What Makes Me Smile Art Exhibit

– Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD is offering children 18 years or under a chance to create works of art centered around the theme ‘What Makes Me Smile’. The exhibit is free of charge and will be hosted at Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, 8016 Summerlin Lakes Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33907 on Saturday, July 30 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and is open to the general public.

“Art can inspire those to do great things, it takes patience, practice, and persistence,” said Dr. Verwest. “It teaches us different viewpoints, understanding and mental growth valuable for development of children”.

There will be one (1) $100 and one (1) $50 winner from each of four categories including, Preschool, Elementary, Middle, and High School.  Any type of art will be considered. Winners will be selected by a panel of local arts and entertainment industry judges.

The deadline for art submissions is Wednesday, July 20, 2016 and may be submitted to Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers with your name, age, school, and why your art makes you smile.

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.

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Preteen Nutrition for Dental Care

Did you know that what you eat and when you eat it affects not only your overall health but your dental health too? Eating healthy foods help keep your teeth and body healthy. That’s why you should try to keep the amount of sweets you eat or drink to a minimum. If you have something sweet, try to eat or drink it with a meal to limit the exposure time to your teeth.

What to Eat:

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which encourages healthy eating, a healthy diet should include:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Combined these should be half of what you eat every day.
  • Grains. Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
  • Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
  • Lean proteins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eat at least 8 oz. of seafood a week.

Snacking tips:

  • Snacking is hard to resist but you can do your mouth a favor by watching the amount of soda, juice or other sweetened beverages you drink.
  • If you want a snack, try and choose something like fruit, low-fat cheese, yogurt or raw vegetables.
  • If you chew gum, make sure it’s sugarless. Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for helping prevent cavities by strengthening teeth. Look for the ADA Seal on the package.

If you have braces: Good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing are especially important for people wearing braces. Your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy. If you have trouble with certain foods, try cutting them into smaller pieces first. For instance, slicing apples or carrots before eating them.

You may also experience problems eating after your braces are tightened–teeth may feel sore. The first few days are the worst, so try eating softer foods such as scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pasta, smoothies, and soups until your mouth feels better.

Preteen Healthy Habits

Want to avoid cavities? Brushing twice a day with toothpaste, flossing once a day, and limiting sugary snacks and beverages is how you do it. It’s simple but sometimes life gets busy and you might be tempted to skip it. Don’t. A bright smile makes you feel good inside and out. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, too.

Some things to protect your smile


Dental sealants are a type of special plastic coating that act as a barrier, protecting cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth and are sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves in other teeth. Sealing a tooth is fast and easy. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but sometimes a reapplication is needed. Talk to your dentist about sealants. Remember: Just because you have sealants doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush and floss every day. Sealants are added protection against decay!


If you play a sport or are active in things like skateboarding or snowboarding, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard. It may feel funny at first, but mouthguards are the best thing you can do to protect your teeth from getting broken or knocked out. They cushion blows that would otherwise cause injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. There are different kinds of mouthguards; ask your dentist which one is right for you.


If you have a bad bite or your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, you may benefit from braces. Braces can help improve your smile and make your teeth straighter. They can also improve your dental health and overall health because untreated orthodontic problems can make it hard to bite and chew and can interfere with eating. If you have a bad bite, you may also be prone to cavities or gum disease because it may be hard to clean your teeth. Braces come in many different styles, including tooth-colored plastic braces or traditional metal braces that come in a variety of colors. Removable clear retainers can sometimes be used. Talk to your dentist to see what the best choice is for you.

Brush the Plate – Fort Myers Miracle 2016

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD is offering an opportunity to children 13 years or under to ‘brush off the plate’ during a 2016 Ft. Myers Miracle game. The contest is free of charge and open to the general public.

“We did this last year and the kids had a lot of fun,” said Dr. Verwest. “We want to get people excited about dental care and the partnerships we have had with the Miracle help us do that in different way”.

20 winners will be selected throughout the season and the contest will officially conclude in September. To enter to win (2) two tickets and the on field activity, visit www.drverwest.com/brush-the-plate-contest/.

The Fort Myers Miracle are the Class A Advanced minor league baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club. Since moving to Fort Myers in 1992, the Miracle have qualified for the Florida State League Playoffs eight times and won the Florida State League Championship in 2014. Home games are played at Hammond Stadium at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. For a game and events schedule, or more information, visit www.miraclebaseball.com.

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.

Going to the Dentist

  • A dentist or medical provider checks teeth and applies fluoride varnish, takes x-rays, fixes cavities etc.
  • Everyone should have regular dental checkups; follow your program’s requirements for dental screenings, referrals, and checkup schedules
  • The dentist or a medical provider should check all children’s mouths by a child’s first tooth or first birthday
  • Young children may get fluoride varnish to strengthen teeth and help prevent cavities
  • Children and their parents may be nervous or fearful about going to the dentist
  • Families may need encouragement, support and information about why dental visits are necessary and important

Brush, Floss, Swish

  • Everyone should brush their teeth for two minutes, two times a day (after breakfast and before bed).
  • Use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste starting with tooth eruption to age 3; after that, use a pea size.
  • Brush all sides of each tooth using a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Do not rinse your mouth out when you finish brushing.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove food and germs stuck between teeth.  Begin flossing a child’s teeth when the teeth touch.
  • When brushing is not possible, after eating rinse your mouth with water.  Swish the water around your mouth and then swallow it.  Children can usually swish and swallow at about age 3.
  • An adult should assist a child with brushing until they can tie a shoe lace, between 6 to 8 years old.

Tooth Healthy Foods

  • Tooth healthy foods are low in sugar and high in fiber and nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meat, beans, and whole grain breads and pastas.
  • Tooth unhealthy foods are starchy and high in sugar, such as crackers, dried fruit, chips, and cookies, as well as juice and soda pop.
  • Eating “tooth unhealthy foods” creates an acid that attacks teeth.
  • Continual snacking on tooth unhealthy foods or drinking juice or soda causes repeated acid attacks. Repeated acid attacks cause cavities.
  • It is important to eat meals and snacks at regularly scheduled times. This reduces the number of acid attacks on teeth.
  • Limit “tooth unhealthy foods” for special days or occasions.
  • When a pregnant woman snacks frequently to ease nausea or other pregnancy issues, encourage her to rinse with water after eating.

Water for Thirst

  • Water is the best drink to keep your teeth and body healthy.
  • Water may contain fluoride, a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities.
  • Drinking juice or soda throughout the day causes repeated acid attacks. Repeated acid attacks cause cavities.
  • Juice and soda pop have a lot of sugar in them and no nutritional value. Replace them with water!
  • When baby breastfeeds or sleeps with a bottle of milk, the sugars stay on the teeth while the baby sleeps. This gives the germs time to attack and weaken the teeth and make cavities. If a baby goes to bed with a bottle, fill it only with water.
  • Encourage children to drink water for thirst in between meals and at snack time. This will help prevent cavities.

Baby Teeth ARE important!

  • Baby teeth are important – they help us smile, eat, talk, and hold space for adult teeth.
  • Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, will start to come in at about 6 months of age and continue to until about age two and a half.
  • Taking care of children’s baby teeth helps to establish good oral health habits and increases the chances of having a healthy mouth later in life.

How Important is Diet to My Child’s Oral Health?

A balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth. In addition to a full range of vitamins and minerals, a child’s diet should include plenty of calcium, phosphorous, and proper levels of fluoride.

If fluoride is your child’s greatest protection against tooth decay, then frequent snacking may be the biggest enemy. The sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candies, dried fruit, soft drinks, pretzels and potato chips combine with plaque on teeth to create acids. These acids attack the tooth enamel and may lead to cavities.

Each “plaque attack” can last up to 20 minutes after a meal or snack has been finished. Even a little nibble can create plaque acids. So it’s best to limit snacking between meals.