent, or “adult,” teeth appear by age 6 and will continue to emerge into the teen years.
  • If you have a toddler who is afraid of the dentist, you might make your little one more comfortable by letting him or her sit in your lap during the exam.


As kids get older, they want to feel more independent. Part of growing up includes assuming responsibility for taking care of their own teeth—without prompting from parents. Appeal to what matters to them: Kids want to look good to their peers, they want to smile in selfies, and they don’t want to spend their free time sitting in the dental professional’s chair.

To teach kids more about proper brushing time, try the Disney Magic Timer™ App.

Another big challenge for children is avoiding sugary snacks and drinks. Healthier snack options let them enjoy better dental and overall health. If your kids are involved in sports, a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injury can keep them safe and looking good for a lifetime.

Flossing is an important lesson to teach. You might also want to ask your dental professional about sealants or fluoride treatments for added protection against decay.

What You Need to Know About Cleft Lip and Palate

Every year, about 4,440 babies in the United States are born with a cleft lip, according to the CDC. About 2,650 are born with a cleft palate. One of the most common birth defects, cleft lip and cleft palate occur when the sides of the lip and roof of the mouth don’t fuse together properly.

How clefts occur

The bones and tissues of a baby’s upper jaw, nose, and mouth normally fuse, or come together, during the first 6 to 10 weeks in the womb. This forms the roof of the mouth and the upper lip. When this process is unsuccessful, the baby is born with a “cleft” (split) in the mouth, lip or both.

Risk factors affecting the mother include diabetes, smoking or drinking during pregnancy, not consuming enough folic acid and taking anti-seizure medications. Genetics can also play a role. Babies of Asian, Latino and Native American descent are the most likely to be born with a cleft, as are children whose parents themselves had cleft lip or palate.

Types of clefts

The major types of cleft are cleft lip and cleft palate. A baby may be born with only one or both conditions.

A cleft lip looks like an opening on the edge of the lip. Depending on how severe the cleft is, it may extend into the nose. Types include incomplete (partial) clefts, unilateral (one-sided) clefts and bilateral (two-sided) clefts.

A cleft palate, on the other hand, is a split in the roof of the mouth, also known as the soft and hard palate. This type of cleft may be limited to only part of the palate or one side of the face.


Babies with cleft palate often have trouble feeding, since a gap in the upper mouth can prevent suction. Since breast-feeding may not be possible, special feeders have been developed to help parents feed their babies.

Other problems may arise later on. Clefts can cause hearing loss, speech difficulties and dental problems, such as missing, misshaped or irregularly aligned teeth. Children with cleft lip or cleft palate may also be at greater risk for cavities, since they often have weak areas in their enamel and thicker, less effective saliva.


A team of specialists can help correct cleft lip and cleft palate themselves and the complications these may cause. Key members of this team may include a pediatrician, oral surgeon, speech therapist, otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) and orthodontist.

Initial surgery to close the gap in the palate or lip can occur as early as 8 to 12 weeks.

The severity of the cleft determines how much dental treatment is needed. While some children may require extensive orthognathic (jaw and facial) surgery, others may only need orthodontic treatment.

With the proper treatment, a child with cleft lip or palate can achieve normal function and appearance.

Local Dentist Recognized as America’s Best Dentist for 2016


The National Consumer Advisory Board has named Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim M. Verwest, DMD one of America’s Best Dentist for 2016. Selections are done based on a proprietary assessment of a dentists experience, training, continuing education, and commitment to excellence to ensure the most impartial unbiased review of all applicants.

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 26 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.