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The Psychological Consequences of Bad Teeth

It’s easy to see the physical benefits of good teeth – proper chewing (which allows for a good diet), sleeping well (without chronic pain from toothaches), and speaking properly (without any mouth deformities that cause speech impediments).

Happy-Kids

But have you ever thought about the social and psychological benefits?  If you have nice, straight teeth, probably not. But if you’re unhappy with your smile, it probably haunts you almost every day of your life.

Nearly 70% of survey respondents said their oral health affected their quality of life.  Those with bad teeth reported emotional anxiety, avoidance of close relationships, and fear of rejection.

In another study, 31.2% of children were ashamed to smile because of their teeth. For someone who, on average, should smile about 400 times a day, that’s a lot of missed grins. Ten percent of kids even said they stopped playing with other children because they were ashamed.

While we do our best to teach kids not to “judge a book by its cover,” research indicates that almost everyone does – kids and adults alike.  Bad teeth are associated with defects in character, intelligence, and morals. Because of these quick judgments, people with bad teeth are less likely to be successful in their careers and personal relationships.

Over the long term, smiling benefits your perception at work, social life, romantic status, and overall happiness. With that much at stake, it makes skipping a few nights of brushing seem like a much bigger deal.

The 5 Subconscious Habits You’re Doing that Damage Your Teeth

We all have times when we’re running on autopilot, and we’re pulled in a million different directions. At these times, you might not even realize the wear & tear you’re doing to your teeth. Beware of these 5 habits you probably do subconsciously that could wind you up at the dentist’s office.

1. Crunching on ice

This one is a tough habit to break because most people either never eat ice or eat ice all of the time. Your teeth are designed to crush THROUGH things, not AGAINST them, so the hardness of ice cubes can cause serious damage to your teeth. One dentist reminds use that even “your blender needs special blades to crush ice.”

2. Using your teeth as tools

We’ve all done it. Don’t see the tool you need laying close by hand? Plan B: Use your teeth – whether it’s breaking off a clothing tag, opening a bag of chips, or unscrewing that impossible soda top. But remember, your teeth are meant for 3 things: to chew food, to speak properly, and to look better when smiling. If you’re not using your teeth for any of those 3 things, don’t use them at all.

3. Absentmindedly chewing on whatever you have in your hand

You might not even realize how often you do this. (You might not even realize you’re doing it right now!) Some people have a habit of holding whatever object they have in their hand – pens, pencils, eyeglasses, etc. – between their teeth when they’re concentrating. Again, your teeth are designed to crush through things, so even though it might not seem like a big deal, you’re most likely putting more pressure on your teeth than you even realize.

4. Sipping on soda

We all know soda is bad for us — too much sugar, too many calories, leads to serious health conditions (really, is there anything good about soda?) — but sipping on soda over a long period of time can be detrimental to your teeth.  By casually drinking a soda at your desk, you’re literally washing your teeth in acid for an hour.  In the long term, this leads to decay and loss of enamel.

5. Excessive snacking

It’s true that snacking throughout the day kickstarts your metabolism, but it also raises the acidity level in your mouth for a prolonged period of time. When you snack, it takes your saliva about an hour to return the acidity level in your mouth back to normal, but if you’re snacking every hour or every two hours, the acidity level will be high many times throughout the day, which causes decay and enamel erosion.

Did You Know: Toothbrush Trivia

The toothbrush you recognize today was not invented until 1938. Before then, people would chew on the end of a twig to splay it and then use it to scrub their teeth.  These chew sticks were very effective.  In fact, many people today still use this method today, and prefer to use the medicinal miswak stick.

Miswak

Trivia for Kids: Elephant Teeth!

An elephant has two upper molars and two lower molars that measure one foot across and weigh about 9lbs.  Because elephants grind their food instead of chewing it, their teeth are worn down to the gum line and eventually fall out.  After all, they do grind at least 100lbs of vegetation each day. Eventually, their new teeth will appear.  An elephant may go through six sets of teeth in its lifetime.

elephant-eating

Teeth Trivia for Kids; George Washington

The first president of the US, George Washington, had false teeth after the deterioration in his real teeth forced dentists to remove them.  Washington was notoriously picky about his false teeth, and he had nine different dentists attempt to make him dentures that were comfortable enough for him to wear. One dentist succeeded but constructing a set of false teeth out of the teeth from a cow, hippopotamus, and walrus.  This same dentist made him four sets of dentures, one of which he is buried with.

George-Washingtons-Teeth

Fun Dental Facts

At Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD we try to have fun with our blog posts! Below are 10 interesting dental facts that many people may not know.

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  1. 60% of people don’t know that a sore jaw, when combined with chest pain, can signal a heart attack – especially in women.
  2. 32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers.
  3. 38.5 = the total days an average American spends brushing their teeth over a lifetime.
  4. 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.
  5. Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.
  6. A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans.
  7. Every year, kids in North America spend close to half a billion dollars on chewing gum.
  8. The number of cavities in the average mouth is down and people are keeping their teeth longer.   People, on average, have healthier mouths than even 10 years ago.  Specifically —The decline in tooth decay was greatest among kids but holds across every age group.
    —Only 40% of  young people age 6 to 19 had ever had cavities.  That’s down from 50% a decade ago.
    —Over the last ten years the proportion of people age 60 who’d lost all their teeth had decreased from 33% to 25%.
    —Use of dental sealants, which block tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of kids’ vulnerable molars, was up 64%.  30% of kids had had at least one sealed tooth.
    —Adults with post high school degrees had an average of three more teeth than those without a high school diploma.
    —Smokers remain three times more likely than non-smokers to lose all their teeth.  This figure has not changed from a decade ago.
    —Socio-economic status plays a definite role in one’s general and dental health; 33% of low-income adults have untreated decay.  This is compared with 16% of middle- and higher-income adults.  19% of kids living in poverty have untreated decay compared with 8% of wealthier kids.
  9. More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.
  10. Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.

Fun Ways to Recycle Your Toothbrush

We are supposed to replace our toothbrushes every 3 months, when there is noticeable wear, or when we have an illness. So on average, a person will go through around 5 or more toothbrushes a year. It has been reported the amount of toothbrushes that end up in landfills every year equals 25,000 tons. Below are some ways to reuse and recycle your toothbrush.

JUST RECYCLE IT:

Some toothbrushes are now made with handles from recyclable plastics. These can be put in your recycle bin at home and will then be melted down and made into other things like outdoor furniture. Next time you go buy a toothbrush, look for the recycle symbol on the packaging.
recycle

MAKE IT INTO JEWELRY:

-We just love this one. You can actually turn your toothbrush into a bracelet. Check out the link below for a tutorial on how to do this very cool craft. http://twogirlsbeingcrafty.blogspot.com/2011/01/upcycling-toothbrushes-into-bracelets.html

Toothbrush-Bracelet-Step-9

USE IT TO CLEAN:

Here are some ways to use your toothbrush to scrub the house:

Cleaning hard to reach areas
Comb cleaning
Cleaning jewelry
Carpet stain remover
Vegetable scrubber
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TAP INTO YOUR INNER ARTIST:

An old toothbrush can make a great paint brush for a child.
splatter-paint
***Please remember to disinfect your toothbrush before reusing it!

Free Dental Health and Oral Hygiene Presentations

FORT MYERS, Fla. (December 17, 2014) – Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD gave away over 20,000 free toothbrushes during dental presentations in 2014. Children in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte County were the primary recipients of the toothbrushes.

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“Educating our local community on dental health and oral hygiene is a big focus”. I believe any time you can provide educational opportunities and those tools to succeed, success will be higher in all areas of life,” said Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD of Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers provides free dental health and oral hygiene presentations to preschools, elementary, and private schools throughout Southwest Florida. Children learn the importance of healthy eating habits, dental facts, and the proper instruction on brushing their teeth, free of charge. This educational presentation equips the children with the necessary tools and guidance to confidently understand the importance of dental health.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for the last 24 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 on dental presentations, visit www.DrVerwest.com or call (239) 482-2722.

Local Dentist Helps Children Attend Theatre Performance

FORT MYERS, Fla. (December 10, 2014) – Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD supported 50 children in attendance of the Lunchbox performance, Journey to Oz at the Florida Repertory Theatre in Downtown Ft. Myers on November 22, 2014. Children from Voice for Kids of Southwest Florida also received a free lunch courtesy of Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers.

Journey to Oz Cast

“As a kid, I grew up watching the Wizard of Oz and enjoyed the story. I was ecstatic to allow others to learn and cherish those memories I had,” said Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD of Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers.

Journey to Oz is a magical and interactive new play from the Author of Florida Rep’s hit, The Odyssey Adventure! Transported on the wings of a cyclone to the magical Land of Oz, Dorothy and Toto, must find the Wizard before it’s too late. This ALL- NEW adaptation puts the audience in the middle of the action as Dorothy and her friends travel down the Yellow Brick Road, battle the Wicked Witch, and find the brains, the heart, and the courage they never knew they had.

The Florida Rep is one of Lee County and Southwest Florida’s most important cultural and educational institutions, and has been named “Best Performing Arts Group” numerous times by Gulfshore Life Magazine and Florida Weekly, and its work was featured in the New York Times and covered in American Theatre Magazine. In addition to its work on stage as a regional theatre company, Florida Rep has very active and vital Education & Outreach arm that includes Children’s Touring & Lunchbox Theatre, Camp Florida Rep, an audition-only Theatre Conservatory Program, and classes for youth and adults, artist in residency programs and the ACT UP program designed for children on the Autism Spectrum. For more information on the Lunchbox performances, visit www.floridarepeducation.org.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for the last 24 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.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers to sponsor City of Cape Coral “Movie in the Park”

FORT MYERS, Fla. (December 8, 2014) – Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD will sponsor the free “movie in the park” in conjunction with the City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation for the 2015 season. The City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation will have special activities and a grand prize giveaway for each movie.

movie in the park

“Many of our patients and staff live in Cape Coral, we’re happy to be able to help sponsor family activities and we’ll continue to show we care about our community because we sincerely do,” said Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD of Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers.

Among the movies that Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers is sponsoring include, Despicable Me 2 Saturday, February 21 2015, The Croods Saturday, April 18, 2015, and The Avengers Saturday, May 16, 2015. For locations and  movie times, please visit www.capeparks.com or call (239) 573-3123.

Pediatric Dentistry of Ft Myers, Dr. Tim Verwest, DMD, continues to provide pediatric dental care to children for the last 24 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.