Category Archives: Teeth Cleanings

Teaching Tiny Humans to Brush | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethParenting is never an easy job. We need to keep our tiny humans safe while we teach them how to navigate life in the best way they can, and this will generally come along with a struggle as they grow up. After all, they are figuring things out and when something like dental hygiene come up, the last thing they want to do is learn to do it. But when it comes to things like oral hygiene, consistency is key. However, we often find ourselves stuck in a constant struggle with children to get them to brush their teeth. If this is something that occurs whenever you try to help your little one, here are some tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Start earlier. Timing can be a huge thing in helping your child adjust to a normal cleaning routine. Sometimes children get crankier as time goes on. With that in mind, try to start your routine earlier in the day, perhaps a little bit after dinner. This will definitely improve their mood.

Brushing together. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Cleaning teeth to music. Music may play an important role in allowing your child to not only enjoy brushing their teeth, but sufficiently brush their teeth. Choose a song that is at least two minutes long, to ensure the brushing process is done in its full time, and then choose a song that your kid enjoys!

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.

Baby’s First Dental Appointment | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethAs a new parent, you are constantly wondering if you’re doing the job right. One of these overlooked details is a child’s dental health. Children should start visiting the dentist any time between first tooth and their first birthday to alleviate issues for any future anxieties. It’s also beneficial to get some basic knowledge as to how your child’s dental health should be handled at home so there aren’t problems growing up.

It’s important to prepare your little one for this new adventure. Learning about what will happen through books and other resources is fantastic help, but another is to give them a bit of a preview. Take turns roleplaying what the dentist will be doing poking around in their mouths. Having a dentist poking around with sharp tools is always going to be a scary thing for a tiny human. The more preparation, the smoother the experience.

On the day of your child’s first visit, the dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in the future. A thorough examination     will distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet.

Making sure your little one is comfortable is your first priority so be sure to bring things that soothe them, whether it be a little snack, a favorite toy or blanket. Keeping them happy will ensure you leave that first appointment ready and able to tackle any surprises that may hinder that sweet baby smile you love so much.

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.

Bad Breath: Is It Treatable? | Riverside Dentist

Do you suspect you have bad breath? Perpetual bad breath may be a warning sign of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day.

See your dentist regularly. With an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning, your dentist will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.

If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.

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.

The “Sugar” in Sugar-Free Gum | Riverside Dentist

Do like chewing gum? Is it a sugar-free brand? Have you ever wondered if the advantages of sugar-free gum are actually benefiting your teeth? It turns out, many of those products actually do work, and it is because of a common sugar replacement called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar.

Cavity-causing bacteria needs to feed on sugar, but it cannot feed on Xylitol. Chewing sugar-free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed these damaging bacteria, but it allows your body to wash away the sugar by producing more saliva. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

Gum and mint products are the most common, and most sufficient, sources of Xylitol for dental impact. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly, perhaps 3-5 times per day for 5 minutes at a time.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the US FDA and World Health Organization, but should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, care should be taken, as too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest. Chewing gum a few times per day is a cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, while fighting off cavities.

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.

How to Whiten Your Teeth at Home | Riverside Dentist

489195623If there is anything that we correlate with a good smile, it’s the color of the teeth. After all, we call them pearly whites for a reason. The problem with white teeth really lies in the degree you take your oral hygiene. You can brush & floss every day, but your teeth may not keep its natural sheen. You can make appointments for teeth whitening sessions, but that can get pricey. Here are six ways to DIY your smile back to brilliant:

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. You can find a lot of toothpastes with these ingredients, or a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into a little bit of baking soda. Apply it as you would regular toothpaste.

Strawberries and banana peels. Having these fruits handy will help brighten your smile in the most delicious way possible. Strawberries contain malic acid, fantastic at breaking down stains. So, grab a couple berries, add about a teaspoon of baking soda & rub on your teeth for 5-7 minutes. As for the banana, it’s the peel. After you brush your teeth, rub a piece of banana peel on the inside on your teeth for two minutes.

Pantry items. If you have apple cider vinegar, dilute it with water and mix it with an all-natural toothpaste. If you have discovered the many uses for coconut oil, you may also know that swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes helps dingy teeth; or heat a cup of coconut oil, add two teaspoons of baking soda & five to ten drops of natural spearmint essential oil. Coconut oil turns into teeth whitening enzyme when mixed with saliva, and the spearmint adds antimicrobial benefits for your gums.

For more information about DIY teeth whitening, 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.

Bad Breath and How to Prevent It | Riverside Dentist

young beautiful woman drink coffeeDo you suspect you have bad breath? If so, it might be an indication of other problems and not just a lack of proper oral hygiene. With perpetual bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

The medical condition dry mouth (xerostomia) also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

But how do you get rid of it? Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.

See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.

Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.

For more information about bad breath prevention, call Dr. Gerald Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com.

Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario, Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.

How Mouthwash Has Been Lying to Us | Riverside Dentist

toothbrushLet’s face it, some of our favorite foods leave us with some of the worst breath. We enjoy our garlic, onions and coffee, and the state they leave our breath is horrific but completely worth it. Just gargle a little bit of mouthwash & we’re good…right? What if I told you it’s all a myth, that mouthwash isn’t helping you out with bad breath at all? Sorry to have to break the news, but it’s true.

Before I begin, let’s take a quick look at what causes bad breath in the first place. We have bacteria in our mouths, both good and bad. While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it is easy for plaque and harmful bacteria to collect and multiply inside of our mouths. That’s where our saliva comes in. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance. We produce saliva, then it breaks up all the built-up bacteria and prevents it from sticking around, giving us bad breath. Couple that with your daily brushing and flossing, and you have a relatively healthy mouth.

Saliva is our natural line of defense against bad breath. Now let’s look at mouthwash. We know for a fact that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. So, by default, mouthwash is also dehydrating. Now, if mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria is allowed to collect. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

But what about the claims made by mouthwash ads to “kill bacteria and bad breath chemically”? Well, mouthwash does kill bacteria. It has to with all of that alcohol in it. The problem is, mouthwash cannot distinguish between the harmful bacteria and the bacteria it needs to leave alone because it is actually helping our mouth.

There were once claims that mouthwash could actually replace your daily dental regime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mouthwash cannot remove plaque. Nothing liquid can remove plaque. It needs to be removed by physically removing it with a toothbrush and floss. If you aren’t doing either of those, the plaque remains on your teeth and the mouthwash cannot get to the bacteria in order to kill it.

So, what do we do when we get a case of bad breath? Forget about mouthwash and use water. Brush and floss a couple times a day, and tongue scrape at least once daily. Your tongue is full of bacteria so a good scraping is pretty necessary. If you are in a jam and don’t have a dental kit around, munching on an apple or a stick of gum will do the trick. Both will help produce saliva. And don’t forget to drink lots of water. Not only is it just good for you and keeping you hydrated, but the more you drink, the more saliva you’re producing. No more bad breath!

If you are in need of a professional cleaning, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule an appointment today! Or visit www.gmdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly serves Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.