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.

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.

Are Shark Teeth Something to Worry About? | Riverside Dentist

Pediatric DentistryWe all want what’s best for our children. And unfortunately, there are some thing we can’t control. One of these things is our child’s teeth. So, you can imagine it’s a petrifying experience, seeing your child’s permanent teeth erupting behind their baby teeth. You’ll worry if it’s normal, and you’ll probably have a lot of questions about why they are doing this and if it’s okay. Let’s get through some of the basics to set your mind at ease:

While not normal, it is okay for the permanent teeth to erupt before the baby tooth falls out. If this happens, the permanent tooth will slowly make the roots of the milk teeth weaker, eventually leading them to fall off on their own. Eventually, the permanent tooth will move into the space that was once occupied by the permanent teeth. So, you see? No harm, no foul.

There’s not an exact explanation as of yet to explain why shark teeth happens, but it may be because of the following reasons:

  • The roots of the baby teeth don’t dissolve normally like the permanent teeth do, so the permanent teeth erupting from behind them.
  • Overcrowding that takes place in the jaws.
  • A deviation is occurring, ensuring that the teeth aren’t going to grow naturally.

1 out of 10 kids encounter this sort of problem. Also, since the baby teeth eventually fall in time, there’s little need for professional intervention. However, dentists may have to intervene if the baby teeth do not fall on their own after a few weeks, an occurrence known as retained baby teeth.

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, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Teaching Tiny Humans to Brush | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethParenting is never an easy job. We need to keep our tiny humans safe while we teach them how to navigate life in the best way they can, and this will generally come along with a struggle as they grow up. After all, they are figuring things out and when something like dental hygiene come up, the last thing they want to do is learn to do it. But when it comes to things like oral hygiene, consistency is key. However, we often find ourselves stuck in a constant struggle with children to get them to brush their teeth. If this is something that occurs whenever you try to help your little one, here are some tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Start earlier. Timing can be a huge thing in helping your child adjust to a normal cleaning routine. Sometimes children get crankier as time goes on. With that in mind, try to start your routine earlier in the day, perhaps a little bit after dinner. This will definitely improve their mood.

Brushing together. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Cleaning teeth to music. Music may play an important role in allowing your child to not only enjoy brushing their teeth, but sufficiently brush their teeth. Choose a song that is at least two minutes long, to ensure the brushing process is done in its full time, and then choose a song that your kid enjoys!

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, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Baby’s First Dental Appointment | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethAs a new parent, you are constantly wondering if you’re doing the job right. One of these overlooked details is a child’s dental health. Children should start visiting the dentist any time between first tooth and their first birthday to alleviate issues for any future anxieties. It’s also beneficial to get some basic knowledge as to how your child’s dental health should be handled at home so there aren’t problems growing up.

It’s important to prepare your little one for this new adventure. Learning about what will happen through books and other resources is fantastic help, but another is to give them a bit of a preview. 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, the smoother the experience.

On the day of your child’s first visit, the dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in the future. A thorough examination     will distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet.

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.

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, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

My Child Has Shark Teeth? | Riverside Dentist

Pediatric DentistryIt doesn’t happen to everyone, but from time to time, the permanent set of teeth comes in before the baby teeth falls out. If it’s your child’s teeth, you may think there is cause of concern. Don’t worry, it may seem strange, but it isn’t abnormal. It is okay for the permanent teeth to erupt before the baby tooth falls out. The permanent tooth will slowly make the roots of the baby teeth weaker, eventually leading them to fall off on their own. Eventually, the permanent tooth will move into the space that was once occupied by the permanent teeth.

There are a couple of age groups affected by this dental issue, often referred to as shark teeth – it happens mostly in the lower front teeth for kids who are six years old. This may also happen to the upper molars, usually in children aged 11. There’s not an exact explanation as to explain why shark teeth happens. Sometimes the roots of the baby teeth don’t dissolve normally like the permanent teeth do. Sometimes overcrowding that takes place in the jaws. And since the baby teeth eventually fall in time, there’s little need for professional intervention.

What’s important is that you check your child’s shark teeth and monitor it closely. If the baby teeth fall out on their own, which usually happens after a few days or weeks, then it’s all good and the permanent tooth should slowly shift forward to its properly place.

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, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Halloween Candy: Treats or Tricks? | Riverside Dentist

Enjoying sweetsAs parents, we want to give our children the world. Thankfully, we as parents have the good sense to restrict things we know aren’t good for them. Things become a bit trickier when it comes to things like Halloween. Ghosts, goblins and gooey sweets is the name of the game on this scary holiday. It is tough to impose good health when you’re surrounded by treats. Depriving your child of everything that this scary holiday celebrates won’t score you any parenting points, so it’s important to keep a balance between having spooky fun and staying good health.

Trick or treating is hands down the best part of Halloween for a child. And let’s face it, you know candy is delicious. So what is a parent to do? Many parents try to limit their child’s candy intake by having them choose a certain amount of candy, some reserve candy to certain times of the day, or as reward for good behavior. All of these are great ideas, but it’s important that you know some candy is better than others. Instead of stopping them from sweets completely, why not just weed out all of the really bad ones? Here are the top four sweetest enemies:

Skittles. Skittles may want you to taste rainbows, but they are also letting you ruin your teeth’s enamel by combining sweet and sour for a pH level of 2.5, levels so high they can cause serious damage to your little one’s teeth. Some are sweet, some are sour; both are going to give them a toothache if over-consumed.

Caramel. Sticky candy is some of the worst for teeth and caramels are at the top of the list. Not only does the sticky texture stick to your teeth’s surface and loves to get deep into the crevices, but it can also loosen dental fixtures, like braces or fillings, making it especially harmful for those with dental work. Keep them away from caramel apples too. They may have a healthy treat underneath, but eating through the sweet candy is first.

Gummy Bears. Similar to caramels and other sticky candies, gummy candies could be considered the same type of animal, only fruity. The gelatin used to make the gummy candy gummy, also sticks to the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult to remove, even with a brushing or a quick rinse of water.

Jolly Ranchers. Arguably the most addicting candies ever created, Jolly Ranchers are probably enemy #1 for your teeth. Not only are they a hard candy that can damage teeth when bitten, but sucking on hard candy isn’t a quick process. It takes a while for hard candy to dissolve in the mouth, and the sugar wastes no time working their way into a tooth, causing cavity-forming bacteria to haunt your child’s healthy teeth. They may be a definite favorite, but for the sake of your child’s teeth, keep hard candy away from your little one’s precious smile.

It isn’t difficult to keep your child’s teeth healthy, even when holidays like Halloween come around. Practice good dental hygiene and keep a healthy diet and that smile you love so much will be just fine. Happy Halloween!

For more information about dental fillings or other aspects of general dentistry call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

How Old Should My Child Be to Visit the Dentist? | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethAs 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.

Riverside Dentist | Why Are My Child’s Permanent Teeth Coming in Behind The Baby Teeth?

Pediatric DentistryIt’s a petrifying experience, seeing your child’s permanent teeth erupting behind their baby teeth. You’ll worry if it’s normal, and you’ll probably ask if it’s alright for the permanent teeth to erupt that way and yes, that is okay.

While not normal, it is okay for the permanent teeth to erupt before the milk tooth falls out. If this happens, the permanent tooth that’s already erupted will slowly make the roots of the milk teeth weaker, eventually leading them to fall off on their own. Eventually, the permanent tooth will move into the space that was once occupied by the permanent teeth.

As you can see, no harm done.

This occurrence happens mostly in the lower front teeth and in kids who are six years old and is referred to as “lingually erupting mandibular incisors”, or you can simply refer to it as shark teeth. This may also happen to the upper molars, usually in children aged 11.

Why “Shark Teeth” Occurs

There’s not an exact explanation as of yet to explain why shark teeth happens, but it may be because of the following reasons:

  1. It may be because the roots of the baby teeth don’t dissolve normally like the permanent teeth do. This leads to the permanent teeth erupting from behind them because it’s where there’s the least resistance and they can emerge easily.
  2. There’s also the possibility that it occurs because of the overcrowding that takes place in the jaws.
  3. There also dentists that believe that such an occurrence is a deviation and all but ensures that the teeth aren’t going to grow naturally.

Is It a Threat?

Not much really, as around 1 out of 10 kids encounter this sort of problem. Also, since the baby teeth eventually fall in time, there’s little need for professional intervention. However, dentists may have to intervene if the baby teeth do not fall on their own, an occurrence known as “retained baby teeth”.

Consulting a Dentist

It is a good idea to go to the dentist to ask about shark teeth, but it isn’t exactly necessary. Not immediately, that is.

What’s important is that you check your child’s shark teeth and monitor it closely. If the baby teeth fall out on their own, which usually happens after a few days or weeks, then it’s all good and the permanent tooth should slowly shift forward to its properly place.

If, however, the baby teeth do not fall off, you’ll want to take your child to the dentist to see if your child suffers from “retained baby teeth”. Again, it’s not an alarming problem, and the dentist may only have to remove the baby teeth to give the permanent teeth enough space to move forward to its proper place.

In any case, shark teeth aren’t something that you’ll need to worry needlessly about. It also does not ensure that your child’s teeth do not grow naturally. Rather, shark teeth is a simple problem that may resolve on its own or if necessary, with the intervention of your child’s dentist.

If you’re worried about the way your children’s teeth are erupting, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.gmdental.com for more information regarding pediatric dentistry.

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.