Eat Right Bite by Bite | Riverside Dentist

We are proud to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during March in celebrating National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Eat Right Bite by Bite” and encourages consumers to remember to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy on their plates every day. Not only will your body thrive off of the goodness, but so will your smile. Here are a few ways to “Eat Right Bite by Bite” from the food and nutrition experts:

Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange varieties. Add fresh, dried, frozen or canned fruits to meals and snacks.

Make at least half your grains whole. Choose 100 percent whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. For those who are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.

Vary your protein choices. Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, keeping meat and poultry portions small and lean. Choose seafood as the protein at least twice a week.

Cut back on sodium and empty calories. Choose low sodium foods and season those foods with herbs and spices instead of salt. Switch from solid fats to healthy oils. Replace sugary drinks with water and choose fruit for dessert.

Enjoy your foods but eat less. Use a smaller plate, bowl and glass. Cook more often at home for more control and choose lower calorie foods when eating out.

Be physically active. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity every week. Choose activities that you enjoy.

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.

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.

Smile Improvements Made by Veneers | Riverside, CA

When a patient thinks about improving their smile, many are put off because they think it will not only be painful but will take lots of time and money. Dr. Gerald Middleton knows that not all patients need severe changes to their smile, but every patient deserves to have the best smile possible. Thankfully, cosmetic procedures, such as minimally invasive veneers, can make a huge difference without damaging existing teeth structure. Not only does this make a patient rest at ease, but it can also be done quickly, even as little as a single dentist visit. Curious to find out more? Keep reading…

Minimally invasive veneers are thin ceramic veneers that cover the surface of the tooth they are attached to. Since minimally invasive veneers are applied on the surface of teeth, patients can keep their enamel intact. This is quite different from the procedure in the past, but this development has made creating new smiles quick and easy. I’m slowly convincing you, right?

Now there is one main difference between minimally invasive veneers and traditional veneers – traditional veneers require teeth changes that cannot be reversed. Traditional veneers used to require shaving down your teeth in order to apply the veneers, making these changes irreversible. But honestly, with minimally invasive veneers, why would you want to get the traditional variety?

Of course, which veneers you choose is going to be a case by case basis, as not all patients will be candidates. If you are ready for a smile makeover, make an appointment for a consultation. A dental professional usually recommends using minimally invasive veneers on patients that have mild to moderate tooth discolorations, minor misalignment, or need teeth reshaped.

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.

Keeping Your Smile Past the Holidays | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Aside from all of the hustle and bustle from holiday shopping and celebrate, let’s be honest – the foods are really the reason for the season. We show up for all of the tasty treats this time of year has to offer. However, with great food comes a great amount of overindulgence. And this can lead to dental issues if we don’t take the time to look after our smile. So, in order to help you avoid any dental pain in the upcoming year, here are some tips on what to eat and what not to eat not just during the holiday season, but year-round…

Cheese. Cheese is not only rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth, but it also balances out the PH in your mouth which lessens the damaging effects of acid from a festive glass of wine on tooth enamel.

Unsalted nuts. Nuts contain calcium and vitamin D, both in which are vital for oral health as well as general health. Walnuts are oftentimes used in holiday pastries and they contain zinc, folic acid, iron, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin E, & B6.

Vegetables. It is always a good idea to promote the habit of eating vegetables. Broccoli and carrots in particular are great for your oral health.

And now the foods that aren’t so good…

Sweets. Let’s face it, the holidays do bring up some of the best sweets ever created, however it is important that you take it easy on sweets.

Sodas. Carbonated beverages are usually loaded with sugar and are excessively acidic which can cause teeth to erode away.

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.

Between Your Teeth for the Holidays | Riverside Dentist

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, it is important to keep up with our busy schedules while staying on top of our daily rituals. One of these rituals is our dental hygiene routines. We may have a busier schedule, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect our smiles – even flossing.

Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. In its conception, floss was made from strands of silk, but nowadays it comes from thin filament cord. There are varying thicknesses and varieties to choose from, depending on preference. Some are waxed, some are electric, or water based. There are also handy tools available on the market that help facilitate you in flossing properly, whether you need help reaching all of your teeth or working your way around complicated dental work, like braces. So, no matter your reason for avoiding the floss, it isn’t a good one.

Even the process itself is relatively simple. Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long. Wrap both sides around your fingers until you have a good two inches separating either side. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth. With a downward zigzag motion, slide the floss around each tooth in a curved motion, removing any debris caught in your teeth.

No particular order necessary to do it right. Work from top to bottom or vice versa. Floss before you brush your teeth or after. It’s just about keeping your teeth clean and healthy.

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.

Why Are My Teeth Discolored? | Riverside Dentist

Everyone wants a bright white smile. Unfortunately, keeping our teeth white isn’t the easiest thing to do, even with the most impeccable dental routines. So, we make an appointment for a teeth whitening procedure to help with the problem. Teeth whitening has now become the most requested procedure in cosmetic dentistry today.

But why do our teeth continue to become discolored? Well, lots of times it is not our dental routines, but our lifestyle choices that determine how white our teeth stay. Our diet and habits can both cause our teeth to stain over time. Here are some contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth:

  • 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

Simple rules to live by to try and stop the yellowing process:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water several times throughout the day
  • Use toothpaste with whitening agents

The most popular and convenient method is with the ZOOM! whitening technique. This procedure is done in our office in about an hour. Our trained clinicians first place a protective barrier on the cheeks and gums. The ZOOM! whitening gel is then applied to the teeth. This gel is used with the ZOOM! light which together gently penetrates the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations. The gel is applied for three 15-minute sessions for a total of 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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.

The ABCs of Dental Implants | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Dental implant is a pretty scary sounding procedure for many patients, but it shouldn’t be – so we are here to help. Let’s settle some nerves about this dental procedure so you don’t have to fear it when the time comes. This artificial tooth root is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge when you have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants natural-looking and feeling and under proper conditions, can last a lifetime.

There are two types of implants:

  • Endosteal (in the bone). Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone). These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework.

Esthetically dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures. Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.

Dental implants are secure. You don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be a candidate for dental implants. You need to be in good oral health and have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant and healthy gum tissue. One more reason it is important to take care of your 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 and all surrounding areas.

Mouth Guards: Do You Need One? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Regardless of the sport, we all enjoy a good game. If you are the athlete, it is important to not only help your team win but stay healthy in the process. Because injury is so prevalent, various equipment is created in order to protect your body from serious injury. One of these protective pieces of sports equipment is the mouthguard.

Just for a quick point of reference, young athletes who have a tooth knocked out can anticipate upwards of $20,000 worth of lifetime dental costs associated with just that one tooth. This is why it is important to protect those pearly whites from any injury. But with so many versions available, which is best for you?

While the store-bought, or “boil and bite”, varieties are relatively inexpensive and represent over 90 percent of the mouth guards purchased today, they can also fit poorly and interfere with speech, breathing and swallowing, making them less likely to be worn.

Athletes can also see a dentist for a custom-fit mouth guard. These guards can be somewhat more expensive, but they are made to fit very accurately to the athlete’s mouth with minimal interference to speech, breathing and swallowing. These types of guards can be made to an ideal thickness in order to properly reduce or prevent dental injuries and concussions.

A third area of the mouth guard industry is the performance mouth guard, designed as much for increased strength, balance and overall improved athletic performance, as it is for tooth protection. These guards utilize repositioning of the bite to better align the athletes head, neck and spine for this increased strength.

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.

How Did I Get Gingivitis? | Riverside Dentist

woman brushing teeth

No one wants to hear bad news from the dentist, but gingivitis is one of those words a patient absolutely dreads hearing come out of their dentist’s mouth. We’ve all heard the word gingivitis, but how do we get it?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene, 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. But there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gingivitis:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth create more areas for plaque and calculus to accumulate
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause cause the blood vessels in the gums to be more susceptible to bacterial and chemical attack
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • 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. Also, a deficiency of important nutrients such as vitamin C will impair healing.
  • Diabetes
  • Medications, such as anti-seizure medications

While gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the teeth, periodontal disease occurs when the bone below the gums gets inflamed or infected. Gingivitis forms when food particles mix with saliva and bacteria-plaque forms that then sticks to the surfaces of teeth. This is why it is so important to maintain proper dental hygiene. A clean, healthy mouth will keep gingivitis at bay.

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.

Odd Ways You May Be Damaging Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Let’s face it – we are very busy people. And many times, getting things done is more important than our oral health. Here are five unexpected dental culprits—and the best ways to stop them from damaging your teeth:

Cardio. Some are breathing a sigh of relief, but a study has found that long cardio workouts may take a toll on your teeth.

The fix? Brushing before you exercise and rinsing your mouth after consuming anything sugary or acidic. Chewing sugar-free gum can boost saliva production.

Weights. It’s a natural tendency to clench your jaw when you strain to lift weights. That pressure can wear down your teeth or even crack them.

The fix? If you bite down hard when you exert yourself in the gym, consider wearing a mouthguard.

Medications. Hundreds of meds for allergies, depression, heart health, and blood pressure cause dry mouth.

The fix? Chewing on sugar-free gum and sucking on sugar-free hard candy throughout the day will help stimulate saliva production. Stay away from sugary and acidic foods that encourage decay and erosion.

Heartburn. The acid from your digestive system can wind up in your mouth, dissolving your enamel just like the acid from soda or sports drinks.

The fix? If your dentist finds erosion on the teeth located at the back of your mouth, acid reflux is most likely the culprit. Ask your physician how to tackle your heartburn.

Mealtime hygiene. Brushing after eating acidic foods—like juice, fruit, sports drinks, red wine, and soda—can weaken enamel.

The fix? Swish with water to rinse away the acid and wait 40 minutes to brush.

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.