Smile Improvements Made by Veneers | Riverside, CA

When a patient thinks about improving their smile, many are put off because they think it will not only be painful but will take lots of time and money. Dr. Gerald Middleton knows that not all patients need severe changes to their smile, but every patient deserves to have the best smile possible. Thankfully, cosmetic procedures, such as minimally invasive veneers, can make a huge difference without damaging existing teeth structure. Not only does this make a patient rest at ease, but it can also be done quickly, even as little as a single dentist visit. Curious to find out more? Keep reading…

Minimally invasive veneers are thin ceramic veneers that cover the surface of the tooth they are attached to. Since minimally invasive veneers are applied on the surface of teeth, patients can keep their enamel intact. This is quite different from the procedure in the past, but this development has made creating new smiles quick and easy. I’m slowly convincing you, right?

Now there is one main difference between minimally invasive veneers and traditional veneers – traditional veneers require teeth changes that cannot be reversed. Traditional veneers used to require shaving down your teeth in order to apply the veneers, making these changes irreversible. But honestly, with minimally invasive veneers, why would you want to get the traditional variety?

Of course, which veneers you choose is going to be a case by case basis, as not all patients will be candidates. If you are ready for a smile makeover, make an appointment for a consultation. A dental professional usually recommends using minimally invasive veneers on patients that have mild to moderate tooth discolorations, minor misalignment, or need teeth reshaped.

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 and all surrounding areas.

It Isn’t Meant as a Suggestion | Dentist in Riverside, CA

There is nothing worse than getting a bad report card from the dentist. Especially because it is rather easy to look after our teeth properly. Eat well, stay away from over-indulging in habits that can stain your teeth and make sure to follow a proper dental hygiene routine each day. That means brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, rinsing with and antibacterial mouthwash and flossing at least once daily. I know what you’re thinking – someone else is on you about flossing. But dentists and health specialists everywhere are trying their hardest to make flossing more prevalent in individuals’ health routines. There are a million excuse patients use as to why they lack the patience to floss, however, we urge you to take a look at the overall importance of flossing and how it can save your teeth. After all, most adults will develop some sort of gum disease in their lifetime. Don’t you want to avoid that if possible? Here are the talking points:

Unlike a toothbrush, floss is able to get into hard to reach areas and clean out pieces of food or bacteria that can cause plaque to build up. If left untreated for too long, plaque may turn into cavities and worsen into gum disease.

Flossing promotes a healthier lifestyle and can lead to a decrease in health issues all around. Our mouth is our first line of defense against lost of health issues, so a healthy mouth can help fight other issues in the body, not to mention decrease the risk of bad breath.

Lastly, flossing provides you brighter and healthier teeth while promoting a healthier lifestyle. What more could you want?

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 and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Your Smile Past the Holidays | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Aside from all of the hustle and bustle from holiday shopping and celebrate, let’s be honest – the foods are really the reason for the season. We show up for all of the tasty treats this time of year has to offer. However, with great food comes a great amount of overindulgence. And this can lead to dental issues if we don’t take the time to look after our smile. So, in order to help you avoid any dental pain in the upcoming year, here are some tips on what to eat and what not to eat not just during the holiday season, but year-round…

Cheese. Cheese is not only rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth, but it also balances out the PH in your mouth which lessens the damaging effects of acid from a festive glass of wine on tooth enamel.

Unsalted nuts. Nuts contain calcium and vitamin D, both in which are vital for oral health as well as general health. Walnuts are oftentimes used in holiday pastries and they contain zinc, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin E, & B6.

Vegetables. It is always a good idea to promote the habit of eating vegetables. Broccoli and carrots in particular are great for your oral health.

And now the foods that aren’t so good…

Sweets. Let’s face it, the holidays do bring up some of the best sweets ever created, however it is important that you take it easy on sweets.

Sodas. Carbonated beverages are usually loaded with sugar and are excessively acidic which can cause teeth to erode away.

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 and all surrounding areas.

MythBusters: Cavities Edition | Riverside Dentist

When we go to the dentist for a check-up, we are always hoping that we don’t hear those four little words – you have a cavity. And while we never want to have a dental issue happening in our mouths, cavities are perhaps the most treatable and preventable dental issue in the world. But there are also a lot of myths and theories that surround cavities and how they occur. Instead of allowing them to continue, let’s take a look at the real truth behind the more common one regarding cavities. After all, knowledge is power…

Sugar is the prime cause of cavities. This is both true and false. It is actually the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities, however, sugar is a substance that fuels bacteria to keep doing what they’re doing. The longer you take to brush your teeth, the more time cavities have to feast.

Exposure to acidic foods causes tooth decay. Fact. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft drinks don’t cause cavities, but they put enamel in danger. Acids may cause erosion of the tooth protecting enamel, thus weakening the tooth. Citrus fruit is good for us, but too much of it can cause problems.

Children are more likely to get cavities than adults. Fiction. Children may love candy and hate to brush their teeth, but there has been an increase in cavities found in older people. It isn’t likely because of their sweet tooth, but because some medication can dry out the mouth and reduce saliva. And saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids. Drinking water not only helps saliva production but rinses our mouths of sticky sugars.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Between Your Teeth for the Holidays | Riverside Dentist

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, it is important to keep up with our busy schedules while staying on top of our daily rituals. One of these rituals is our dental hygiene routines. We may have a busier schedule, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect our smiles – even flossing.

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, 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, removing any debris caught in your teeth.

No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. Floss before you brush your teeth or after. It’s just about keeping your teeth clean 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 and all surrounding areas.

Polishing Your Smile with a Whitening Treatment | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Are you looking for that gleaming white Hollywood smile? If you are, you are not alone. Teeth whitening has quickly been the most requested cosmetic dental procedure around. The problem is, there are factors in our lifestyle that can cause our smiles to become dingy looking. But there is no need to fret – these days you have plenty of teeth whitening options. In fact, for some it may be a bit overwhelming.

First thing to consider – which option is best for me, professional or DIY? While both options do serve you with the same end result, there are differences. Your budget, the severity of your discoloration, and how dramatic you want your end result to be will all become pieces in making that decision. Here are options to consider for your teeth whitening endeavor:

In-office laser treatments. This option of teeth whitening can be performed in one office visit, with three 20-minute bleaching treatments. This is the most expensive form of teeth whitening options, as the results are seen much faster than other teeth whitening options. With laser bleaching, your teeth are in essence bleached and then a light is used to activate the bleach for whitening purposes.

Professional bleaching trays. This option includes your dentist taking an impression of your teeth to create custom bleaching trays that fit your teeth. You will use a special bleaching solution for one to two weeks.

Over-the-counter whitening kits. This option provides a multitude of different products that are offered. You can but kits for just about everything these days. Over the counter products are budget friendly, however don’t produce the most dramatic results.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Should You Get a Dental Implant? | Riverside Dentist

When we need a tooth replaced, there are many things that go through our heads. Is it going to hurt? Is it going to be obvious? Will it work the same as a real tooth? Will my lifestyle need to change? There are answers to each and every one of these questions and you’re going to be pleased. These aren’t your grandparents’ dental implants.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge when you have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Before now, dental implants were rudimentary and pretty obvious to others. It involved a couple of appointments and could be rather painful. Today, dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling that no one will ever know the difference. Even more so when they last a lifetime.

There are two types of implants:

  • 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.

Dental implants are secure, so you won’t need to worry when speaking or eating – you will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

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 and all surrounding areas.

One Reason to Be Salty | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When we hear the word salty, we don’t necessarily think of it as a good thing. Not only does too much salt ruin a dish, but it can cause health problems if you overindulge. Not to mention the newest slang term for a someone with a bad attitude. But there is one way that salt is actually good for us – for our mouths more specifically. And it is something that we can do on our own: the saltwater rinse.

Saltwater mouth rinses are easily made at home using a combination of warm water and salt. The salt increases the pH of your mouth, creating an alkaline environment that is hostile towards bacteria. To put is basically, saltwater rinses help keep our mouths healthy by killing off cavity-causing bacteria. It is used often to soothe sore mouths after surgery or to relieve a toothache while waiting for your dental appointment.

Making a saltwater rinse is easy – add one half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth every two to three hours after surgery. The water should be warm to help dissolve the salt, but not hot – it should be considerably cooler than you would use for a cup of hot coffee or tea. The salt will help treat both dental-related issues (such as damaged tissue following tooth extraction) and even non-dental issues, such as sore throat caused by the common cold.

While there are benefits to using a saltwater rinse, many dentists typically recommend antibacterial commercial mouthwashes for everyday use. While saltwater is great for treating mouths with injuries, medicated commercial mouthwashes are better at killing bacteria, though they’re slightly harsher on the mouth.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Why Are My Teeth Discolored? | Riverside Dentist

Everyone wants a bright white smile. Unfortunately, keeping our teeth white isn’t the easiest thing to do, even with the most impeccable dental routines. So, we make an appointment for a teeth whitening procedure to help with the problem. Teeth whitening has now become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today.

But why do our teeth continue to become discolored? Well, lots of times it is not our dental routines, but our lifestyle choices that determine how white our teeth stay. Our diet and habits can both cause our teeth to stain over time. Here are some 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

Simple rules to live by to try and stop the yellowing process:

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

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. The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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 and all surrounding areas.

When Medical Conditions Give You a Headache | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When we think about our health, we often overlook our smile, but we really need to rethink this point of view. Our mouths are the first line of defense to many of our health issues, so maintaining good dental health is imperative to our overall health. But it also can work in the opposite direction – certain health conditions can affect your dental health.

One instance of this is diabetes – patients with poorly controlled diabetes can have very severe dental problems. The lack of blood supply can contribute to infections in the gums and bones beneath teeth, and high blood sugar can cause dry mouth, where the resulting lack of saliva contributes to an increase in bacterial buildup and tooth decay.

Sleep apnea, a medical condition where the body tissue often blocks the airway, causing significant sleep problems, can cause dry mouth leading to bacterial buildup and tooth decay, jaw fatigue leading to TMJ disorders, and in some cases bruxism (tooth grinding), which wears down tooth enamel, and can cause tooth loss as teeth are damaged during sleep.

But don’t worry – there is plenty of hope. Keeping up a healthy diet can contribute to a healthy mouth. Avoiding foods high in sugar and acid can help minimize your risk of tooth decay, and maintaining sufficient calcium is necessary for bone and tooth health. Couple that with brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, and you have healthy teeth and gums. So, if you’re having medical issues, mention them to your dentist – it may help in diagnosing and treating problems they see within your mouth.

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 and all surrounding areas.