Teaching the Little Ones to Brush | Dentist in Riverside

Boy brushing his teeth

Parenting 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. And 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.

Give them options. Everyone loves getting new stuff, even if it’s mundane like a toothbrush. There are loads of options on the market – let them choose which toothbrush they use.

Crank up the tunes. 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 your child enjoys that’s at least two minutes long and get to brushing!

Make it a family affair. Because children love to mimic “big people” doing things, why not make their dental lesson a family affair? It’s not like you don’t need to brush yours as well. The family togetherness will not only reinforce good dental habits but strengthen your bond together.

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 Tips While Away from Home | Riverside Dentist

Hot summer days, nice warm nights – there is nothing better than getaway this time of year. And because many of us plan vacations during the summer months, it is important to pack wisely, regardless of the destination. Let’s face it – we all have that moment of panic, forgetting to pack something important.

So, before you take off on your fantastic summer fun, take a second to make sure you don’t forget the health of your smile. After all, nothing makes a vacation complete more than fun family photos.

Time for a checkup. If you have time to stop by the dentist beforehand, it’s a smart idea. This way you can find out about any issues before you indulge while away from home. If there isn’t time, schedule one for the return home.

Accidents happen. The saying is true. So, if you are traveling far away from home, make sure you have your dentist’s contact information handy. If your destination is in another country, the U.S. Embassy will be the best for dental recommendations.

Forgotten toothbrush. Most places will have replacement toothbrushes available. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If they aren’t available, buy the softest bristled toothbrush available.

Packing right. When packing a toothbrush, make sure you allow it to dry after each use. If you need to pack it up, pack it in a plastic bag, then allow it to dry once you’ve arrived at your next destination. It’s also handy to pack some gum for those times you can’t brush.

Test the waters. Many travel destinations have water some may find sketchy. This is where bottled water come into play. If you find water compromised, rinse your mouth and your brush with bottled water.

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.

Thumb Sucking: A Child’s First Dental Issue | Dentist in Riverside

We may not see it as a big deal – in fact, most of us think it’s rather adorable. Unfortunately, thumb sucking can become an issue if it’s allowed to go on too long.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), thumb sucking, or finger sucking, is a natural reflex even seen during an infant’s development in the womb that is known to soothe and comfort a child. 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. The question is – how long do you let it go on?

The ADA recommends that the best time to start discouraging thumb sucking behavior in children is by the age of four because 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 as their teeth begin to come in. The front teeth 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 their permanent teeth.

The best way to discourage thumb sucking is to ignore the behavior. But 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; they’re easier to discourage and are also easier to take away.
  • Create a reward system. Encouragement and praise go a long way.
  • Schedule a consultation with your child’s dentist.

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.

Baby Teeth Should Not Be Ignored | Riverside Dentist

When we bring a new life into the world, we do everything we can to keep them safe and happy. We baby-proof the home, buy all of the healthiest foods and read every reference we can find to make sure we are prepared for anything that can happen. There is one thing that has a tendency to fall through the cracks when it comes to our tiny humans – dental health.

It’s easy to think that baby teeth don’t really make a difference because they fall out, but these tiny placeholders can dictate what happens when they are replaced by the permanents. When it comes to general oral hygiene, always remember that consistency is key. And while it will forever be a struggle for parents to teach oral hygiene, it needs to be done. Here are some quick tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Teach them young. 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.

Make it a family affair. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Crank up the tunes. 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’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 Your Little One Needs Dental Surgery | Dentist in Riverside

It won’t be very often, but there may come a time when your little one needs to get some type of dental procedure done that will necessitate the use of anesthesia. As a parent, this could cause a bit of concern. After all, oral surgery is serious enough, but sedating your child is a completely different animal. And thus, we need to ask some questions. Thankfully, your dental professional will be more than happy to address any of your concerns. Because this will be new territory for many new parents, the American Dental Association some questions to ask through every step of the process.

Prior to the procedure:

Who will evaluate my child before the procedure, including their past medical history?

How long should my child go without food or drink prior to the procedure (with the exception of necessary medications taken with a sip of water)?

Will I be giving any sedation medication to my child at home prior to their coming to the office and, if so, what should I be on the look-out for?

What training and experience does the person providing sedation or anesthesia for the procedure have?

Do assisting staff have emergency training and renew it regularly?

Does the dentist have all the permits or licenses required by the state dental board to provide the planned level of anesthesia or sedation?

During the procedure:

In addition to local anesthesia, what level of sedation or general anesthesia will my child be given?

How will my child be monitored before, during and after the procedure until the child is released to go home?

After the procedure:

Will I receive instructions and emergency contact information if there are any concerns or complications after returning home?

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.

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.

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.

Don’t Dodge the Dentist | Dentist in Riverside, CA

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. That is a lot of hours! Not only can a student’s grades slip, but all the time missed could lead to issues at work. How do we prevent this from happening? Visit the dentist. I know it sounds simple but having regular dental cleanings can drastically reduce these dental issues by about fifty percent!

To put it very basically, getting your teeth professionally cleaned and examined is your way of taking preventative measures to ensuring that your dental health is the best it can be. Because you can brush your teeth all you want, but if you aren’t doing it correctly or enough, it will show. These teeth cleanings will fully examine your oral hygiene in order to suggest any changes that may need to be made. If you are a patient that only visits the dentist when something is hurting, you can not only be causing further dental issues, but even more conditions to your overall health. After all, your mouth is the first line of defense for your entire body. In order to avoid the life-threatening consequence of poor oral health, make sure to pay your dental professional a visit at least twice a year. Thorough teeth cleanings will enhance your smile and ensure you and your child remain in school and at work!

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.

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.