Do We Need White Teeth During a Pandemic? | Riverside Dentist

We may be stuck in some type of quarantine and wearing a mask is required in most places, so most of us don’t exactly have a way to show off our smiles these days, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to have the prettiest, brightest smile possible. And if we have some staining issues, we do our best to try to brighten our smiles. There are many methods available, such as brushing, bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, and of course, professional whitening treatments.

But you may be thinking, I keep up with my regular dental hygiene – why are my teeth still yellowing> This happens because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of beverages with caffeine, soda, wine and smoking. And when these outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth all day until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. The best way to help your stained discolored teeth is with one of the easiest cosmetic dentistry procedures, professional tooth whitening.

The most popular and convenient method is with the ZOOM whitening technique. This procedure is done in our office in about an hour. Our trained clinicians first place a protective barrier on the cheeks and gums. The Zoom whitening gel is then applied to the teeth. This gel is used with the Zoom light which together gently penetrates the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations. During the procedure you can relax, watch a DVD or listen to music. The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour for a bright, healthy smile you’ll want to show off – once it is all safe to do so.

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.

How we use teledentistry in our Riverside dental office

In a previous blog, we covered the various tools and policies we use to keep you safe. In this article, we will discuss teledentistry and show you how you can set up a virtual appointment with Dr. Middleton – just like you were in his Riverside dental office with him.

COVID-19 has changed the way the entire medical field functions and operates – dentistry is no exception. Because of this, we’ve needed to get creative about how we interact and treat our patients. 

Teledentistry allows our office to quickly assess and devise a plan of action for your oral health – all from the comfort of your own home! Because it limits social interaction, it is one of the best ways to approach dental care during COVID-19.

First off: What is teledentistry? 

In normal times, a typical dental visit requires you to take time off from work, drive down to our Riverside dental office, receive the requisite dental care, and then go on to resuming your day. In our busy lives, it can sometimes be hard to schedule a time that works for you (as well as us). 

COVID-19 makes this even more complicated. Now, on top of everything else, we need to make sure that you stay safe and sound. This means adding a COVID-19 symptom screening, increased time as we sterilize each of the rooms, and other additional steps that make the process more complicated.

Teledentistry allows you to meet with Dr. Middleton from the comfort of your own home. Using a video chat application, Dr. Middleton is able to give essential oral health care without the need for in-person interaction. 

It’s easy to see why this is so important. During the pandemic, minimizing personal contact is critical – and these online dental visits help us do just that.

We use teledentistry to streamline multiple dental procedures

Teledentistry allows us to be flexible in the way we approach dentistry. Currently, we utilize teledentistry to help us streamline the following procedures.

  1. Dental emergencies: This allows for quick action in case of a dental emergency. If you have a dental emergency – severe pain, bleeding, or something more minor – Dr. Middleton can quickly assess and offer advice to mitigate the problem in the short term and schedule an office visit to ensure the correct treatment is given.
  1. Routine dental exams: As you know, your typical visit to the hygiene department involves an exam by Dr. Middleton. In order to reduce the amount of physical contact, we now offer this exam virtually. 

During your visit with the hygienist, your hygienist will capture images, video, and notes. At his earliest convenience, Dr. Middleton will review them, schedule a chat with you over the portal, and discuss his findings with you. This allows us to quickly and safely provide you with the high-level care you expect from us.

  1. New patient examinations: As you know, each of our new patients undergoes a comprehensive exam with Dr. Middleton. We’ve now decided to move this to our virtual portal. Rest assured that this will be a private conversation for you to comfortably discuss any dental concerns you have with Dr. Middleton.
  1. Discussing treatment: We also will utilize the patient portal to discuss recommended treatment with any of our patients. This allows you to meet with Dr. Middleton at a time of your choosing from the comfort of your own home.

Teledentistry is an exciting new trend in the dental field. We will continue to remain vigilant as to any new technologies that arise in order to give you the best – and safest – dental experience.

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 You Need a Tooth Replacement | Dentist in Riverside

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 in 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. Because of their versatility, dental implants can remedy an assortment of dental issues, sometime within one visit:

  • 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.

When it comes to choosing which dental implant is right for you, that will be discussed with your dental professional as you create a treatment plan, but here’s a quick rundown of the differences:

  • 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 metal framework.

Now that you are aware of the types of implants, you should know why implants are the most advantageous option for your dental malady. 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, leaving more of your own teeth untouched. And unlike dentures, implants are secure, so you can go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

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.

This Is Clearly the Answer | Riverside Dentist

When we have a flawed smile, it tends to become an issue in various ways. For some, it causes speech or issues when eating, for others it can just cause us to be self-conscious, which can hinder the social aspects of our lives. It is at this time we seek the help of our dental professional. In many cases, your smile can be fixed with braces.

The problem is traditional braces are made of metal. And depending on your age, if can be rather embarrassing. Metal braces are bulky and can break or become damaged if you aren’t careful. If you play sports, you can knock out a bracket. If you eat something too sticky or too hard, it can also lead to broken brackets and wires. The good thing is, we now have an alternative option – ClearCorrect invisible braces.

ClearCorrect Invisible Braces are unlike any traditional methods to straighten teeth. With ClearCorrect, patients do not have to endure the embarrassing look of metal brackets or wires because the metal appliances have been replaced with customized, clear aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. These aligners will gradually shift your teeth to create the smile you’ve been hoping for. As time goes by, your aligners are swapped out and replaced with the next set of aligners. There are a few rules to wearing them, but diet restrictions and other issues traditional braces are no longer an issue.

The best part is, if you are an adult, these clear aligners are straightening your smile in the most discrete way possible, making them perfect for the workplace or even at home. Call Dr. Middleton today to determine if you are a good candidate for ClearCorrect invisible braces.

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.

How the Electrostatic Disinfecting Fogger Protects our Riverside Dental Office

In our previous article, we covered the main devices that we use to keep our office safe during the current pandemic. Now, we want to dive deeper into the electrostatic disinfecting fogger and why it is vital for office cleanliness. 

Here is how the electrostatic disinfecting fogger helps keep our office safe for you and our team during this unprecedented crisis.

The effectiveness of fogging over other cleaning methods

First off, what exactly is fogging? And why do they work so well at fighting bacteria in an office setting?

Foggers are great because they spread disinfectant into hard-to-reach areas that other cleaning devices simply can’t reach. They work by depositing tiny droplets on surfaces throughout the office, easily reaching areas that simple spray and wipe methods miss. Not to mention a massive reduction on cleaning time!

Mist from our fogger works in a similar way as disinfectant sprays in that they trap viruses and bacteria in the air and kill them. However, the difference is that it stays in the air for a much longer time, and can even wrap around objects. 

In contrast, your typical sprayer needs to physically move around objects in order to disinfect them completely.

Simply put, the fogger is the best way to completely disinfect an office. But that’s only half the equation. Electrostatic disinfecting supercharges our disinfecting material giving it a further edge in combatting the virus.

What is electrostatic disinfecting?

Equally important is what we’re putting in our foggers to disinfect our office. 

This isn’t your ordinary disinfectant that you would use around your house. Our supercharged liquid stops COVID-19 in its tracks and is a crucial part of keeping our office safe and sanitized.

But what is this supercharged cleaning agent, you may ask?

All of our foggers use the highly effective disinfecting agent known as hypochlorous acid (HOCI), or electrolyzed water. It’s been proven to be highly efficient at eliminating all kinds of viruses and, don’t worry, it’s completely safe too.

In fact, this technology has been utilized in the agriculture, automotive, and tanning industries for over 60 years. It’s only recently been applied to surface disinfection – just in time to help offices in their fight against COVID-19.

But what’s the big deal about this electrolyzed water? What gives it the advantage over other disinfecting substances?

Spray utilizing this electrolyzed water works applies a 3D wrapping effect to any surface that it touches. The positively charged particles in the spray are able to completely wrap around the entire surface, giving it complete coverage.

Even better, the positively-charged droplets actively avoid one another, seeking out untouched areas. This also avoids that annoying pooling of liquid that comes with ordinary cleaning material. Once sprayed by our fogger, this water effectively cleans out an entire room, coating every surface – even those that manual cleaning may miss. 

Essentially, the disinfectant completely protects all surfaces in our office even if it doesn’t physically touch them. 

But how effective is it? 

While no disinfectant completely eliminates bacteria, electrostatic disinfectant has been found to kill 99.9% of bacteria in just four minutes. 

Due to its ability to reach virtually every surface in a room – and kill everything there – the electrostatic disinfecting fogger is one of the best means to combat COVID-19.

We are taking these measures in our office to ensure you’re safe and sound

Our electrostatic disinfecting fogger is an invaluable component in our fight against COVID-19. As a result, we make sure to use it multiple times a day. In particular, we use it after every dental procedure that involves aerosols. 

As previously mentioned, this spray is safe and patients and staff can enter the room immediately after the product is applied. You won’t even notice that it’s there, working silently in the background to sanitize and protect us.

At our Riverside dental office, we’re completely committed to keeping you as safe as possible. Rest assured that we’ll take any measure possible to get through this crisis.

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.

The Risks of Gum Disease | Dentist in Riverside

We’ve all heard the word gingivitis, but what is it?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis is a very common condition and varies widely in severity. It is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed and is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene.

Unfortunately, there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis. Some of the most common risk factors are as follows:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco prevents the gum tissue from being able to heal.
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate and are harder to keep clean.
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause typically correlate with a rise in gingivitis. The increase in hormones causes the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack.
  • Cancer and cancer treatment can make a person more susceptible to infection and increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Stress impairs the body’s immune response to bacterial invasion.
  • Mouth breathing can be harsh on the gums when they aren’t protected by the lips, causing chronic irritation and inflammation.
  • Poor nutrition, such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake, will increase the formation of plaque. Also, a deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair healing.
  • Diabetes mellitus impairs circulation and the gums ability to heal.
  • Medications such as anti-seizure medications promote gum 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.

Three important measures we are taking to keep our dental office safe against COVID-19

COVID-19 has made every business think deeply about security measures in face of such a pandemic. This is no different at our dental office, where your safety is very important to us.

In a recent video, Dr. Middleton briefly explained some of the products and technologies that he and his staff are using to help keep his Riverside dental office safe during the current pandemic.

In this article, we’d like to go over these products in further detail to make sure you know exactly why we use them how they protect anyone who enters our dental office.

Hospital-grade air purifiers 

First on the list are hospital-grade air purifiers, which we have installed in several locations in our office. These are the same kinds of air purifiers that hospitals use so that the air is as fresh as possible for their patients.

At our dental office, we wanted to make sure that the air you breathe is as clean as it would be in a hospital setting. In face of a serious threat such as COVID-19, clean air in the dental setting is increasingly important.

Our air purifiers, made by the highly-lauded Surgically Clean Air, reduce 99.9% of airborne contaminants. With a six-stage filtration and sterilization process, they destroy any odors, gases, mold, allergens, and viruses that may be lingering in the air. This includes COVID-19, which has a significantly lower chance of surviving a battle without air purifiers!

Air purifiers are the first line of defense against COVID-19. But they aren’t the only thing we are doing to combat the virus.

Electrostatic disinfecting fogger 

Second in our line of defense against COVID-19 is an electrostatic disinfecting fogger. This is especially good at cleaning out those hard-to-reach places that the air purifiers may have trouble getting to. 

So how do they work? 

These aren’t just ordinary foggers. Our foggers work to attack all harmful products in a given area through a process known as electrostatic spraying. 

Electrostatic spraying is proven to be highly effective at sanitization. It is much more comprehensive than other foggers as it applies a 3D wrapping effect to any surface that it encounters. Because the particles in the spray are positively charged, the disinfectant is able to wrap around an entire surface. This gives it complete coverage against harmful bacteria and viruses. 

Essentially, electrostatic disinfecting foggers eradicate all traces of the virus from any surface they touch. This gives us yet another layer of defense against COVID-19. 

In our dental office, we use our fogger several times a day – particularly after any dental procedure that involves aerosols. 

Dental tissue laser 

Lastly, we have started to implement a dental tissue laser at our office. This helps against harmful aerosols and splatter when Dr. Middleton or another team member is performing a dental procedure.

As you are all aware, dental procedures can be messy with all sorts of products flying from your mouth and into the surrounding area. Our Solea dental laser is the solution for a post-COVID environment. In total, it uses 74% less air pressure and 83% less water flow when compared to other drills. 

Our Solea all-tissue dental laser significantly reduces aerosols and splatter by utilizing less water flow and air pressure than other dental lasers. It also stops COVID in its tracks by killing any viruses and bacteria whenever wherever the beam comes in contact with them.

In these trying times, safety is crucial. At our Riverside dental office, you can rest assured that we will take every measure to ensure safety for you and our team.

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 Hygiene for Summertime Sweets | Riverside Dentist

The summer season means a whole lot of things, but summertime sweets are at the top of the list. Ice cream and pie, cold drinks and county fair confections – no other season can beat it. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, indulging in these treats will do a number on our dental health. This is why it is important to balance our sugary intake with a proper dental hygiene routine. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions – you may need to make some adjustments.

How often are you brushing your teeth?

It is no secret that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes – in the morning to start the day with fresh clean breath, and before bedtime to prevent any remaining cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth while you sleep. If you happen to have a toothbrush handy, brushing between meals is always a great idea as well. 

What do you brush your teeth with?

It can be a bit overwhelming task, trying to choose the right toothbrush for your smile. After all, there is generally an entire aisle at the store dedicated to toothbrushes. How does one even begin to choose? It is a good idea to choose a soft-bristled one, so that it is gentle on your gums. Hard-bristled versions can wear at your gums, slowly causing future periodontal issues.

Is flossing important?

One of the more neglected dental tasks has to be flossing. But in actuality, flossing plays a very important part in our dental routines. Not only does it get stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

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.

Five apps to help get your kids to brush their teeth

Boy brushing his teeth

It’s hard to get children to brush their teeth – no doubt about it. For kids, full of boundless energy, it can be hard to start an effective tooth-brushing routine.

But it’s imperative that you make your kids brush their teeth in order to instill healthy habits into their later lives. The American Dental Association says that every kid should brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day in order to keep their teeth fresh and healthy – however, this is easier said than done.

Luckily, the digital age has brought technology designed to do just that. The following five applications are designed to help make brushing your teeth fun and accessible to kids. 

Pokemon Smile

Pokemon is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with its games selling millions of copies around the globe. Last month they announced the release of an innovative new game – not one designed to save the world, rather one to save something far more important: your kids’ teeth. 

Pokemon Smile, as recently announced in a press release, allows kids to help rescue their beloved Pokemon from “cavity-causing bacteria.” Using augmented reality, the easy-to-use application tracks brush movements with the front-facing camera. After a successful brushing away of all the cavity-causing bacteria, the user is rewarded with a chance to catch their very own Pokemon. 

Interestingly enough, Smile isn’t Pokemon’s first foray into healthy living. Last year, they released Pokemon Sleep, designed to help you wake up refreshed and ready for the day.

Both Smile and Sleep are available for download now in the Google Play or the App Store.

 Disney Magic Timer

While Pokemon is the newest major media company to develop an app geared to get children to brush their teeth, it’s not the first. Disney beat them to the punch by a few years by partnering with Oral-B to create the Disney Magic Timer.

What sets the Magic Timer apart from Pokemon is the vast amount of characters Disney is able to tap into, including Star Wars, Marvel, and other classic Disney characters. 

After downloading the application, the first step is to pick your favorite characters. As your child brushes, these characters appear on the screen, rewarding them for brushing their teeth effectively. If certain goals are met, they can even win prizes and unlock stories for their characters. The downside to Magic Timer is that you need to purchase a compatible toothbrush in order to use the application. 

If your kids are die-hard fans of Disney princesses or superheroes, there’s a good chance this application is for you. Disney Magic Timer is compatible with all Apple and Android devices.

 Brush Up toothbrush trainer

Stepping away from apps from major companies brings us to Brush Up, a toothbrush trainer application that helps teach, empower, and motivate your child to brush their teeth. 

Brush Up has its own interactive AI for children to follow along to – a virtual toothbrush trainer named Budd who guides your kids along their tooth brushing journey. By following Budd’s movements and verbal instruction, kids learn how to brush their teeth most effectively and efficiently. At the end of each tooth brushing session, kids are able to evaluate and learn how to improve their brushing ability, putting them on the road to a healthy brushing habit.

In fact, the National Academy of Medicine named Brush Up one of the best apps of 2015, citing its innovation in getting kids to brush their teeth.

As with the previous applications on this list, Brush Up is available in the Google Play and App Store. It’s available for a $0.99 per month subscription or a $9.99 one time fee.

Brush DJ

Brush DJ takes a different approach to making brushing teeth fun. Rather than rely on interactive characters to guide kids in brushing their teeth, it uses something different: music. 

The most common error kids have is not brushing their teeth the dentist-recommended two minutes each time. Brush DJ aims to make this easy for kids by playing two minutes of their favorite songs to help make the time fly.

Brush DJ also sends out reminders to brush, floss, use mouthwash, and when to schedule appointments with your dentist for a cleaning. Better yet, this app is completely free, with no ads attempting to get you to spend your money.

Brush DJ can be found here for Apple users and here for those with Android devices.

Chompers

While this last one on the list isn’t technically an application, it’s still an effective way to get your kids – or even you – to brush your teeth regularly. 

Chompers takes a similar approach as Brush DJ in that it tries to make the two minutes you need to brush your teeth – a time that can seemingly last forever – more interesting. Chompers is a podcast that covers an entire topic in the time it takes to brush your teeth. This could be a joke, brainteasers, or facts all jampacked into a two-minute window. Each podcast also gives off an alert telling you when you need to change the quadrant and when you should finish brushing.

Furthermore, Chompers is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, which is able to keep track of how often your kid brushes and encourages them to keep a streak going.  

You can find Chompers wherever you get your podcasts, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts

For kids, brushing teeth can seem like a chore, with many not understanding the importance of long-term dental health until much later in life. Luckily, there are many applications to choose from that make brushing your kid’s teeth a walk in the park.

Dr. Middleton has reopened his office to patients. 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.

Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Smile | Dentist in Riverside

For some of us, going to the dentist is a rather frightening thing to think about doing. There are plenty of reasons one would be nervous about, sitting in the dental chair, and it is a very common fear for many patients. Thankfully, there is help that can get you through these checkups so you can have a healthy smile, regardless of your dental anxiety.

Sedation dentistry, also referred to as “sleep dentistry”, uses medication to help ease and relax patients before or during their dental procedure. There are many methods that can be used in sedation dentistry, and the method used depends on the patient’s needs. Here are the four most common methods of sedation dentistry:

Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is combined with oxygen and inhaled through a mask over your nose. This nitrous oxide helps calm the patient’s nerves. This method requires little recovery however, you will still need to have someone drive you home.

Oral sedation. The night before a procedure, the patient will take an oral medication to ensure that you’re calm and relaxed during the procedure. The recovery time for this method is a bit longer, so a ride home will be necessary.

IV sedation. This method is considered to be moderate to deep sedation. This type of dental sedation is administered into the bloodstream, which results in immediate relaxation.

General anesthesia. The strongest method of sedation is general anesthesia. During this type of sedation, the patient cannot be easily awakened until the effects fully wear off. Because it will take a while, making arrangements for a ride home will be wise.

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.