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.

Dental Health and the Elderly | Riverside Dentist

Aging is just a fact of life, but there are loads of lifestyle changes we need to get used to as we progress through time. Many of these changes will involve our health, but many forget that our dental health is part of it. Older Americans with the poorest oral health tend to be those who are economically disadvantaged, lack insurance, and are members of racial and ethnic minorities. But on top of that, additional circumstances, like being disabled, homebound, or institutionalized also increases the risk of poor oral health. Oral health problems in older adults include the following:

Untreated tooth decay. Nearly all adults (96%) aged 65 years or older have had a cavity; 1 in 5 have untreated tooth decay.

Gum disease. A high percentage of older adults have gum disease. About 2 in 3 (68%) adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease.

Tooth loss. Nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Having missing teeth or wearing dentures can affect nutrition, because people without teeth or with dentures often prefer soft, easily chewed foods instead of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Oral cancer. Cancers of the mouth (oral and pharyngeal cancers) are primarily diagnosed in older adults; median age at diagnosis is 62 years.

Chronic disease. People with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be more likely to develop gum (periodontal) disease, but they are less likely to get dental care than adults without these chronic conditions. Also, most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs; many of these medications can cause dry mouth. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of cavities.

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.

Natural Ways to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea | Dentist in Riverside

We all love getting some good sleep. Unfortunately, this isn’t a luxury for most of us. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but 80% of people use the weekends to catch up on sleep. And if a poor night’s sleep is a common occurrence, this could be a sign of a more serious issue, like obstructive sleep apnea.

OSA is a condition in which a person’s upper airways become partially or completely blocked, causing pauses in breathing while they sleep. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to treat this sleep issue and its varying degrees, both medically and naturally. Here are some of the DIY options:

Weight loss techniques. For some people, carrying excess body weight can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea. Losing excess weight could be a good first step in treating obstructive sleep apnea.

Healthful lifestyle changes. Other health changes could help a person reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, including avoiding smoking or drinking, and taking allergy medications to open up airways.

Side sleeping position. One of the most common approaches to home remedies for sleep apnea is a body positioning pillow or another similar device to keep someone from sleeping on their back.

Raise the head of the bed. Sleeping at an angle of about 60 degrees may help reduce the number of apnea episodes for back sleepers.

Didgeridoo playing. The didgeridoo is a wooden wind instrument from Australia that requires a special breathing technique that could help strengthen the muscles in the upper airway.

Oral or dental appliances. Another home remedy for sleep apnea is wearing an oral device that holds the tongue or jaw in a certain position to help facilitate better breathing. See your dental professional for recommendations.

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.

The ABCs of Fluoride | Dentist in Riverside

We’ve all seen it before – fluoride in our water, in our toothpaste, everywhere. But what exactly is fluoride? And what exactly does it do to our teeth? Here is everything you need to know about this mystery additive.

Before teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages and dietary supplements makes tooth enamel stronger, making it easier to resist tooth decay.

After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

So, now that we know it’s great for our teeth, how do we get fluoride?

  • Drink water with fluoride.
  • Use dental products with fluoride.
  • Brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Take a fluoride supplement.

For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they start to appear in the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.

For children 3 to 6 years old, use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children don’t have developed swallowing muscles so stay away from mouthwash until they are at least seven years old.

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.

Nibbling on Foods that Brighten Your Smile | Dentist in Riverside

During the holiday season, it is almost impossible not to indulge in the delicious foods everywhere we look. Whilst gathering with friends and family, breaking bread is always a given, whether it be just nibbling on snacks or having a meal.

Luckily, there are loads of foods that are great for our smile – some brighten, others strengthen, but all are delicious. And once the new year hits, take a moment to stop in for a quick check-up.

Here is a general breakdown of beneficial foods during this delicious time of year.

Crunchy fruits and veggies. Crunchy fruits and veggies like carrot, celery and apple are just some of the foods that prevent tooth decay, due to a high fiber content that stimulates the flow of saliva throughout your mouth. The saliva you produce when you eat crunchy veggies, in particular, rinses any remaining sugar away from your teeth before it has a chance to attack healthy tooth enamel.

Dairy. Cheese is full of protein and calcium – both of which are important for the strength and health of your enamel and actively protects the teeth from cavities. And drinking milk after eating sweets also reduced the amount of plaque buildup on one’s teeth.

Seafood. Fish, lobster and shellfish are an excellent source of lean protein, which can help keep your teeth healthy and strong in general. They also contain fluoride, which helps reduce your risk for tooth decay just like the fluoride incorporated in your tap water.

Nuts and other proteins. Nuts contain a good amount of protein, as well as calcium and phosphorous, which help strengthen your teeth’s enamel and stimulates saliva production. Chicken, eggs and other types of lean meat are great for your teeth thanks to their own protein.

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.

It Is Important to Keep Your Tools Sharpened | Riverside Dentist

toothbrush

We all know that maintaining a bright healthy smile requires some work on our part. Not only do we need to visit the dentist regularly but keeping our mouths clean will help prevent issues from developing in the future.

As important as it is to keep your teeth brushed and cared for, did you know that it is equally as important to keep your toothbrush well maintained? After all, your car won’t run as well if you don’t check the oil and rotate the tires. Your smile is no different. Your mouth is home to a multitude of microorganisms, which can most definitely be transferred onto your toothbrush as you brush your teeth. Here are some tips to make sure your toothbrush remains effective and keeping your smile the best it can possibly be:

  • Refrain from sharing your toothbrush with anyone. Sharing a toothbrush could result in the exchange of body fluids and or microorganisms between users, ultimately leaving teeth more prone to infections of some sort.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove any toothpaste and debris. Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry before you use it again.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. The bristles become frayed upon frequent use and therefore it’s overall effectiveness in cleaning your teeth decrease.

Now that we are getting into the holiday season, tempting treats are going to be abundant; it is our job to stay on top of our dental hygiene as we indulge in the delicious festive treats this time of year has to offer. Happy Halloween!

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 Professional Teeth Cleanings Are Healthy | Dentist in Riverside

You brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, to the point of extreme diligence. In fact, your dental checkups are raving. So, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Isn’t this redundant? Not at all. Your teeth can never be too clean, but there are other perks to having your smile professionally cleaned. Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Not only do they improve the appearance of your smile, but they also help to prevent many other health problems. So, before you dodge your next dental appointment, take a look at the pros:

Gum disease prevention. Gum disease is an infection in your gums that can lead to tooth loss. Routine dental cleanings help to prevent gum disease.

Oral cancer detection. With every dental cleaning you are screened for oral cancer. And with any cancer detection, the earlier the better.

Good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly helps to keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had, currently have and may have in the future.

A beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy and clean and white and you have a beautiful smile, and when you have a beautiful smile, you are more confident, and it has been proven that this confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. We tend to center oral disease to the mouth, but this isn’t the case – gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight so these dental procedures can help detect future issues.

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.