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Do I Really Need to Use Mouthwash? | Riverside Dentist

Two of the most common dental problems for patients is tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While they sound very different, they both have a common cause: bacteria within the mouth. While many people realize that mouthwash is effective as a breath-freshener, it can also save your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Mouthwash helps maintain oral health by assisting in the process of killing bacteria that isn’t physically removed by the toothbrush or floss and minimizing bacteria on the insides of your cheek and the gum tissue near your teeth.

Mouthwash has other benefits as well. Physically swishing mouthwash within your mouth can wash leftover food particles. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s often advisable to use mouthwash prior to brushing – mouthwash may help loosen food particles that can be fully removed with the toothbrush.  Finally, some mouthwash contains fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken 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.

No More Excuses for Those Snack Attacks! | Riverside Dentist

There you are, standing in front of the fridge or pantry, craving something to snack on. Then the thought hits, “but aren’t you trying to watch your diet?” It is important to understand that if we intend to stick to our good healthy diets, we need to re-calibrate some of the excuses we come up with to justify our poor snack decisions.

Sweet or salty, it’s no question some of our favorite snacks are not exactly the best options. “We’re at our most creative when we’re trying to justify giving in to a craving,” says David Colbert, MD, a coauthor of The High School Reunion Diet. So, it’s no wonder we can fully convince ourselves of that bag of chips or candies when the craving is unbearable.

The saying holds true: ‘We want what we can’t have’. The more we keep ourselves from a craving, the easier it is to justify indulging. Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite snacks, try enjoying them as a reward for a goal you’ve set for yourself. When you wait to indulge, you’re probably in less of an impulsive mind-set and in more of a reflective, ready-to-savor one. Not only will you be able to enjoy your favorite snack, but you will also be working towards goals bettering yourself. And if that’s too much for you to handle, try a healthier option for that snack. There are plenty of snacks out there that can satiate that desire.

Here’s something you may not know about your chocolate craving: Research shows that chocolate’s comforting effect lasts only three minutes. Is it really worth it?

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.

Anxious About Your Dental Procedure? Relax. | Riverside Dentist

dental fearDoes the thought of having your teeth worked on make you anxious or uncomfortable? Do the sight of needles and the sound of dental drills make you cringe? Dental phobia is actually a lot more common than you may think. It is estimated that about 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of this reason. Now imagine if you could have everything done while you nap comfortably, waking with zero recollection of the procedure. Would that be a dream come true or what? By the use of oral sedation, we can do this for you.

But first, who does dental anxiety affect? What kinds of symptoms should one look out for? It can actually affect a wide range of patients, including people with:

  • High dental anxiety and fear
  • A severe gag reflex
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • Extensive treatment needs
  • A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are in a relaxed state

To break it down simply, sedation dentistry your dentist’s way to relax you enough to handle the dental procedure and it’s done through the use of medication. There are various levels that you can be sedated, from minimal sedation to the completely unconscious general anesthesia. What you receive will depend on your fear and the recommendation made by your dentist. A numbing agent will be administered to the area as well. This will alleviate any pain you may have from the procedure. The idea is to make you as comfortable as possible as they do their job and to make recovery time minimal. Thankfully, there are many ways this “relaxation” can be administered.

If you aren’t in need of a lot to relax you, chances are you will be receiving nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It is given to you as you breathe through a mask, so zero pain is involved. Because it is not a long-lasting option, you will not be under long and will have the option to drive home afterwards. If you need to be calmed with a bit more than a mask full of laughing gas, the next option would be an oral sedative, or via an IV. While the pill can be taken beforehand, the IV version takes affect a lot quicker but also has the ability to be adjusted as needed. For the more invasive procedures, a deeper sedation will be required. This deep sedation method renders you unconscious and unable to awaken easily, unlike the other lighter versions.

It is important to discuss all of your options with your dental professional before any procedure. They will know which method is best for both you and your fears while in their care. Mention your medical history or any other vital information that will help them to decide the appropriate method. Find out the risks and exactly how much experience your dental professional has had with your procedure. Make sure you are in good hands. The more you know, the calmer you will feel when it’s time to get things done.

For more information about sedation 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.

Benefits of Mouthwash | Dentist Riverside CA

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Two of the most common dental problems for patients is tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While they sound very different, they both have a common cause: bacteria within the mouth. While many people realize that mouthwash is effective as a breath-freshener, it’s also very important in combating oral bacteria – not only does it make your breath smell nice, it can save your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque (bacteria-rich film on the surface of teeth) before it hardens into tartar (mineralized plaque, which continues to damage teeth and tissue, but is much harder to remove). Mouthwash helps maintain oral health by assisting in the process of killing bacteria that isn’t physically removed by the toothbrush or floss.

While brushing and flossing often cleans teeth and gums, there are a number of different surfaces within your mouth – all of which can (and will) allow bacteria to live within your mouth. Many dentists recommend that in addition to brushing your teeth, you also use your toothbrush to clean bacteria from your tongue. Similarly, using mouthwash will help minimize bacteria on the insides of your cheek, and on the gum tissue near your teeth.

Mouthwash has other benefits as well. Physically swishing mouthwash within your mouth can   wash leftover food particles from your mouth. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s often advisable to use mouthwash prior to brushing – mouthwash may help loosen food particles that can be fully removed with the toothbrush.  Finally, some mouthwash contains fluoride – fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth.

Brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleaning are the best ways to maintain a healthy mouth, but regularly using mouthwash when you brush your teeth can help minimize bacteria, remove food particles, and strengthen your tooth enamel. If you have questions about the right brand of mouthwash to consider, or about bacteria within your mouth, talk to your dentist on your next routine checkup – they’ll be happy to share their recommendation with you.

Are Dental Implants for You? | Riverside, Ca Quality Dentist

implant diagramMillions of Americans will lose one or more teeth, yearly – primarily due to some combination of tooth decay, gingivitis, and physical trauma. Despite the prevalence of dentists and dental care, it’s still quite common for patients of all ages to suffer tooth loss of one or more teeth. While brushing, flossing, and routine professional cleanings are very effective at combating tooth decay and gingivitis, it is unfortunately quite common for patients to neglect professional cleaning, or otherwise allow tooth decay to advance to a point where simple fillings are insufficient, and entire teeth need to be removed.

Whether it be from injury, decay, or gum disease, once a tooth root is damaged, it becomes very difficult to save the tooth, or to artificially cap it with a synthetic cap such as a crown. Because crowns rely on the tooth’s root to provide strength, a damaged root often means that the full tooth must be removed. For multiple tooth loss, procedures such as dentures and bridges provide synthetic tooth-like replacements. While dentures are removable, bridges are semi-permanent – typically cemented to teeth on either side of the missing tooth/teeth. However, recently dentists have another permanent solution that has a number of benefits over dentures and bridges: implants.

In cases where the tooth must be removed, patients are typically left with a handful of options: either create fake teeth that cover the area (such as with dental bridges or dentures), or replace the tooth with a combination of synthetic root and crown using a dental implant.

While dentures and bridges have their advantages and disadvantages, implants are often recommended by dentists for a variety of reasons:

 – They very closely match the appearance of natural teeth

– They allow for natural eating, drinking, and speaking

– They’re typically very comfortable, with most patients feeling the implant to be nearly indistinguishable from a normal tooth

– Implants are quite durable, often lasting decades

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots, often made of titanium, and fixed permanently into the bone of the tooth socket. The dentist then attaches a crown – often porcelain or ceramic above the titanium post, providing a structure that looks and feels almost exactly the same as a normal tooth, but without any natural tooth material. The implant can be brushed and flossed as if it were a normal tooth, but the crown surface is impervious to decay, and when properly installed, the titanium post will last for decades.

The actual implant procedure typically takes a number of visits. Typically a small titanium post is implanted into the bone socket where the tooth was removed, and the jawbone is allowed to heal around it. Six to twelve weeks later, a small post is attached to that titanium root, and the dentist creates a model for a crown to be placed onto that second post. That crown, once attached, will provide a nearly permanent replacement tooth, allowing the patient to brush, floss, eat, drink, and speak normally, without worrying about dentures coming loose, or requiring the extra hygiene procedures associated with dental bridges.

If you have a missing or damaged tooth, and you feel an implant may be an appropriate solution, speak with Dr. Middleton. While the procedure does take a number of visits, it has a high success rate and can last many decades.

For more information on your dental implants call Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton 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.

 

 

Dental Resin | Riverside, Ca Dentist

477787597One of the most versatile dental materials that dentists may use is composite resin. Whether it’s used for simple fillings or more complex cosmetic procedures, dental resin is a durable plastic material applied as soft plastic putty and hardened with a special light. One of the great benefits is that Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton can easily color the resin so that the resin matches the patient’s tooth color. Regardless of the purpose, it’s a tool that dentists use to solve a number of different problems.

The most common use is to repair decayed teeth – the dentist will start by removing the decaying material using a drill, and then fill the resulting cavity with resin. After shaping and hardening the resin, the dentist will polish the filling to match the shapes and contours of the patient’s tooth, leaving a smooth filling that blends in well with the natural tooth.

The same basic process – applying soft plastic resin, shaping, hardening, and polishing – is used for a number of other procedures as well. Typically known as bonding when used for cosmetic procedures, resin can be used to repair chips and cracks, close spaces between teeth, and make teeth look longer to improve smiles. Teeth that are misshapen (either due to injury or genetics) can be enhanced, and discolored teeth can receive a thin coat of colored resin to appear to match the other teeth. Finally, dentists may even use resin to protect portions of the tooth root that are exposed due to receding gums – the resin acts as synthetic enamel to protect the more sensitive root from decay.

While composite resin isn’t perfect – it’s stain resistant, but can be stained by some materials, and isn’t quite as strong as natural teeth or porcelain crowns – it’s quite versatile, non-invasive, and relatively inexpensive. For many patients, it’s a great solution to a wide variety of problems. Because of the ease of use, low cost, and flexible nature of the product, there’s a good chance your dentist will be using dental resin in some part of your next procedure.

For more information on your oral health call Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton 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.

Professional Dental Cleanings | Quality Dentist Riverside, Ca

78652984Dentists recommend you brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and have regular professional cleanings. While brushing and flossing help remove food and plaque at home, professional cleanings are necessary to clean surfaces you’re unable to reach effectively, and to remove substances you’re unable to remove safely.

The term for professional cleaning is prophylaxis – it involves the removal of dental plaque, dental calculus, and stains from both the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth. The goal of dental prophylaxis is prevention of disease by removing bacteria. The bacteria involved – that which causes tooth decay and periodontal disease – typically sticks to the teeth as a thin, sticky film known as plaque, and when it stays on the teeth long enough, it hardens into a calcified substance known as tartar. Once plaque becomes tartar, it is nearly impossible to remove with brushing and flossing alone.

During the cleaning procedure itself, the dentist (or hygienist) will use techniques such as scaling (where a physical instrument will be used to physically scrape tartar from teeth above and below the gum-line) and polishing (where a high speed tool will be used to clean the surface of the teeth, removing plaque and making the surface less likely to accumulate plaque in the future). Finally, the dentist (or hygienist) will also inspect teeth for signs of decay, disease, or damage, and will help identify minor problems before they grow into larger problems.

Professional cleanings are important – not only does it provide the dentist with an opportunity to check on your dental health, it helps remove calcified tartar before it has a chance to contribute to tooth decay. While brushing and flossing are vital to oral health, they are imperfect, and professional cleaning is just as important. If you have questions about the cleaning procedure, cost, or scheduling, contact your dentist’s office and ask.

For more information on your oral health call Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton 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.