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 Crowns: The Most Royal of Dental Enhancements | Riverside Dentist

There aren’t many of us that will ever be considered royalty, but that doesn’t mean that our smile can’t. Sure, most of us have something about our smile that we’d like to change. And many of those issues can be fixed by a dental crown. If you are considering a smile fix, you may want to consider the royal treatment.

A dental crown is a custom-made cap that’s placed over a damaged tooth or implant to restore the color, shape, size and strength. The crown covers the entire tooth, from the chewing surface to the gum line. There are several benefits that stem from crowns, include the following:

Placing a crown is often recommended to repair tooth enamel and structure. Patients that are suffering from tooth decay, tooth root infection, or oral trauma, such as a chip or fracture, the tooth may ache or feel sore. Once the dental problem is taken care of, the tooth may still be vulnerable to further damage or discomfort. Having crown placed will alleviate symptoms and protect against further issues.

Some patients mistakenly believe that this restorative procedure is complicated or intensive. In all reality, having a dental crown placed is minimally invasive and relatively straightforward. Once the tooth’s enamel is clean and healthy, your dentist will shape your tooth so that it will securely hold the crown. 

Crowns are custom made just for you. Each dental crown is designed according to your exact specifications in terms of the shape, size and color. Patients can feel confident that the dental crown will blend in seamlessly with their existing teeth. Since crowns can fit over a damaged or discolored tooth, they can instantly correct a myriad of dental problems. 

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.

Am I Developing a Cavity? | Dentist in Riverside

A bright, healthy smile is the optimal goal for every dental patient, but let’s face it – things happen, and we may not end up with the most ideal smile. This is why keeping our dental appointments is so important. Dentists are the only ones that can fix dental issues that may arise.

One common dental ail is a cavity. 92% of adults and 40% of kids across the globe are reported to have cavities. That’s a lot of cavities! So, how do you know if you are developing a cavity? There are a few telltale signs. If you find that you suffer from any of these symptoms, make a dental appointment to check things out. If left untreated, it will only get worse – and more painful.

Tooth pain. No one likes tooth pain, regardless of its level of pain. If it hurts when you bite something soft, this is an indication of a progressed cavity.

Tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth are caused by bacteria thinning down your enamel to the nerve. There is toothpaste to deal with tooth sensitivity, but you need to address the issue.

Tiny holes. Do you see holes in your teeth? It’s likely a developing cavity.

Dark spots. Typically, if there is a dark spot on your tooth, chances are high that there is an invisible hole.

Bad breath. As the bacteria that causes a tooth decay penetrates deeper, it can cause bad breath.

Cracked tooth. Accidents, extremely hard food and poor oral hygiene can cause crevices in your tooth, which can lead to infection.

Pus. Pus is a sign of a decayed and infected tooth – don’t ignore this symptom. It could lead to fever, pain and swollen glands.

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 Need a Filling? | Riverside Dentist

When it’s time to visit the dentist, we are all crossing our fingers that our dental hygiene efforts have proven fruitful, and our checkup is passed with flying colors. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen to many of us. Yes, for many of us, a cavity has developed on one or more of your teeth. And we all know what that means – it’s time for a filling.

But is there a way for you to know you have a filling? What does it feel like when a cavity develops? Do you feel anything? For many, a cavity doesn’t feel like much of anything – many times, you don’t even realize it’s there. But then there are times when a cavity progresses into something more serious, and that’s when you really feel some pain. If you are experiencing sensitivity to certain foods or having difficulty eating due to an excessive amount of pain, it’s time to make a dental appointment – you’ve got yourself a toothache.

The following symptoms indicate that dental fillings are needed to treat your teeth effectively:

  • A visible gap or hole in your teeth
  • A filling that needs to be replaced because it is broken
  • Food getting stuck between your teeth

So, why a filling? Fillings are absolutely necessary in order to prevent further tooth decay from occurring. The consequences of not receiving dental fillings can result in permanent tooth decay and the loss of teeth. With the help of fillings, each tooth is less prone to infections. In order to guarantee your teeth are in top shape, regularly visit your dental professional to avoid any dental issues that can arise in your future.

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.

Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants | Riverside Dentist

When we are deciding to improve our smile, there are plenty of ways to do so. Some like the look of white teeth, so they brighten their smile with whitening treatments. If you’re missing teeth, there are a few options, like crowns and veneers, but there is also another option – the dental implant.

Dental implants are the best long-term solution for missing teeth because it is a complete tooth replacement. There are three components: the post, abutment, and restoration. The dental implant post looks like a screw made of titanium and integrates into the jawbone like a tooth root. The abutment is attached to the post, and the restoration, or crown, is attached to the abutment. With dental implants there are plenty of immediate benefits including, improved speech, easier eating, improved comfort and overall improved oral health. Here are some others:

Conserve your jawbone. With a bridge, your jawbone will eventually begin to deteriorate underneath the missing tooth. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your jawbone may lack the integrity to get implants in the future without a dental bone graft.

Stop your teeth from shifting.  When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth will eventually begin moving to fill in the space, causing complications. Placing a dental implant will keep your teeth properly spaced and make it easy to keep them clean.

Preserve your appearance.  When your jawbone deteriorates because of missing teeth, it often causes your face to appear sunken in, making you look older. People with dentures often complain of having thin lips and sunken cheeks. Dental implant posts provide the stimulation your body needs to produce dense, healthy jawbone material and keep your face looking full.

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.

Dental Aftercare: Eating After a Filling | Riverside Dentist

When we head over to the dentist with a cavity, we can be sure that a dental filling is on the docket to repair the situation. After your procedure, you will realize that it’s a bit difficult to eat. Don’t worry – anesthesia doesn’t last long. But it is likely that your mouth will a bit of tooth sensitivity, so here are a few helpful tips to getting through those tender couple days. If pain lasts longer, contact your dental professional for advice:

  • Chew on the opposite side of the mouth from your filling. If possible, avoid chewing with the tooth you just had filled to prevent pain and damage.
  • Chew slowly, bite lightly. Take your time and try not to bite all the way through. A lot of the pressure of chewing is from your top teeth and bottom teeth pressing together. By keeping your jaw loose, you can minimize pain.
  • Keep your mouth closed. This isn’t just to practice good manners – sometimes cold air can cause pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Skip sticky foods. Some fillings take time to set after you leave the dentist’s office. Eating sticky or gummy food could dislodge a new filling, so it’s best to avoid them for a little while.
  • Avoid very hot or cold drinks. High and low temperatures can trigger pain in sensitive teeth.
  • Pass on the sweets. Sugary foods and drinks can trigger sensitivity in your tooth and could even promote bacterial growth around or under your new filling.
  • Avoid hard foods. Foods like nuts, hard candy, or ice can cause more pressure on your tooth when you chew. Tough foods like steak, too. That pressure can dislodge your fresh filling if it hasn’t properly set yet.

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.