The Ins and Outs of CEREC Restorations | Riverside Dentist

When thinking about a smile makeover, dental restorations may be a necessary part of your treatment plans. If this is the case, your dental professional may suggest CEREC dental restorations. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? It really isn’t, but it is truly revolutionary. Not only because they will improve your smile and make them look natural, but they can be created in a single appointment. You heard it correctly – CEREC restoratives save you time in the dental chair. Unfamiliar? Here’s a quick rundown…

CEREC® or Ceramic Reconstruction is a method used by thousands of dentists since 1987 not only to replace old fillings, but also to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc. to its natural strength and beauty. CEREC® allows our doctors to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic restorations, saving patients time and inconvenience.

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings or discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive, and plaque-resistant. We no longer need to create temporaries or take impressions and send them to a lab. Because of this, the traditional second visit has been eliminated.

When you visit the dentist, your tooth requiring a CEREC® restoration is prepared and a 3D photograph is taken of the prepared tooth. From there, we use computer-aided design CAD software to create the restoration digitally. Once the restoration is finished being milled, it is fitted onto the prepared tooth and adjusted until the bite is accurate.

This procedure is great for crowns, veneers and the replacement of old fillings to give you the longest-lasting, best-looking restorations.

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.

The ABCs of Thumb Sucking | Riverside Dentist

As parents, we always want our children to be safe and happy, so we do everything we can to give them everything they want within reason and make sure they are always out of harm’s way. But there is one issue some children develop that skates under the radar of most parents – thumb sucking.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), thumb sucking, or finger sucking, is a natural reflex that’s seen even during an infant’s development in the womb that can be soothing and may help your child feel secure and happy. The habit may also help to induce sleep, so it isn’t uncommon for toddlers and infants to suck their thumbs as they fall asleep. But when is enough, enough?

The ADA recommends that the best time to start discouraging thumb sucking behavior in children is by the age of four. Not only because they are getting to be school age, but prolonged sucking could affect your child’s developing jaw and teeth and cause permanent teeth to become misaligned. In fact, the constant pressure of the sucking motion will begin to have an effect on the mouth and teeth. The front teeth, for example, may protrude, leading to ‘buck teeth’. The child’s bite may also become open, a dental disorder where the upper and lower front teeth cannot touch. Even worse, thumb sucking will begin to have an effect on the alignment of not only the permanent teeth, but also the secondary ones. In these cases, a general dentist will usually provide a referral to an orthodontist or pediatric dentist. If necessary, the dental professional may prescribe a crib, which is a dental appliance placed in the roof of the mouth to help discourage thumb sucking. The bite will then eventually correct itself if the habit is stopped in time.

The best way to discourage thumb sucking is to ignore the behavior. Once they’re exposed to various social situations, children eventually figure out on their own that this behavior is not typical. If you notice that your child is continuing to rely on thumb sucking, consider these tips to prevent future damage:

  • Have your child use a pacifier instead. Sucking on pacifiers is easier to discourage and are also easier to take away.
  • Create a chart and reward system to help keep track of your child’s progress for quitting.
  • Encourage and praise your child once you see them make an effort to stop.
  • Schedule a consultation with your child’s dentist.

Whatever you choose to do to discourage thumb sucking in your child, always remember to use positive reinforcement. It’s been proven that children are more likely to respond to positivity, praise and encouragement. Resorting to criticism and nagging may cause your child to become anxious and worsen the problem.

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.

Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethBrushing our teeth has long been touted as an important part of oral health. Using a toothbrush, a very simple personal hygiene tool found in every household, we’ve come to make a habit of using it more than twice a day. But have you ever thought about how it came to be? February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so while you are teaching your little one to brush their teeth, teach them a little history of the toothbrush:

Ancient Egyptians are widely regarded as the first group of people to use a toothbrush, constructing one made of twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. By the 15th century, the Chinese had begun using a toothbrush that closely resembles what we use today. A century later, English noblemen and privileged families began using toothbrushes made out of silver.

William Addis would then go on to invent what’s widely considered as the first modern toothbrush in 1780 while in prison. It’s believed that the idea came about while watching how the floors were swept clean using a brush. He’d then fashion the toothbrush using a bone and bristles he had obtained from
the guard and went on to make a fortune once released.

The design of the toothbrush would then be refined over time and in 1938, soft-bristles toothbrushes were invented. Soon enough, companies such as Oral-B would begin mass producing soft-bristled toothbrushes. Innovation still has not left toothbrushes and up to this day, the design and the bristles are still being refined to better meet modern needs, including the development of toothbrushes made of recyclable materials.

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.

Prevent Tooth Decay Five Ways | Riverside Dentist

Keeping a healthy, bright smile isn’t an easy task. Well, let’s say that again – keeping a healthy, bright smile isn’t difficult if you keep up with the daily basics of dental hygiene – brushing, flossing and rinsing. But it doesn’t just stop there. It takes a village to raise a child, and a healthy smile. The following are five tips to help prevent tooth decay:

Dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing your teeth three times a day makes your teeth stronger.

Regular professional cleanings. It is very important to seek the help of a dentist since they know a lot about it. They know what to do and where to focus on your teeth.

Dietary snacks. It is good to limit sweet snacks as excessive intake of sweets alters’ your blood sugar. If you avoid snacks, you may be depriving your body of nutrition from food. Good snacks should include healthy proteins and fats.

Fluoride therapy. When you have treated your smile with fluoride, you are doing your first steps to preventing the tooth decay that causes cavities. Fluoride therapy involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. When the public water supplies aren’t fluoridated, tablets and/or drops are used as a substitute.

Dental sealant. It is the dental treatment that consists of plastic material that covers one or more teeth, for preventing of cavities and tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied in a dentist’s office.

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.

Lasers at the Dentist? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When you think about lasers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A sci-fi movie? Chances are you aren’t thinking about your dentist, but lasers are actually more commonplace than you may think. Why? Laser dentistry can relieve and cure several dental conditions you may encounter with added benefits.

A laser is a device that emits a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. When that beam of light comes into contact with tissue, it causes a reaction that can remove, vaporize, or shape tissue. Lasers have been used in several other industries; however, in 1990 they became a common tool for dentists. So, as much as we have come to expect sharp metal objects fixing your smile, you may be pleased to know a laser has replaced many of those tools.

Some of the scenarios where lasers can be used in dentistry are: correcting tongue speech problems, uncovering partially erupted wisdom teeth, removing decay from a cavity prior to filling, removing muscle pulls, managing gum tissue, performing biopsy procedures, reducing the amount of bacteria in periodontal pockets, treating infections, reducing discomfort from canker or cold sores, and activating whitening chemicals when bleaching teeth.

Then there are the advantages: no need for anesthesia or drilling, reduction of symptoms and healing times as well as bacteria in gums and teeth and controlling bleeding during a surgery.

Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, unfortunately using lasers is not suitable for all dental procedure. Make sure to call your dental professional to set up an appointment to discuss treatment options.

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.

Brighten Your Pearly Whites with Zoom! | Riverside Dentist

If 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, such as brushing, bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, and laser bleaching. Teeth whitening has become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today. More than 100 million Americans whiten their teeth one way or another.

So, if you brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly, why are your teeth still discolored? This happens because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of beverages with caffeine, soda, wine and smoking. In order to keep discoloration at bay, make sure you keep up with your daily dental routine, use toothpaste with whitening agents, make sure to rinse with water after eating anything and visit your dentist regularly. The best way to help your stained discolored teeth is with one of the easiest cosmetic dentistry procedures, professional tooth whitening.

While there are many way products on the market to whiten your teeth, the most popular and convenient method is with the Zoom! Whitening Technique. 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. And while they’re working some magic on your smile, you are just sitting back relaxing with your favorite movie or playlist. 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.

MythBusters: Cavities Edition | Riverside Dentist

Cavities are perhaps the most treatable and preventable dental issue in the world. That being said, there are a lot of ways in which cavities have been brought upon, and while some are completely true others are myths. Here’s a breakdown on what are facts and what are fiction when it comes to cavities.

Exposure to acidic foods causes tooth decay.

Fact. Acidic foods such as lemons, citrus juices, or soft fruit drink don’t cause cavities, but they put enamel in danger. Acids may cause erosion of the tooth protecting enamel, thus weakening the tooth. At the same time, acidic foods naturally help to clean off our teeth and brighten it a bit. With acidic foods, stick to keeping them to a minimum.

Children are more likely to get cavities than adults.

Fiction. While it would seem to be that the rookies to dental hygiene and lovers of sweets are more susceptible to cavities, but there has been an increase in cavities found in older people. Many times, it is because there are some medications dry out the mouth and reduce saliva. Saliva is vital in fighting tooth decay because it helps neutralize acids.

Sugar is the prime cause of cavities.

Trick question – 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. Think of it as bacteria food. The longer you leave it in your mouth, the longer the bacteria have to dine on it and cause 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 and all surrounding areas.

Flossing Isn’t Just a Slang Term | Riverside Dentist

If there’s anything in our daily dental routine that we find a chore, it has to be flossing. So much so, when you go in for your regular dental checkup and cleaning, your dentist can actually tell when you have or haven’t been doing your due diligence. What you may fail to realize is that flossing is more than just picking leftover food out of our teeth. It plays a key role in preventing many dental issues we may encounter in the future. So, let’s get reacquainted with our dental friend, the floss…

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. Whether you choose dental floss or the flossing devices available on the market now, you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated places your toothbrush can’t reach.

To floss, 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, gently scrubbing all the spaces between your teeth. Use a new area of floss for every tooth, and work from top to bottom or vice versa. Flossing before or after you brush doesn’t matter – you just want to get the cleanest mouth you possibly can each time you clean those pearly whites so that bacteria can’t settle in to cause cavities or some other kind of gum disease while you aren’t looking.

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 Gives You More than Just Coffee Breath | Riverside Dentist

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas! Yes, the weather is cooling off and our drinks of choice are heating up. And if you are a regular coffee drinker, you are aware of the coffee breath downside to your caffeinated habit. But did you know that you can also develop gum disease as well? It’s true. Gum disease is a fairly common dental issue to develop in a patient’s lifetime, but if you are a regular coffee drinker, the chances are much higher.

There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis, an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the gingivitis stage, gum disease can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out because of the gaps created between your gums and teeth.

Here is how your cup of joe is affecting these circumstances. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow to your gums. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow prevents your gums from getting the oxygen they need to function properly.

Saliva is one of the first lines of defense against bacteria in our mouths. Drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So next time you reach for that coffee house door, remember your smile.

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.

If I Brush, Why Does My Dentist Need a Turn? | Riverside Dentist

We all know the rules to having a clean, healthy smile – dental hygiene is the main component of this dental hygiene process. So, you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash and you smile feels bright and shiny. If this is the case, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? After all, you’re doing all the hard work on a daily basis. Why does your dentist insist on cleaning your teeth every time you go in for a checkup? Believe it or not, it’s really necessary.

Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Also, because our mouths are the first line of defense to our overall health, these dental cleanings help to prevent many other health problems. Still not convinced it’s necessary? In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, here are five reasons why your dentist needs to clean your teeth:

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.

Detection of oral cancer. With every dental cleaning comes an oral cancer screening. Early detection is key.

Maintaining good oral health. Cleaning your teeth gives your dentist insight into your habits and can offer tips to improve any technique issues.

Beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy, clean and white, you are more confident and happy, which can only improve your social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. Gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight.