Braces Make Beautiful Faces: Braces vs. Invisalign | Dentist Riverside CA

invisible braces

Crooked teeth. In this superficial day and age, having crooked teeth is more of an issue than it really should be. As an adolescent, you get teased and may not get a lot of dates, so it can turn out to be a tough road to travel when compounded with the typical growing pains. As an adult, having crooked teeth still has a certain stigma but it isn’t quite as traumatizing as those adolescent years. After dealing with crooked teeth for so long, fixing them now is more of a cosmetic choice over a necessity. But no matter who is in need of a perfect set of pearly whites, there are a few options on the market you can go with. The problem is…Which is the better choice to fix those funky fangs, tried-and-true braces or the inconspicuous Invisalign?

The first, and most obvious option, is to go with good ol’ braces. They have the most history of success, are affordable, and are kind of a rite of passage for a teenager. And while they were typically silver metal back in the day, they can now come in a ceramic that makes them a whole lot less noticeable. Or, if you’re in that sort of thing, there are colors you can choose from to create a custom look. On the downside, you still have to get them tightened every month or so and broken pieces are pretty painful. But you can be guaranteed a gorgeous smile as a result.

Since 1998, there has been an aesthetic alternative to the typical tooth-straightening option. Invisalign are transparent tooth aligners that have taken the orthodontic world by storm. The idea is that this system can now straighten your teeth without wires and glued brackets, which to be honest, sounds like a miracle. I mean it’s clear, it’s removable and the treatment time is generally a third of what wearing traditional braces would be. The downside to this is that they are more expensive and it takes a lot more discipline to maintain the strict regimen of wearing the aligners 22 hours/day and the additional steps it takes to clean the system’s trays.

So, which do you choose? Well, it honestly depends on your personal situation. An orthodontic consultation is definitely in order and a treatment program will be based on those results. Because despite what you may hope, not all cases are suitable for either option. While they are fantastic at what they do, the Invisalign system is perfect for minimal to medium dental issues but does not work as well for major ones. Patients with bridgework, certain bite issues or rotational needs are just out of luck. Those issues may be no match for Invisalign but are right up traditional braces alley. Alternatively, traditional braces are not ideal for those that lead a rough and tumble life or have a job that doesn’t allow regular braces. In that instance, you may want to consider the Invisalign system or lingual braces (braces attached to the insides of your teeth) to straighten things out.

Regardless, any of these options are sure to help correct those meandering molars…It just depends on which one your orthodontist believes is the best option for you. They are the professionals and know what is best for you. Either way, it will take a while for them to fix the problem but rest assured the process will only be temporary. Soon you will have nothing but the prettiest pearly whites in your mouth. And that’s enough to make anyone smile, right? Congrats on your soon-to-be killer smile!

If you’re seeking treatment to straighten your pearly whites, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dentist Riverside CA | One in Every 2,000 Babies is Born with a Tooth

Boy brushing his teeth

As a new parent, you are constantly wondering if you’re doing the job right. The last thing you ever want is to have something happen to your child because X, Y, or Z slipped through the proverbial cracks. One of these overlooked details is a child’s dental health. A survey commissioned by the Delta Dental Plans Association revealed that the average age children had their first dental visit was 2.6 years and 34% of children hadn’t seen the dentist at all. Oftentimes, we as parents think our child is too young or doesn’t have enough teeth to make it much of an issue. In actuality, children should start visiting the dentist any time between first tooth and their first birthday. Why, you ask? Well, an early start with a dentist will help alleviate any trepidation they may have about these visits throughout their lives. It can also be beneficial to get some basic knowledge as to how your child’s dental health should be handled at home so that there aren’t problems growing up.

So, what is the first step to getting your munchkin’s oral health in order? First, find a dentist. You can use your personal dentist or look for a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is everything your dentist is, but has a couple more years of school so they are fully-equipped to focus on the specific needs of children. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making the appointment? Setting it after your child has a good rest under their belt is ideal; fussiness is at a minimum and they are much more willing to be cooperative.

Once you have made their first dental appointment, the next step is to get your child into the idea of going. There are lot of ways to prepare your little one for this adventure. Learning about what will happen through books and other resources is fantastic help, but it is also great to give them a bit of a preview. Take them next time you have an appointment, or take turns roleplaying what the dentist will be doing poking around in their mouths. Having a dentist poking around with sharp tools is always going to be a scary thing for a tiny human. The more preparation you do, the smoother the experience will be.

On the day of your child’s first visit, expect to have lots of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in upcoming months. A thorough examination of your child’s mouth will be done so the dentist can clearly distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet. And, if necessary, your dentist or hygienist may clean your child’s teeth if stains are apparent and/or apply fluoride to prevent future cavities. Making sure your little one is comfortable is your first priority so be sure to bring things that soothe them, whether it be a little snack, a favorite toy or blanket. Keeping them happy will ensure you leave that first appointment ready and able to tackle any surprises that may hinder that sweet baby smile you love so much.

If your little one is ready for their first visit to the dentist, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.gmdental.com for information regarding our practice.

Why Are My Teeth Yellow? | Riverside, CA Dentist

toothbrushHave you ever taken a close look at yourself in the mirror and wondered when exactly did your teeth start to go yellow? If you have, then you’re not alone. Most people have done that and more often than not, they find themselves surprised that their teeth suddenly got yellow. Though, if it’s any consolation, yellow teeth is not exactly a sign of a serious medical condition.

It can, however, be disheartening to see that your teeth are no longer as bright as it once were and this can make you feel conscious and lose confidence.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to get it back.

For starters, it would do you good to understand why your teeth are yellow so you can avoid or limit your exposure to things that may contribute to it.

  1. You’re getting older. As the protective white coating on our teeth known as enamel starts to fade away, as a result of both aging and years of use, they start to become more yellowish in tint. While there’s certainly nothing you can do to stop yourself from aging, you can take solace in the fact that the yellowing of teeth is part of the aging process.
  1. You smoke. Regular consumption or use of tobacco products can lead to staining of the teeth, among many other dental and health complications.
  1. You don’t take proper care of your teeth. The recommended oral care routine includes brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once and rinsing mouth with mouthwash. This is all to remove plaque build-up and tartar, both of which can contribute to the discoloration of teeth, as well as other dental problems.
  1. You’re on medication. Antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline, among many other types of medication, can lead to the darkening of teeth in children no older than 8 years old. Other types of medication that can have the same effect are certain antihistamines, high blood and antipsychotic medications. Make sure that before you start taking any type of medication, you know all of its possible side effects.
  1. You’re sick. Though less common, certain diseases can lead to the discoloration and yellowing of teeth. The same goes for certain types of treatment, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment can cause the teeth to become more brownish in color.
  1. You’re genetically inclined to have yellower teeth. It is also possible that you inherited enamel that’s much more yellow than that of other people.

While tooth discoloration is mainly a cosmetic problem, it is possible that it may have been caused by underlying dental and medical complications.

If you want to have whiter teeth, it is best to consult your dentist immediately to rule out possible medical causes. Your dentist can also give you proper advice on what products to use to help whiten your teeth safely and effectively. Or, if need be, recommend certain cosmetic procedures that can help restore your smile, as well as achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like to say farewell to your yellow teeth with the help of modern dentistry, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.gmdental.com to view our services that can brighten your smile.

What Happens During a Full Mouth Reconstruction? | Dentist Riverside

implant diagramWhether you lost your teeth in an accident, or had them pulled intentionally because of dental complications, the fact is, you need to have them replaced. Not only for esthetic reasons, but also to help improve your speaking and chewing, as well as to prevent any other dental complication resulting from having gaps in your smile.

This is where a procedure known as full mouth reconstruction comes in.

The procedure involves not just replacing missing and broken teeth, but also restoring the function of both your gums and jaw.

The result is a mouth that works and looks exactly the way that it did before you had missing teeth – if not better!

What Exactly is a Full Mouth Reconstruction? 

A full mouth reconstruction isn’t just a single procedure, but rather, it involves multiple restorative, neuromuscular and cosmetic procedures. This means that the aim of full mouth reconstruction isn’t just restoring the function of teeth, but also the function, as well as the structure.

The reason why a full mouth reconstruction aims to fix all three is that they all affect each other.

Case in point, broken teeth can cause a malocclusion, which can lead to difficulty chewing and can result to abnormal wear and tear of your teeth. In worse cases, this can lead to migraines, jaw pain, as well as pain in the eyes, neck, ears and even back.

A full mouth reconstruction, though, isn’t just recommended to anyone.

The procedure is often recommended for the following:

  • Those who have a lot of missing teeth.
  • Those who have several chipped, broken, or worn down teeth.
  • Those who are suffering chronic pain in their jaws or neck, usually accompanied by a clicking and popping sound of the jaw.
  • Those who experience chronic back pain, headaches and muscle tenderness around their jaws.

The Treatments Involved

Each case of full mouth reconstruction is unique, as each is tailor-made to fit a patient’s needs and goals.

The process starts off with a series of tests for the dentist to be able to evaluate the health of your teeth and gums, as well as the jaw. If necessary, you will be referred to other dental specialists that are better suited to handle your specific needs.

For example, you may be referred to a prosthodontist. These dentists have received further training and education that makes them best suited to handle all the complexities involved in a full mouth reconstruction. They typically act as an architect of sorts, planning how the treatment should go.

Because of the number of procedures involved in a full mouth reconstruction, the process will undoubtedly take time. In fact, it isn’t unusual for a full mouth reconstruction to take more than a year to finish.

Get a Better Smile Today!

A full mouth reconstructions doesn’t just take a long time to finish, they’re also quite expensive. However, most dental practitioners will be more than happy to discuss the costs of the care and create an affordable payment plan. Also, speaking of payment plans, make sure that you know which parts of the full mouth reconstruction is covered by your dental insurance and which are not.

It is also recommended to speak with other dentists as well, to get a second, third or even a fourth opinion.

Make sure that you take your time to ease through things and once you’re done, speak with your dentist and talk about how you can get yourself a better-looking, more functional and healthier smile!

If you’re seeking a dental professional to perform a full mouth construction, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation today. Visit www.gmdental.com for more information regarding Dr. Gerald Middleton and his wonderful team.