What to Expect from a Professional Teeth Cleaning | Dentist in Riverside

While we know it is important to go to the dentist on a regular basis, it is more than just to check in with your dentist. Your dental appointment will entail lots of procedures to ensure that your mouth is still healthy, bright and ready to show off to the world. This will likely entail a professional cleaning. Yes, you have a daily dental routine, but a dental professional will give your smile a deep clean that is impossible for you to do on your own. But what does this procedure entail? Here is a step-by-step guide to your deep professional teeth cleaning:

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, so make your appointment today.

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.

Teaching ‘Em Young: Brushing Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside

When it comes to parenting, it seems like everyone has a different opinion on what you’re doing. It can be exhausting, trying to figure out how to raise your child to be a happy, healthy human. But one of the most important, yet overlooked, areas of parenting is dental health. Many new parents think that dental health isn’t a thing when no teeth are present. And when they do break through, you may feel dental health is unimportant while baby teeth are still around, but that is completely false. It is important to instill good dental hygiene practices, regardless of the teeth present and consistency is key. After all, our mouth is the first line of defense against many of our illnesses, so having a healthy mouth is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, most parents will find that these hygienic lessons don’t happen easily. And for that, we present a few helpful tips to get those little humans to scrub their pearly whites:

Start earlier. If you start at a much younger age, they will be used to the times in the day our teeth are to be cleaned. And by slowly showing them what is to be done each time, they will begin to maintain these good habits as they get older and can do it all by themselves. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Make it musical. Not only is brushing important but sufficiently brushing is just as important. Why not make this a fun event by adding some music. Choosing a song that is at least two minutes long will ensure proper brushing, so choose one your little one enjoys!

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.

Summertime Dental Hygiene | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teeth

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of a heatwave, some of our dietary habits have begun to change. The warm drinks and cozy comfort foods have been exchanged for iced drinks and frozen confections. The problem is, we tend to forget our dental hygiene having so much fun in the sun. Instead of having a tough time at your next dental visit, keep your indulgences in check and take a moment to look after your smile. After all, summertime is a happy time of year. It’s important to make sure you have a smile to show off…

Brushing. 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 and sweet snacks won’t hurt.

Rinsing. Many of us have a tough time getting in all the nooks and crannies of our mouths. This is where mouthwash comes in handy. At what part of your dental hygiene routine doesn’t’ really matter. If you do it before you brush, you can loosen some stuck on foods; afterwards gets any remaining debris out while leaving your breath fresh. Just make sure you have a mouthwash with fluoride.

Flossing. 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.

Reasons Your Teeth May Have Yellowed | Riverside Dentist

We are all on a constant quest to have the brightest, whitest smile that we can. But it is also quite common for even the whitest teeth to become a bit dingy looking after some time. But why? Well, here are some of the reasons your pearly whites have become pearly beiges:

Old age. Hate to say it but as we age, enamel begins to fade, leaving a more yellowish tint. While there’s certainly nothing you can do to stop yourself from aging, you can take solace in the fact that it’s just the process and not your habits.

Your smoking habit. Regular consumption or use of tobacco products can lead to staining of the teeth, among many other dental and health complications.

Poor dental hygiene. The recommended oral care routine includes brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once and rinsing mouth with mouthwash. Anything less may cause issues down the line.

You’re on medication. Antibiotics and other types of medication can lead to the darkening of teeth in children no older than 8 years old. Ask about side effects.

You’ve got a cold. Though less common, certain diseases can lead to the discoloration and yellowing of teeth. Certain treatment options, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment can cause the teeth to become more brownish in color.

Genetics. It is also possible that you inherited enamel that’s much more yellow than that of other people.

If you want to have whiter teeth, it is best to consult your dentist immediately to rule out possible medical causes and offer treatment options to help whiten your teeth safely and effectively. Don’t give up hope on your smile.

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.

Before You Place that Next Coffeeshop Order | Dentist in Riverside

For many of us, the day can’t fully begin until we have our first cup of coffee, for others, coffee is more of an afternoon pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. Regardless of the time you drink it, before you grab you next cup, realize that you may want to find another alternative to that caffeine rush you’ve chosen to ingest every day. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease.

Quickly, there are two forms of gum 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, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.

Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get the oxygen needed to function properly.

Here’s the good news: saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee causes dehydration and reduces the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So, when you are thinking about that second caffeine boost, make sure you take good care of your teeth afterwards. Drink water between cups or have saliva-producing snacks to keep your mouth clean.

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 Your Dentist Cleans Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside

I know what you’re thinking – if you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Unfortunately, there is more to it than just adding an extra toothbrushing to your day. Teeth cleanings are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. And because we don’t have the knowledge to know if we have any dental issues developing, it is important to have a dental professional take some time to find out. This can be done while cleaning your smile, because they can get into the nooks and crannies of our mouths that our normal toothbrush can’t. This helps to diagnose any of those pesky issues we all try to avoid – gum disease, tooth decay, even oral cancer.

In fact, did you know that your mouth can affect the rest of your body? It’s true. Think of our mouths as our bodies first line of defense. We ingest things through it, and it a germ is on any of those things, they have an instant access to our entire body! So, these checkups and cleanings you’re dodging isn’t doing you any favors. They help to prevent many other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

A tooth cleaning with your dentist will leave your smile healthy, clean and white while also keeping your overall health in check. Early detection is best in any situation. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to find out if you’ve been doing a good job looking after your smile.

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 Toothbrush Came to Pass |Dentist in Riverside

toothbrush

We all know good dental hygiene is great for our smiles, and that brushing is the first step to getting those good dental habits. There are manual and electric, soft and hard-bristled – the options are endless. But have you ever wondered how the toothbrush came to pass? Because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, let’s take a look back at how our smile’s best friend became so.

Did you know that the materials used initially for toothbrush bristle was cow hair or boar bristles? It was only until 1938 that commercial toothbrush stopped using other materials and opted for nylon bristles thanks to Dupont De Nemour’s introduction of “Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush”.

Toothbrushes can be traced as far back as 3,000 B.C where ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed end as a makeshift toothbrush. The Chinese would then on “refine” this and in 1498, used a toothbrush made from stiff hairs from a hog’s neck and with bone or bamboo as its handle. By 1780, William Addis would invent the modern toothbrush while in prison and make money by mass-producing it.

The journey of the toothpaste, the toothbrush’s best buddy, is also quite intriguing. It’s believed that the first toothpastes were used back about 5000 years ago in Egypt using a formula consisting of oxen hooves, pumice and burnt eggshells.

As we celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, let us not forget to teach our children the basics of proper oral hygiene. This includes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing with it for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once and visiting the dentist as regularly as every six months.

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 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.