What Does a Professional Teeth Cleaning Entail? | Dentist in Riverside

When we go in for our dental checkups, we expect a couple of things to take place – our teeth will be examined, cleaned and if anything is amiss, a treatment option is available. But what does that teeth cleaning actually entail? After all, the cleaning is generally what most patients fear when visiting the dentist. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect the next time you go in for a checkup:

Physical exam. A quick look inside your mouth will help your dental professional see what you’ve been doing with your dental health while you were gone. That little mirror? This is where they use it to check on your back teeth and gums.

Plaque and tartar removal. This is where your dental hygiene comes into play. If you don’t brush well, plaque builds up and turns into tartar. Tartar is removed with a scaler, the scraping sound you are familiar with.

Gritty toothpaste time. Once the tartar is removed, it’s time for a deep cleaning with an electric brush. This is the grinding sounds you hear. They use a gritty toothpaste that smells like the toothpaste we use every day but has a gritty texture that gets those hard to clean spots.

Flossing and rinsing. This sounds exactly like it is – a good flossing session and a refreshing rinse to remove any leftover debris.

Fluoride treatment. The final step is an application of fluoride. Fluoride will help keep cavities away in between dental visits.

Visiting the dentist is something we need to do at least twice a year to keep our mouths healthy, but dental hygiene needs to take place at home as well to keep optimal health.

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.

Five Top Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Preventing tooth decay for a perfect smile

We all know the spiel from our favorite local dentist: To prevent tooth decay, we need to brush and floss our teeth daily. It should be an easy solution, right?

Yet, tooth decay remains one of the most common medical conditions in the world. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that a whopping 2.4 billion people suffer from some form of tooth decay.

Tooth decay has the potential to cause extreme discomfort in affected patients, from difficulty chewing to image problems due to discolored teeth. So it’s definitely something you want to watch out for (but you didn’t need me to tell you).

In order to avoid these problems, here are a few of the ways that you can prevent tooth decay in your personal life.

Supercharge your personal dental hygiene 

Ok, so you know you need to brush and floss your teeth daily. That’s good, but it shouldn’t be an end-all solution to preventing ugly cavities from showing. So how exactly should you approach dental hygiene in your personal life?

Here are a few tips to improving your dental hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to sleep. Microbes in your mouth feed on sugars that you eat, leaving behind waste known as dental plaque. Get rid of that plaque to prevent tooth decay before it begins.
  2. Perfect your brushing technique. While it may seem odd to say, there is an art form that goes into brushing your teeth. Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle. 
  3. Replace your toothbrush after three to four months. Besides retaining gross bacteria, old toothbrushes are less effective at removing plaque from your mouth.
  4. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash. Besides making your breath smell like cool mint (or whatever flavor you prefer), mouthwash can remove many harmful bacteria that you miss while brushing.

Make sure to take advantage of regular professional cleaning

Going to the dentist gets a bad rap. People around the world dread the day that they have to get their checkup.

In fact, dental phobia is a real thing, with five to 10 percent of people experiencing intense fear of even approaching their local dentist – even in face of major dental issues, including tooth decay.

This is obviously not ideal, as regular dental checkups are essential to preventing tooth decay. Professional cleanings – at least twice a year – allow your dentist to make sure that you’re caring for your teeth and catch any issues before they become too serious.

If the thought of going to your dentist gives you such anxiety that you’d rather not go, perhaps it’s time for a change. It’s the job of the dentist to provide a safe, relaxing place for all of their patients. Look through customer reviews on Yelp or Google and find the best dentist for you.

Keep your sugar intake low

Your teeth are the first defense against anything you decide to eat. And just as eating poorly can cause you to gain weight, it can also increase your chances for tooth decay.

It’s easier said than done, but avoiding snacks that are high in sugar is the best way to avoid tooth decay. Instead of drinking a soft drink at lunch, consider just drinking water.

You don’t have to cut sugar completely from your diet – it’s especially hard to avoid during the holiday season. But try to keep your sugar intake below 10% of your daily caloric intake and you should be fine.

Just don’t forget to brush!

Fluoride therapy

The effect of fluoride when it comes to preventing tooth decay cannot be understated – it’s almost like a secret weapon in your dental arsenal. 

Fluoride has many benefits for healthy teeth. It can rebuild weakened enamel, prevent the growth of bacteria, and even reverse the effects of the early stages of tooth decay. Make sure your toothpaste has fluoride in order to get the most benefit from brushing your teeth.

Other types of fluoride therapy involve fluoride supplementation through the consumption of water, salt, tablets, or drops. Ask your dentist if any of these are right for you.

Bring in the big guns: The power of dental sealant

If all else fails, it might be time to call in the professional. Yes, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

But what exactly is a dental sealant?

Quite simple actually: It’s consists of placing a thin plastic coating over one or more teeth, which eventually forms a protective shield over the enamel. 

Dental sealants protect the vulnerable areas that your toothbrush can’t reach by sealing out plaque and food, giving you an additional layer of protection against tooth decay. 

Tooth decay can be a difficult pill to swallow for anyone suffering from it. But if you take care of your teeth by following these five tips, you can ensure that you never experience the pain and embarrassment that comes with decaying teeth.

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.

It Isn’t Meant as a Suggestion | Dentist in Riverside, CA

There is nothing worse than getting a bad report card from the dentist. Especially because it is rather easy to look after our teeth properly. Eat well, stay away from over-indulging in habits that can stain your teeth and make sure to follow a proper dental hygiene routine each day. That means brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, rinsing with and antibacterial mouthwash and flossing at least once daily. I know what you’re thinking – someone else is on you about flossing. But dentists and health specialists everywhere are trying their hardest to make flossing more prevalent in individuals’ health routines. There are a million excuse patients use as to why they lack the patience to floss, however, we urge you to take a look at the overall importance of flossing and how it can save your teeth. After all, most adults will develop some sort of gum disease in their lifetime. Don’t you want to avoid that if possible? Here are the talking points:

Unlike a toothbrush, floss is able to get into hard to reach areas and clean out pieces of food or bacteria that can cause plaque to build up. If left untreated for too long, plaque may turn into cavities and worsen into gum disease.

Flossing promotes a healthier lifestyle and can lead to a decrease in health issues all around. Our mouth is our first line of defense against lost of health issues, so a healthy mouth can help fight other issues in the body, not to mention decrease the risk of bad breath.

Lastly, flossing provides you brighter and healthier teeth while promoting a healthier lifestyle. What more could you want?

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.

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.

Is Mouthwash Necessary? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

It’s tough to turn down a slice of pizza or a piping hot cup of coffee. They are just so delicious, but they leave our breath quite brutal. Use bit of mouthwash & we’re good…right? What if I told you mouthwash isn’t helping your bad breath at all? Sorry, but it’s true.

While there are a few medical conditions that can cause bad breath, poor dental hygiene is generally what causes everyday cases of it. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, it is easy for plaque and harmful bacteria to collect and multiply inside of our mouths. That’s where our saliva comes in. We naturally produce saliva to help our mouth maintain a healthy pH balance. Saliva is our natural line of defense against bad breath.

Now let’s look at mouthwash. We know for a fact that mouthwash is full of alcohol, some as much as 25 percent. We also know that alcohol dehydrates us. So, by default, mouthwash is also dehydrating. Now, if mouthwash dehydrates us, we are not producing enough saliva. Not enough saliva, our pH balance is thrown off and bacteria collects. Mouthwash is actually doing the complete opposite of what we thought!

There were once claims that mouthwash could replace your daily dental routine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mouthwash cannot remove plaque. Nothing liquid can remove plaque. It needs to be removed by physically removing it with a toothbrush and floss. If you aren’t doing either of those, the plaque remains on your teeth and the mouthwash cannot get to the bacteria in order to kill it.

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.

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.

Waking Up Without Coffee | Riverside Dentist

We all know that coffee causes our teeth to stain. But did you know that it can also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease. Don’t worry, periodontal disease is actually one of the most common dental problems in general dentistry, but it isn’t something you want to acquire.

There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis – an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis – a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. Gum disease, when caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now let’s look at how it comes into play with your coffee consumption. Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get the oxygen needed to function properly.

Saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee causes dehydration and reduces the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So, when you are thinking about that second caffeine boost, make sure you take good care of your teeth afterwards.

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.