What Should I Do if My Child Chips, Breaks or Knocks Out a Tooth?

With any injury to your child’s mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately. The dentist will want to examine the affected area and determine appropriate treatment.

If your child is in pain from a broken, cracked or chipped tooth, you should visit the dentist immediately. You may want to give an over-the-counter pain reliever to your child until his/her appointment. If possible, keep any part of the tooth that has broken off and take this with you to the dentist.

If a tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth by an injury, take the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible. Handle the tooth as little as possible — do not wipe or otherwise clean the tooth. Store the tooth in water or milk until you get to a dentist. It may be possible for the tooth to be placed back into your child’s mouth, a procedure called reimplantation.

Pediatric Dentistry of Florida Office Tour

Meet Buddy the turtle and let him show you around Pediatric Dentistry of Florida (also known as Pediatric Dentistry of Fort Myers). #DrVerwest. We’re Trusted by Parents, Preferred by Kids! For appointments, please call (239) 482-2722.

Proper Dental Care Prevents Many Problems

Proper Dental Care

The effects of poor dental care range from tooth decay and cavities to gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth loss. Fortunately, proper dental care, including cleaning teeth correctly and regularly, can prevent most of these problems.

If you don’t clean your teeth well every day, you’re putting yourself at risk for tooth decay. Early signs of decay include visible holes in your teeth, pain when you bite and feelings of sensitivity or pain in your teeth.

When the carbohydrates in the food and drinks that you consume aren’t cleaned from the teeth regularly, they provide fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. These bacteria can start forming plaque on teeth within 20 minutes of eating, so if you’re a frequent snacker, you may want to clean your teeth more often than twice a day. The truth is, bacteria are almost always present in the mouth, and frequent cleaning — and limiting sugary foods — may help prevent decay.

Cleaning teeth also helps prevent cavity-causing bacteria from progressing to gingivitis, or gum disease.

A Recommended Dental Care Routine

Keep your teeth clean and cavity-free by following a regular dental care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. And visit your dentist and dental hygienist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and assessment to catch any problems before they become serious. Your dentist or dental hygienist might also recommend a particular type of toothbrush, dental floss or oral rinse to help you get the most out of your daily dental care routine.

The Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene

The Cost Of Dental Treatments

If you develop complications from tooth decay and gum disease, you may be dealing with bills for anything from fillings or crowns to more costly and complicated procedures such as root canals or oral surgery to extract damaged teeth and place dental implants.

The Costs Vary

The costs of dental treatments vary. For example, the cost of a root canal will depend on the location of the tooth and how many canals are in the tooth that needs the root canal treatment.

The Cost of Oral Hygiene

By comparison, the cost of basic oral hygiene and preventive teeth cleaning is low. A toothbrush should be replaced every three months or when it appears worn, but that’s just a few dollars. The same goes for dental floss, whether you prefer specialized floss, such as Oral-B’s Ultra Floss, or standard floss.

Points To Remember

Also, don’t forget that most dental plans cover at least one, and sometimes two, checkups and cleanings per year at little or no cost to you. It’s better to make and keep those appointments, even if you don’t think you have problems with your teeth or oral hygiene, in order to identify and manage potential problems before costly care is required. Remember that your dentist is your partner in oral health, and be sure to keep him or her informed about medications you take and changes in your overall health so your oral hygiene can be tailored accordingly to maximize your health benefits. Some types of medications (including anti-depressants and some heart medications) increase your risk for gingivitis, so be sure to let your dentist know if you start taking any new medication, even if you don’t think it will affect your oral health.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers sponsors Miles for Melanoma


Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD will sponsor the Miles for Melanoma 5k race on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the Sanibel Outlets. Florida Skin Center will play host and all proceeds will go to support the Melanoma Research Foundation.


“In 2016, its estimated 1 in 25 Americans will develop melanoma, that’s something we want people to be aware of, especially living in the sunshine state,” said Dr. Verwest.

Registration begins at 7 am and the race begins at 8 am. Early bird registration for the 5k timed version is $30 for runners and is free for untimed runners.  For more information visit www.floridaskincenter.com/miles-for-melanoma.php.


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 www.DrVerwest.com or (239) 482-2722.





Jeffrey Shafer, Director of Marketing, (239) 482-2722 x 209, communityoutreach@drverwest.com

What To Expect When Getting A Filling

What To Expect When Getting A Filling

When your dentist tells you have a cavity, you really do need a filling to protect the tooth from further decay.

When To Opt For Dental Filling

In fact, if left unfilled, a cavity will only get worse and the decay might ultimately lead to bone loss. Fortunately, the tooth-filling procedure is nearly painless thanks to advances in dentistry. So there’s no reason to avoid getting a filling if your dentist recommends it.

What To Expect

One of the first things to expect when getting a filling is a conversation with your dentist about what type of material should be used. There are many more choices of filling material available today than in the past, and your choice may depend on a combination of appearance, cost and function.

Options For Filling Materials

Some options for filling materials include:


  • Gold. Gold fillings are sturdy and non-corrosive; they can last up to 15 years. Many people like the look of gold fillings, but they can cost more than other types.


  • Amalgam. Silver-colored amalgam fillings are a mixture of metals including silver, copper, tin and mercury. They’re the most researched dental material and are strong, durable, and inexpensive, but many people don’t like the look of the silver.


  • Composite. Fillings made of a tooth-colored mixtures of glass and resin, composite can match the color of your teeth, but they are not as durable as metal and may need to be replaced more frequently.


  • Ceramic. Ceramic fillings are often made of porcelain and they are popular for people who want a natural looking tooth. They are durable, but can be abrasive if they hit up against natural teeth. Your dentist will need to make sure that you are biting correctly and the ceramic crown is smooth in order to prevent tooth wear.

Glass Ionomers

  • Glass ionomers. These glass and acrylic fillings bond chemically to dental hard tissues and release fluoride slowly over time. They are indicated for low-stress areas and are usually placed on roots or front teeth. They are often used in children as a short-term solution for baby teeth.

Using Anesthesia

When it’s time to fill your cavity, your dentist will first numb the area using local anesthesia. If you’re very nervous about the procedure, talk to your dentist about options for managing your concerns to help you relax.

Using A Special Dentist Drill

Once the area surrounding the cavity is numb, your dentist will remove the decayed tissue using a special dental drill, an air abrasion instrument, or even a laser. The end result is the same-the removal of decayed tissue. The instrument used depends in part on where the tooth decay is and how severe it is. Air abrasion is a relatively new technique in dentistry that involves using a handheld device to spray a tiny stream of aluminum oxide particles onto the area of the tooth to be removed. The particles hit the tooth and blast away the desired amount of tissue without any heat or vibration. Most patients report that the procedure is essentially painless. But if you have a very deep cavity or it is in a tricky spot between the teeth, your dentist will likely use the dental drill.

Cleaning Out

Once the decayed material is removed, your dentist will clean out any debris and place the filling in the cavity. If the cavity is deep, your dentist may place a liner over the cavity before placing the filling to protect the tooth nerve.

Cleaning And Polishing

When the filling is in place, your dentist will clean and polish it and send you on your way. Your lips and gum area may be numb for the first few hours, so chew food carefully and avoid chewing on the part of your mouth where the filling is located. Some tooth sensitivity is normal during the first few weeks after a filling. You might also want to avoid triggers, such as extremely hot or cold foods. If the sensitivity persists after a few weeks, contact your dentist. And if you feel pain in the tooth when biting, see your dentist as soon as possible-you may need to have the filling reshaped.

Not To Worry

Don’t worry if you feel some pain or sensitivity in teeth that are next to the filled tooth. This “referred pain” is the nerves in the filled tooth sending pain signals to other teeth. It is normal and should subside within a week or two.

Take Good Care Of Your Filling

After you’ve received a filling, take good care of it. Follow a regular oral health routine of twice daily tooth brushing (preferably with a fluoride toothpaste) and daily flossing. And be sure to see your dentist for regular checkups-you may not notice when your filling starts to wear down, but your dentist will be able to notice this and also find any weak spots during a checkup. If your filling breaks or falls out, see your dentist immediately so it can be repaired or replaced.

Know These Types of Cavities in Teeth

The Three Types Of Cavities

When plaque is not removed by a consistent oral care routine of daily brushing and flossing, your teeth are more likely to develop cavities. Visit a dentist or dental hygienist regularly so he or she can check your teeth for any problems including cavities or gum disease symptoms.

Not all cavities are the same, and your dentist can tell you what type you have after examining your teeth with dental instruments. He or she may also use x-rays to confirm areas of decay.


The three types of cavities are:

  • Root decay. This type of decay is the most common type among older adults who are more likely to have receding gums. It occurs on the surface of the roots of the teeth.
  • Pit and fissure decay. This type of decay occurs on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. It can be prevented with proper tooth brushing; however if you’re inconsistent in your oral hygiene, this type of decay can quickly become severe.
  • Smooth-surface decay. This type of decay occurs on the outside flat surface of the teeth when bacteria is not removed and plaque builds up. It’s the least serious kind and may be treatable with fluoride. It’s also helpful to know that this type of decay may be positively impacted by regular and proper dental flossing.


If you think you’re developing cavities, don’t avoid cleaning your teeth. Even if you experience painful flossing and brushing, it’s important not to avoid the sensitive areas. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and soft floss, such as Oral-B® SATINfloss®, with warm water.

What Causes Cavities

Know These Cavity Risk Factors

Cavities are a common dental problem, but this early form of tooth decay may be prevented easily if you brush your teeth and floss properly every day.

And that’s not all. Certain factors can increase your risk for developing tooth decay. Not brushing and flossing your teeth to remove plaque is a top risk factor, but keep these others in mind:

  • Specific foods and drinks. Foods that cling to your teeth are the most likely to promote tooth decay. All sugars and most cooked starchy foods are major plaque promoters, including milk, honey, raisins, hard candy, dry cereal and bread.
  • Frequent snacking. Some diets suggest eating several small meals each day to help lose weight or maintain weight loss. But remember that if you snack frequently, no matter what type of food, the acid in the food has more time to damage your teeth. Here’s another tip: Brushing your teeth after eating not only removes plaque, it can also help you stick to your diet by making your mouth feel cleaner so you’ll be less likely to snack.
  • Bottled water instead of tap. Many people are concerned about the quality of their local tap water, but public water supplies contain fluoride, which promotes oral health by helping to protect tooth enamel from plaque buildup. Check the labels on your bottled water—some have added fluoride. And if you have children, check with your dentist about the correct amount of fluoride that they should get to help control plaque and promote oral health.
  • Receding gums. If your gums are receding, plaque can form near the roots of the teeth, which are not protected by tooth enamel and are more vulnerable to decay.

What Is A Cavity?


You hear about them at the dentist’s office, and maybe you’ve even had one or two in your lifetime. But do you really know what cavities are all about?

Cavity Development: Plaque And Tooth Decay

A cavity is the space inside a tooth that remains once tooth decay is removed. Plaque, a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth, is one of the main causes of tooth decay. The reason we brush and floss every day is to remove plaque, because bacteria in plaque reacts with sugar in the foods we eat to produce acids that can attack and weaken tooth enamel—the hard, protective covering on our teeth. Eroding enamel leaves the teeth unprotected, allowing for cavities to develop more easily.

There are three different places where a tooth can experience decay and cavities:

  1. On the biting surfaces of the teeth. This occurs when plaque becomes trapped in the grooves or crevices of the teeth. This is most common in children, because they often miss these areas when brushing.
  2. Between teeth. This occurs when plaque is left to build up on the hard-to-reach surfaces. These areas cannot be reached by a toothbrush alone and may be susceptible to decay if you don’t floss or clean between your teeth, regularly.
  3. On the root surfaces of the teeth. This is common if you have suffered gum recession or bone loss, often associated with gum disease, or periodontitis. It’s also more common to find decay here as you get older  if your gums  recede. If plaque is left to build up on the exposed roots of the teeth, then a cavity can quickly develop because roots do not have the same hard enamel covering.

How Can I Help Prevent A Cavity From Developing?

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help prevent the formation of a cavity. Try this dentist-recommended oral care routine:

  • Brush twice a day
  • Use toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride, an agent that strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities
  • Clean between your teeth daily with floss to help remove the plaque your toothbrush is unable to reach
  • Follow a healthy diet and avoid sugary foods and drinks
  • Schedule regular visits with your dentist, approximately every six months, for a routine cleaning and exam
  • Remember to change your toothbrush when it looks worn, or every three months, because the newer the bristles, the more plaque the brush is able to remove

How Often Should My Teeth Be Checked For Cavities?

You should plan on seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups. While checkups can vary, your dentist will most likely examine your teeth and gums for any visible problems, including the development of a cavity. He or she may also take X-rays to make sure there aren’t any problems that aren’t yet visible. Your dentist may also professionally clean your teeth to remove hardened plaque from above and below the gum line, as well as polish them to remove plaque and stains from the tooth surface. And don’t forget—your dentist can also provide expert instruction on brushing and flossing.

Dental Hygiene for Plaque and Tartar Control

Two important dental hygiene issues are plaque and tartar control. Patients often confuse plaque and tartar and how they’re related to each other. Read on to learn how to differentiate them and tailor your dental hygiene routine to help control them.


Plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth surface. Saliva, food, and fluids combine to produce these deposits that collect on teeth and where teeth and gums meet.

The buildup of plaque can trap stains on the teeth, and it is also the primary factor in gum disease. Fighting plaque is a life-long part of good dental hygiene. Plaque can also lead to the development of cavities, which further weaken your teeth.

Plaque can begin forming on teeth four to 12 hours after brushing, which is why it is so important to brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Brushing teeth, although necessary, is not enough. Make sure to floss every day in order to get those hard-to-reach places between teeth to help prevent the buildup of plaque.


Tartar, also called calculus, is a crusty deposit that can trap stains on the teeth and cause discoloration. Calcium and phosphate bind to form crystals on the teeth. These calcium phosphate crystals eventually harden within plaque, forming calculus. Certain types of chemicals called pyrophosphates help to decrease calculus buildup by stopping the growth of crystals on the tooth surface and preventing new crystals from forming. Tartar creates a strong bond that can only be removed by a dental professional. Its formation may also make it more difficult to remove new plaque bacteria, thus potentially creating problems further down the road.

Dental Hygiene for Prevention

Plaque and tartar do not affect everyone in the same way; individuals vary greatly in their susceptibility and resistance. For many of us, these deposits build up faster as we age, meaning the older you get, the more closely you have to monitor your dental hygiene routine. There are, however, several ways in which you can alter your dental hygiene practices to help protect your teeth from the buildup of plaque and tartar.

  • Having your teeth cleaned professionally every six months, or more frequently as recommended by your dentist or hygienist
  • Brushing with a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphate, such as Crest® Tartar Protection, which adheres to the tooth surface and inhibits the formation or growth of calculus crystals
  • Brushing with Crest® Pro-Health or Crest® Vivid White, which contain sodium hexametaphosphate, a pyrophosphate specially formulated to not only inhibit calculus, but also loosen and break the bonds of extrinsic stains for powerful whitening and a protective barrier to prevent future stains