The ABCs of Fluoride | Dentist in Riverside

We’ve all seen it before – fluoride in our water, in our toothpaste, everywhere. But what exactly is fluoride? And what exactly does it do to our teeth? Here is everything you need to know about this mystery additive.

Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay.

After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

So, now that we know it’s great for our teeth, how do we get fluoride?

  • Drink water with fluoride.
  • Use dental products with fluoride.
  • Brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Take a fluoride supplement.

For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they start to appear in the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

For children 3 to 6 years old, use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children don’t have developed swallowing muscles so stay away from mouthwash until they are at least seven years old.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Dental Aftercare: Eating After a Filling | Riverside Dentist

When we head over to the dentist with a cavity, we can be sure that a dental filling is on the docket to repair the situation. After your procedure, you will realize that it’s a bit difficult to eat. Don’t worry – anesthesia doesn’t last long. But it is likely that your mouth will a bit of tooth sensitivity, so here are a few helpful tips to getting through those tender couple days. If pain lasts longer, contact your dental professional for advice:

  • Chew on the opposite side of the mouth from your filling. If possible, avoid chewing with the tooth you just had filled to prevent pain and damage.
  • Chew slowly, bite lightly. Take your time and try not to bite all the way through. A lot of the pressure of chewing is from your top teeth and bottom teeth pressing together. By keeping your jaw loose, you can minimize pain.
  • Keep your mouth closed. This isn’t just to practice good manners – sometimes cold air can cause pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Skip sticky foods. Some fillings take time to set after you leave the dentist’s office. Eating sticky or gummy food could dislodge a new filling, so it’s best to avoid them for a little while.
  • Avoid very hot or cold drinks. High and low temperatures can trigger pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Pass on the sweets. Sugary foods and drinks can trigger sensitivity in your tooth and could even promote bacterial growth around or under your new filling.
  • Avoid hard foods. Foods like nuts, hard candy, or ice can cause more pressure on your tooth when you chew. Tough foods like steak, too. That pressure can dislodge your fresh filling if it hasn’t properly set yet.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Nibbling on Foods that Brighten Your Smile | Dentist in Riverside

During the holiday season, it is almost impossible not to indulge in the delicious foods everywhere we look. Whilst gathering with friends and family, breaking bread is always a given, whether it be just nibbling on snacks or having a meal.

Luckily, there are loads of foods that are great for our smile – some brighten, others strengthen, but all are delicious. And once the new year hits, take a moment to stop in for a quick check-up.

Here is a general breakdown of beneficial foods during this delicious time of year.

Crunchy fruits and veggies. Crunchy fruits and veggies like carrot, celery and apple are just some of the foods that prevent tooth decay, due to a high fiber content that stimulates the flow of saliva throughout your mouth. The saliva you produce when you eat crunchy veggies, in particular, rinses any remaining sugar away from your teeth before it has a chance to attack healthy tooth enamel.

Dairy. Cheese is full of protein and calcium – both of which are important for the strength and health of your enamel and actively protects the teeth from cavities. And drinking milk after eating sweets also reduced the amount of plaque buildup on one’s teeth.

Seafood. Fish, lobster and shellfish are an excellent source of lean protein, which can help keep your teeth healthy and strong in general. They also contain fluoride, which helps reduce your risk for tooth decay just like the fluoride incorporated in your tap water.

Nuts and other proteins. Nuts contain a good amount of protein, as well as calcium and phosphorous, which help strengthen your teeth’s enamel and stimulates saliva production. Chicken, eggs and other types of lean meat are great for your teeth thanks to their own protein.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Baby Teeth Should Not Be Ignored | Riverside Dentist

When we bring a new life into the world, we do everything we can to keep them safe and happy. We baby-proof the home, buy all of the healthiest foods and read every reference we can find to make sure we are prepared for anything that can happen. There is one thing that has a tendency to fall through the cracks when it comes to our tiny humans – dental health.

It’s easy to think that baby teeth don’t really make a difference because they fall out, but these tiny placeholders can dictate what happens when they are replaced by the permanents. When it comes to general oral hygiene, always remember that consistency is key. And while it will forever be a struggle for parents to teach oral hygiene, it needs to be done. Here are some quick tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Teach them young. 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.

Make it a family affair. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Crank up the tunes. 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’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

When Your Little One Needs Dental Surgery | Dentist in Riverside

It won’t be very often, but there may come a time when your little one needs to get some type of dental procedure done that will necessitate the use of anesthesia. As a parent, this could cause a bit of concern. After all, oral surgery is serious enough, but sedating your child is a completely different animal. And thus, we need to ask some questions. Thankfully, your dental professional will be more than happy to address any of your concerns. Because this will be new territory for many new parents, the American Dental Association some questions to ask through every step of the process.

Prior to the procedure:

Who will evaluate my child before the procedure, including their past medical history?

How long should my child go without food or drink prior to the procedure (with the exception of necessary medications taken with a sip of water)?

Will I be giving any sedation medication to my child at home prior to their coming to the office and, if so, what should I be on the look-out for?

What training and experience does the person providing sedation or anesthesia for the procedure have?

Do assisting staff have emergency training and renew it regularly?

Does the dentist have all the permits or licenses required by the state dental board to provide the planned level of anesthesia or sedation?

During the procedure:

In addition to local anesthesia, what level of sedation or general anesthesia will my child be given?

How will my child be monitored before, during and after the procedure until the child is released to go home?

After the procedure:

Will I receive instructions and emergency contact information if there are any concerns or complications after returning home?

It Is Important to Keep Your Tools Sharpened | Riverside Dentist

toothbrush

We all know that maintaining a bright healthy smile requires some work on our part. Not only do we need to visit the dentist regularly but keeping our mouths clean will help prevent issues from developing in the future.

As important as it is to keep your teeth brushed and cared for, did you know that it is equally as important to keep your toothbrush well maintained? After all, your car won’t run as well if you don’t check the oil and rotate the tires. Your smile is no different. Your mouth is home to a multitude of microorganisms, which can most definitely be transferred onto your toothbrush as you brush your teeth. Here are some tips to make sure your toothbrush remains effective and keeping your smile the best it can possibly be:

  • Refrain from sharing your toothbrush with anyone. Sharing a toothbrush could result in the exchange of body fluids and or microorganisms between users, ultimately leaving teeth more prone to infections of some sort.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any toothpaste and debris. Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry before you use it again.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. The bristles become frayed upon frequent use and therefore it’s overall effectiveness in cleaning your teeth decrease.

Now that we are getting into the holiday season, tempting treats are going to be abundant; it is our job to stay on top of our dental hygiene as we indulge in the delicious festive treats this time of year has to offer. Happy Halloween!

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Why Professional Teeth Cleanings Are Healthy | Dentist in Riverside

You brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, to the point of extreme diligence. In fact, your dental checkups are raving. So, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Isn’t this redundant? Not at all. Your teeth can never be too clean, but there are other perks to having your smile professionally cleaned. Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Not only do they improve the appearance of your smile, but they also help to prevent many other health problems. So, before you dodge your next dental appointment, take a look at the pros:

Gum disease prevention. Gum disease is an infection in your gums that can lead to tooth loss. Routine dental cleanings help to prevent gum disease.

Oral cancer detection. With every dental cleaning you are screened for oral cancer. And with any cancer detection, the earlier the better.

Good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly helps to keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had, currently have and may have in the future.

A beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy and clean and white and you have a beautiful smile, and when you have a beautiful smile, you are more confident, and it has been proven that this confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. We tend to center oral disease to the mouth, but this isn’t the case – gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight so these dental procedures can help detect future issues.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Answering Some Common Teeth Whitening Questions | Riverside Dentist

We all want the best-looking smile possible, but for many of us, keeping our teeth white is a stumbling block many of us have. There are lots of over-the-counter products to try, but the results vary. This makes most of us very wary as to which to choose. So, we make an appointment to get a dental professional to advise us about our options. It is here that patients ask about any questions or concerns they may have about what they’re getting into. Here are the more common questions answered:

How long does teeth whitening last?

Teeth whitening results leaves you with a stunning smile long after treatment is over. However, factors like genetics, diet, age, some medications (like tetracycline), and certain bad habits (like smoking) may affect the length of your whitening results. Fortunately, touch-up treatments are quick and easy, helping you keep that bright white smile as long as possible.

Will my teeth get sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is a relatively common side effect of teeth whitening, but this discomfort is not an indication of damage to your tooth. If temporary sensitivity occurs, it will go away when you’ve completed the whitening process. Desensitizing toothpastes and gels can help.

Do teeth whitening lights work?

Lots of other in-office whitening treatments use a light or a laser during the whitening process. Are these lights and lasers really effective, though? Current research shows that only hydrogen peroxide (the whitening agent used in Opalescence Boost in-office whitening and Opalescence Go tray whitening) or carbamide peroxide (the whitening agent used in Opalescence PF custom-tray whitening) are effective in whitening teeth. Light activation adds no additional benefit, and some research shows it can be harmful to lips and gums.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

We Have a New Addition to Our Treatment Options | Dentist in Riverside

Getting our perfect smile isn’t always an easy feat, but it is something we will not stop striving for. We buy brush our teeth daily with special toothpastes and try to quit smoking, but it is always an ongoing mission to capture the ideal smile.

And while there are plenty of ways to whiten your smile on your own, nothing is better than consulting your dental professional about the best way to properly get the whitest smile possible. After all, good dental hygiene habits will work wonders, but we should get some guidance when setting off on this whitening journey. Over bleaching your smile can cause further damage to your tooth enamel, so it is imperative to seek advice in order to not overdo it. Thankfully, here at Parkside Dental at Riverwalk, we have added a few new options to brighten your smile:

Ready to go. The affordable option, these prefilled 10-pack of disposable whitening trays comfortably adapt to your smile, allowing you to whiten anytime.

Customized. Take-home whitening gel offers patients customized convenience. The gel is delivered via custom-made trays in a variety of concentrations, with wear times ranging from 15 minutes to overnight, giving you more flexibility.

In-office. If you prefer to leave your whitening in the hands of a professional, about an hour in the dental chair using a chemically activated power whitening gel will instantly begin to whiten your smile without the hot, uncomfortable light.

The nice part about the our whitening systems are its many options. Each can be used alone, or jump start the process with an in-office treatment followed by at-home trays.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.

Understanding Dental Implants | Riverside Dentist

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people with good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants natural-looking and feeling and under proper conditions, such as placement by a diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime.

  • Replace one or more teeth
  • Support a bridge and reduce the need for a partial denture.
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

There are two types of implants and which ones you use depend on your particular situation:

Endosteal (in the bone): Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.

Subperiosteal (on the bone): These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework.

Esthetically, dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures.

Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health. An because dental implants are secure, you don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort, making them an excellent option for tooth replacement.

Ideally, you need to be in good oral health and have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant, you will need healthy gum tissue, free of periodontal disease.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or through the website

Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.