Category Archives: Teeth

Dental Hygiene for Mommies-to-Be | Riverside Dentist

It is an exciting time when you are expecting. Not only are you creating a tiny human in your body, but your entire life is about to change. But does EVERYTHING change when you’re having a baby? What about our day-to-day routines, like dental hygiene?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now advises that OB-GYNs conduct basic routine oral health assessments during prenatal visits, and recommends that pregnant women see a dentist during pregnancy. Routine cleaning, x-rays, and local anesthesia have been determined to be safe during pregnancy, so standard dental procedures such as dental fillings and root canals can be handled properly during pregnancy.

Pregnant women are particularly prone to periodontal disease due to hormonal changes. Research has shown that women with periodontal disease are at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight infants. For that reason, pregnant mothers with sore, swollen, or bleeding gums should be sure to schedule a checkup and cleaning because treating gingivitis early is significantly easier than treating advanced periodontal disease.

It has also been discovered that decay-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to baby, so proper cleaning can help minimize the presence of bacterial colonies in the baby after birth, decreasing the likelihood of decay in the child.

Beyond routine cleaning, typical dental advice still applies: minimize sugary foods and drinks, brush with fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and visit a dentist twice a year for a professional checkup. These simple steps will not only apply to your pregnancy, but are also great habits going forward.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Why Are My Teeth Stained? | Riverside Dentist

toothbrushIf you’re tired of having yellow, stained teeth, you are not alone. Teeth whitening restores natural tooth color and bleaching whitens beyond the natural color. There are many methods available, but teeth whitening has become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today.

But, if you brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly, why are your teeth still discolored? The outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of beverages with caffeine, soda, wine and smoking. When these outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened.

Contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth:

  • Tetracycline based antibiotics used before the age of 8 years old
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride as a child
  • Internal bleeding due to trauma
  • Discoloration due to a health condition
  • Natural aging- as time goes by enamel gets thinner and thinner and will get a yellowish hue
  • Soda
  • Wine
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine

As you can see, these factors just happen to be involved in our day-to-day lives. And unless you intend on stopping some of these less than healthy habits, you will need to be careful about how much you use. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to slow the process of teeth staining in between professional teeth whitening procedures. To slow the process, follow these simple rules:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water several times throughout the day
  • Use toothpaste with whitening agents

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Why a Professional Cleaning Is Necessary | Riverside Dentist

If we want to keep our smile healthy and bright, keeping up with our dental hygiene is an important of our daily routine. By regularly cleaning our teeth, we prevent oral bacterial infections that lead to complications in other parts of our body, such as the brain, lungs, heart and so on.

Something else we can do to maintain our oral health all year round is to visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings twice a year. There are two reasons why you’ll want to have your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office – to prevent tooth loss and to prevent oral infections from infecting other parts of your body.

In a way, professional dental cleanings help level the playing field. It helps remove most of the plaque and tartar responsible for the infection, so that your body’s immune system won’t have to fight them off on its own. This then lowers your mouth’s risk for gum disease.

Before and during the procedure, the dentist will explain to you the status of your oral health, like why your teeth are sensitive or why your gums are bleeding, and what’s going to be done to help remedy your situation. In some cases, such as when you already have gum disease, your dentist may recommend deep cleaning, or scaling and root planning. This type of treatment is more thorough than a regular dental cleaning. This is type of cleaning is necessary when there are already large amounts of tartar and bacteria under your gums.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Gingivitis: What You Need to Know | Riverside Dentist

Woman Smiling

If you know anything, you know that proper dental care will prevent major dental issues from arising. One of these dental issues that can lead to more is gingivitis. According to the ADA, gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a bacterial infection. Doesn’t seem so bad, right? The problem is, if left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis and can cause tooth loss.

Your gums attach to the teeth at a lower point than what we can see. This small space is called a sulcus where food can get trapped and cause an infection or gingivitis as your gums separate from the teeth. This can cause injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth, causing the tooth to become loose and unstable. If infection progresses, you may ultimately lose your tooth or need a dentist to remove it.

Now that you know what happens, take a look at common symptoms. Know what to look for can help keep your smile healthy.

  • Gums that are red, tender, or swollen
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Foul-smelling breath, even after you brush your teeth

The good news is gingivitis can be prevented by proper and consistent oral hygiene, so keep a balanced diet and visit the dentist regularly. And of course, brush your teeth twice daily and floss. Prevention is key to keeping your smile bright and healthy.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

My Child Has Shark Teeth? | Riverside Dentist

Pediatric DentistryIt doesn’t happen to everyone, but from time to time, the permanent set of teeth comes in before the baby teeth falls out. If it’s your child’s teeth, you may think there is cause of concern. Don’t worry, it may seem strange, but it isn’t abnormal. It is okay for the permanent teeth to erupt before the baby tooth falls out. The permanent tooth will slowly make the roots of the baby teeth weaker, eventually leading them to fall off on their own. Eventually, the permanent tooth will move into the space that was once occupied by the permanent teeth.

There are a couple of age groups affected by this dental issue, often referred to as shark teeth – it happens mostly in the lower front teeth for kids who are six years old. This may also happen to the upper molars, usually in children aged 11. There’s not an exact explanation as to explain why shark teeth happens. Sometimes the roots of the baby teeth don’t dissolve normally like the permanent teeth do. Sometimes overcrowding that takes place in the jaws. And since the baby teeth eventually fall in time, there’s little need for professional intervention.

What’s important is that you check your child’s shark teeth and monitor it closely. If the baby teeth fall out on their own, which usually happens after a few days or weeks, then it’s all good and the permanent tooth should slowly shift forward to its properly place.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Things on Your Toothbrush Aren’t Always Toothpaste | Riverside Dentist

toothbrushThere is one hygienic tool we interact with on a daily basis. In fact, if we are using it correctly, we use it on a couple of occasions throughout the day. That handy tool? The toothbrush. Manual or electric, soft or hard bristles, our toothbrush not only keeps our smiles bright, but it also affects our overall health. Unfortunately, there may be things left on your toothbrush after these cleanings you may not notice after the rinse.

Blood. When you brush your teeth, it is not uncommon to find traces of blood from time to time. It may be the way you are brushing, it may be something more serious, like the beginnings of gum disease. So, if you find that you have begun bleeding during a tooth-brushing session, make sure you rinse your toothbrush well so it doesn’t remain there until next time

E.Coli. We don’t want to bring up anything gross, but there is the likelihood of fecal matter being on your toothbrush. What’s worse is that dangerous bacteria, like E. Coli, can come along with it. If you brush with a toothbrush that has E. Coli on it, it can make you very sick.

Staphylococcus Aureus. These bacteria live in our respiratory systems and on our skin. While rare, if conditions are just right, it can lead to a MRSA infection.

Keep your toothbrush bacteria-free with these few tips:

  • Don’t let anyone use your toothbrush.
  • Let your toothbrush air-dry upright.
  • Store your toothbrush at least six feet from your toilet.
  • Replace every 3-4 months.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Before You Have That Second Cup of Joe, Read This | Riverside Dentist

If you are a coffee drinker, you may want to think twice before you grab another cup. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease. Don’t worry, periodontal disease is actually one of the most common dental problems in general dentistry, but it isn’t something you want to acquire.

There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis – an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis – a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. Gum disease, when caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now let’s look at how it comes into play with your coffee consumption. Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get the oxygen needed to function properly.

Saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee causes dehydration and reduces the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So, when you are thinking about that second caffeine boost, make sure you take good care of your teeth afterwards.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Crooked Teeth Don’t Stand a Chance with ClearCorrect Aligners | Riverside Dentist

There is little one fears more growing up than finding out their permanent teeth are coming in crooked. When you’re young, it turns out to be a tough road to travel, especially when compounded with growing pains. But no matter what, when you set out to get a straight set of pearly whites, there are a few options on the market to go with. The problem is deciding which is the better choice, tried-and-true braces or the inconspicuous ClearCorrect aligners? At work, at play, out on the town, ClearCorrect fits your life and daily routine as perfectly as it fits your teeth – you don’t need to change a thing.

Common Problems that ClearCorrect Addresses

  • When teeth are too tight together they can become crooked and cause discomfort, difficulty cleaning and lead to other dental problems.
  • Gaps between teeth are generally undesirable cosmetically, but are also a dental concern for increasing the chance of tooth decay.
  • When lower and upper teeth are not aligned properly it can cause difficulty chewing and lead to jaw and other dental problems.
  • Aside from generally being a cosmetic concern, overbites can also cause eating problems and dental issues.

Results are faster the more you wear your aligners, and ClearCorrect was designed to be effortless and non-intrusive in your life so you can wear your aligners as much as possible. Your aligners are easy to put in and take out when needed—and you’ll really only need to when you eat or clean your teeth.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Dental Floss: Everything You Need to Know | Riverside, CA

flossingAs important as oral health is to our overall well-being, we really have a lax stance on participating to our fullest potential. One of the least favorite of these little dental chores is flossing. Not only did a survey conducted by the American Dental Association revealed that more adult would rather do something they find awful than floss, but the amount of times they floss is the biggest lie dentists hear on a day-to-day basis. But why do we find it so similar to our own daily torture? It’s the forgotten hygiene. Either we’re too busy or we are too lazy, but flossing has become the “Do I have to?” of the dental world. And unfortunately, flossing is much more important than we think.

Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. In its conception, floss was made from strands of silk (fancy!), but nowadays it comes from thin filament cord. There are varying thicknesses and varieties to choose from, depending on preference. Some are waxed, some are electric or water-based. There are also handy tools available on the market that help facilitate you in flossing properly, whether you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated dental work, like braces. So no matter your reason for avoiding the floss, it isn’t a good one.

Even the process itself is relatively simple. Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth in a curved motion, reminiscent to a shoe shine fella’s rag. What you’re trying to do is gently scrub down all the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Now beyond that, there aren’t a whole lot of rules. Use a new area of floss for every tooth, don’t snap or flick the floss between your teeth (it isn’t good for your teeth and it’s gross), and always use a new piece each time you floss. No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. Floss before you brush your teeth or after. You just want to get the cleanest mouth you possibly can each time you clean those pearly whites so that bacteria can’t glom onto your teeth and give you cavities or some other kind of gum disease while you aren’t looking. Preventative measures lead to fewer emergency dental visits.

For more information about flossing or other aspects of general dentistry call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Halloween Candy: Treats or Tricks? | Riverside Dentist

Enjoying sweetsAs parents, we want to give our children the world. Thankfully, we as parents have the good sense to restrict things we know aren’t good for them. Things become a bit trickier when it comes to things like Halloween. Ghosts, goblins and gooey sweets is the name of the game on this scary holiday. It is tough to impose good health when you’re surrounded by treats. Depriving your child of everything that this scary holiday celebrates won’t score you any parenting points, so it’s important to keep a balance between having spooky fun and staying good health.

Trick or treating is hands down the best part of Halloween for a child. And let’s face it, you know candy is delicious. So what is a parent to do? Many parents try to limit their child’s candy intake by having them choose a certain amount of candy, some reserve candy to certain times of the day, or as reward for good behavior. All of these are great ideas, but it’s important that you know some candy is better than others. Instead of stopping them from sweets completely, why not just weed out all of the really bad ones? Here are the top four sweetest enemies:

Skittles. Skittles may want you to taste rainbows, but they are also letting you ruin your teeth’s enamel by combining sweet and sour for a pH level of 2.5, levels so high they can cause serious damage to your little one’s teeth. Some are sweet, some are sour; both are going to give them a toothache if over-consumed.

Caramel. Sticky candy is some of the worst for teeth and caramels are at the top of the list. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and loves to get deep into the crevices, but it can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings, making it especially harmful for those with dental work. Keep them away from caramel apples too. They may have a healthy treat underneath, but eating through the sweet candy is first.

Gummy Bears. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, gummy candies could be considered the same type of animal, only fruity. The gelatin used to make the gummy candy gummy, also sticks to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove, even with a brushing or a quick rinse of water.

Jolly Ranchers. Arguably the most addicting candies ever created, Jolly Ranchers are probably enemy #1 for your teeth. Not only are they a hard candy that can damage teeth when bitten, but sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process. It takes a while for hard candy to dissolve in the mouth, and the sugar wastes no time working their way into a tooth, causing cavity-forming bacteria to haunt your child’s healthy teeth. They may be a definite favorite, but for the sake of your child’s teeth, keep hard candy away from your little one’s precious smile.

It isn’t difficult to keep your child’s teeth healthy, even when holidays like Halloween come around. Practice good dental hygiene and keep a healthy diet and that smile you love so much will be just fine. Happy Halloween!

For more information about dental fillings or other aspects of general dentistry call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.