When the Holidays Stain Your Teeth | Riverside Dentist

Preventing tooth decay for a perfect smile

We may be celebrating a different kind of holiday season, but it is likely that the comfort foods were not forgotten. And if you weren’t doing your best with dental hygiene, you may notice that your pearly whites have begun to stain and yellow. It’s very common – in fact, more than 100 million Americans whiten their teeth one way or another. But what is causing the discoloration? Here is a quick list of ways:

  • 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

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. So, as we wrap up this year, it may be a good idea to make an appointment in the new year for a professional cleaning/whitening.

While there are many way products on the market to whiten your teeth, the most popular and convenient method is with the KoR Whitening Technique. Our trained clinicians first place a protective barrier on the cheeks and gums. The KoR whitening gel is then applied to the teeth using trays to gently penetrates the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations. But unlike other treatments, this one is working hard on those stains for at least six hours.

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.

Tooth Decay Prevention: Is It Possible? | Dentist in Riverside

If you think about it, our dental issues begin from two sectors – tooth decay and gum disease. But there is only one reason for these issues in the first place – bacteria.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque (bacteria-rich film on the surface of teeth) before it hardens into tartar, an advanced form of plaque.

You may think of mouthwash as merely something to freshen your breath, but it is almost the secret weapon to your dental routine. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s actually wise to use mouthwash prior to brushing to prepare your mouth for a proper brushing by loosening up stuck on particles. Finally, use mouthwash containing fluoride – fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth. And we know it can be overwhelming, trying to decide which brand is best for you. Next time you’re in for a checkup, talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have about keeping your mouth its healthiest. They’ll be happy to share their recommendation with you.

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 Do I Have Gingivitis? | Dentist in Riverside

If there is anything a dental patient hates to hear, it’s that they have gum disease. You’ve just revealed that you have poor oral care habits and prefer to skip out on regular dental visits. But why is it such a bad thing? Let’s meet the periodontal disease known as gingivitis…

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. Gingivitis is not the same thing as periodontitis, although sometimes a person may be affected by both. 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 because hormones cause blood vessels 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.
  • 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.

Teeth During the Holidays: Flossing Edition | Riverside Dentist

We are a week away from the tastiest holiday of the year. Sure, it is a holiday to be thankful for everything in our lives, but let’s be realistic – the food is the main event. And after we dive into our third helping of pumpkin pie, we all know a food coma is immanent. The problem is that all of that over-indulging could have a dire effect on our mouths if we aren’t careful. This is why it’s important to keep all of our dental hygiene routines intact. If we don’t, we will have some issues in the new year. We may not all have a toothbrush handy, but a quick flossing after dessert would work wonders.

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 also handy tools available to help in flossing properly.

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. The goal is to gently scrub the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

So after you’ve given all of your thanks and filled yourself to the brim in family favorites, take a quick moment to thank your smile as well.

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.

Eating After a Filling | Riverside Dentist

Now that we are on the cusp of Halloween, it is important to understand that after you have had your holiday fun, your teeth need to be looked after. Because if you don’t, it is likely that you will have yourself a cavity. The way to fix a cavity? Get a filling. It is a minor procedure but should be taken quite seriously. Because your dental filling treatment is done under a local anesthetic, your teeth will be incredibly sensitive for a while. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re healing:

Hot and cold foods. Because your filling is a sensitive area, staying away from food that are too hot or too cold is a good idea. It will be easier, less painful, and more comfortable for you to eat your food at a neutral temperature. Say yes to salads and sandwiches, no to soups and milkshakes until your mouth feels better.

Avoid gum and sticky foods. This tip not only applies to all dental work but avoiding sticky foods is safer for your teeth altogether. And yes, that includes the Halloween favorites, like caramel or taffy. After your filling, the material used to fill in the tooth will still be somewhat malleable. In that case, you want to avoid chewing excessively for the sole purpose of making sure your filling stays right.

Getting a filling isn’t a life-altering issue, but it will take a few days to heal. You can avoid this altogether by practicing good dental hygiene after the spooky times have subsided.

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.

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.

Why You Need Professional Teeth Cleanings | Riverside Dentist

We all need to visit the dentist on a regular basis, typically twice a year. But have you ever wondered why we need to have these visits? Because dental professionals are the first line of defense against any issues that may be developing inside your mouth. After all, no one wants to have a toothache – that’s why we brush, floss and use mouthwash twice a day. But here’s a fun fact you may not realize: According to recent statistics, more than 51 million hours of school are lost each year by children due to dental-related illnesses. As for adults, statistics have proven that employed adults lose more that 164 million hours of work each year due to oral health problems. Professionals from the American Dental Association agree that regular teeth cleanings can drastically reduce these numbers by about fifty percent. Why? Because you and your child’s presence in school and in the workplace are vital to future endeavors, thorough teeth cleaning services that will prevent dental problems are imperative. These dental problems can range anywhere from dental cavities to periodontal disease, which lead to you or your child being absent in school or at work.

If individuals choose to delay, or completely ignore your dental visits, you are prone to the increased risk for heart attack or stroke, periodontal disease, and even oral cancer. In order to avoid these life-threatening consequence of poor oral health, thorough teeth cleanings are necessary to enhance your smile and ensure you and your child remain in school and at work.

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

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

What Does a Professional Teeth Cleaning Entail? | Dentist in Riverside

When we go in for our dental checkups, we expect a couple of things to take place – our teeth will be examined, cleaned and if anything is amiss, a treatment option is available. But what does that teeth cleaning actually entail? After all, the cleaning is generally what most patients fear when visiting the dentist. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect the next time you go in for a checkup:

Physical exam. A quick look inside your mouth will help your dental professional see what you’ve been doing with your dental health while you were gone. That little mirror? This is where they use it to check on your back teeth and gums.

Plaque and tartar removal. This is where your dental hygiene comes into play. If you don’t brush well, plaque builds up and turns into tartar. Tartar is removed with a scaler, the scraping sound you are familiar with.

Gritty toothpaste time. Once the tartar is removed, it’s time for a deep cleaning with an electric brush. This is the grinding sounds you hear. They use a gritty toothpaste that smells like the toothpaste we use every day but has a gritty texture that gets those hard to clean spots.

Flossing and rinsing. This sounds exactly like it is – a good flossing session and a refreshing rinse to remove any leftover debris.

Fluoride treatment. The final step is an application of fluoride. Fluoride will help keep cavities away in between dental visits.

Visiting the dentist is something we need to do at least twice a year to keep our mouths healthy, but dental hygiene needs to take place at home as well to keep optimal health.

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

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

Keeping Your Child’s Smile Healthy Through the Years | Riverside Dentist

And since good habits start at home, start teaching your family good dental hygiene habits. Everyone needs to be involved in order to get the habit to stick. Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Our office goal this month is to ensure that all our patients know about the importance of developing good habits at an early age; and that scheduling regular dental visits helps young people get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Many parents believe that the best time to establish good dental hygiene habits is right when their child’s first tooth appears but should start from birth. Because even without teeth, bacteria can and will build up. To prevent this from happening, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft damp cloth after every feeding. Once your child’s teeth develop and break through the gums, it’s time to start brushing twice a day. Use a soft children’s toothbrush and minimal to non-fluoride toothpaste until they reach preschool-age, when the amount of toothpaste increases to the size of a pea. Little humans have a tendency to swallow the toothpaste, instead of spitting it out. Make it a family affair to instill good dental habits are formed to last a lifetime.

Children’s teeth aren’t meant to last a lifetime, but a healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong. If you aren’t sure about your child’s dental health, bring these questions up during your checkups.

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

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