Invisalign: The Way to Straighten Things Out | Dentist in Riverside, CA

Through the advances of cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign is one of the best ways to improve your smile without having to use traditional braces. Yes, Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth using a series of custom-made, nearly undetectable aligners. Whether your teeth are crowded, too far apart or have shifted, Invisalign may be right for you. But before you go making your appointment, take a moment to find out all the information in order to make an educated decision. Because unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for this discreet treatment option.

Upon an initial examination, your dental professional will decide if Invisalign is right for you. If you have a healthy mouth, it will be given as an option during your initial consultation. We will then write a treatment plan and take an impression of your teeth. Thanks to the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign carefully translates the dentist’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners to fit your current mouth. The aligners will then begin to move your teeth gradually week by week until you achieve the smile you have always desired.

The clear trays are a very hand-free way to straighten your teeth without having the cumbersome idea of having the traditional metal appliances. There are some subtle changes that will need to be made to your lifestyle in order to have this option, because you may not have the heavy look of braces, but you will need to leave those trays in your mouth for most of the day in order for them to make the necessary changes, and make sure you have clean aligners every morning so some discipline will be needed.

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 a Good Diet Is a Good Idea | Riverside, CA

We all want to live our healthiest, happiest lives. So, we try to go to the gym and eat healthy, in hope that doing these things will ensure our overall happiness. But what if I told you that having a great diet can also improve your dental health, namely gum disease. And since gum disease affects most adults in their lifetime, keeping this in mind as you prepare your body for greatness will be worthwhile for a few reasons.

The New York Times reported a study done with 30 patients with gingivitis, or the beginning stages of gum disease, to an anti-inflammatory diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish. And before you stop continuing to read, trans fats, sugar, dairy and other animal by-products were still involved but kept to a minimum. In addition to these healthy foods, vitamin D was also given on a daily basis. To add to this study, both patients on said diet and those not were told not to use floss or other methods to get gunk from between their teeth.

The results? After eight weeks, not only were the dieters way healthier than they were, but their bleeding was minimal compared to the non-dieters. But, keep in mind that there weren’t any differences in plaque development or inflammation blood markers between the two groups.

So, what did we learn from all this? It is important to keep a healthy diet in our lives in order to live our best lives, but it is also important when it comes to keeping a healthy mouth. And who doesn’t want a great dental checkup?

Study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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.

When Your Mouth Is Under Construction | Riverside Dentist

When you have multiple dental issues, you will need multiple dental procedures in order to fix it. In fact, there is a term for this – a full mouth reconstruction. As the name suggests, full mouth reconstruction is a process where the patient’s mouth undergoes a series of treatment to restore the mouth’s function and structure.

Because it is a combination of restorative, neuromuscular and cosmetic procedures, a full mouth reconstruction’s goal is to not only restore and improve the look of the patient’s teeth, but its structure and overall function.

Most of the time, a full mouth restoration is recommended for those who have a lot of missing teeth, and those who have several discolored, worn out, chipped and broken teeth. It may also be necessary for those who’ve been experiencing chronic pain, or a clicking or popping sound in their jaws, or suffering from frequent headaches and back pain may also benefit from a full mouth reconstruction.

To know the scope of the full mouth reconstruction, it is best to have your dentist evaluate the overall status of your oral health to get a better idea on what type of treatments are necessary or available. After this, your dentist will be able to discuss with you the different types of treatment available, depending on what goals you have in mind. Be honest and don’t forget to ask about the overall costs of the procedure, as well as what your dental insurance covers. Ask for a timeframe for the whole process and any other questions you may have in order to be confident in your future treatments.

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.

The Ins and Outs of CEREC Restorations | Riverside Dentist

When thinking about a smile makeover, dental restorations may be a necessary part of your treatment plans. If this is the case, your dental professional may suggest CEREC dental restorations. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? It really isn’t, but it is truly revolutionary. Not only because they will improve your smile and make them look natural, but they can be created in a single appointment. You heard it correctly – CEREC restoratives save you time in the dental chair. Unfamiliar? Here’s a quick rundown…

CEREC® or Ceramic Reconstruction is a method used by thousands of dentists since 1987 not only to replace old fillings, but also to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc. to its natural strength and beauty. CEREC® allows our doctors to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic restorations, saving patients time and inconvenience.

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings or discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive, and plaque-resistant. We no longer need to create temporaries or take impressions and send them to a lab. Because of this, the traditional second visit has been eliminated.

When you visit the dentist, your tooth requiring a CEREC® restoration is prepared and a 3D photograph is taken of the prepared tooth. From there, we use computer-aided design CAD software to create the restoration digitally. Once the restoration is finished being milled, it is fitted onto the prepared tooth and adjusted until the bite is accurate.

This procedure is great for crowns, veneers and the replacement of old fillings to give you the longest-lasting, best-looking restorations.

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 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.

Celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethBrushing our teeth has long been touted as an important part of oral health. Using a toothbrush, a very simple personal hygiene tool found in every household, we’ve come to make a habit of using it more than twice a day. But have you ever thought about how it came to be? February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so while you are teaching your little one to brush their teeth, teach them a little history of the toothbrush:

Ancient Egyptians are widely regarded as the first group of people to use a toothbrush, constructing one made of twigs and leaves to clean their teeth. By the 15th century, the Chinese had begun using a toothbrush that closely resembles what we use today. A century later, English noblemen and privileged families began using toothbrushes made out of silver.

William Addis would then go on to invent what’s widely considered as the first modern toothbrush in 1780 while in prison. It’s believed that the idea came about while watching how the floors were swept clean using a brush. He’d then fashion the toothbrush using a bone and bristles he had obtained from
the guard and went on to make a fortune once released.

The design of the toothbrush would then be refined over time and in 1938, soft-bristles toothbrushes were invented. Soon enough, companies such as Oral-B would begin mass producing soft-bristled toothbrushes. Innovation still has not left toothbrushes and up to this day, the design and the bristles are still being refined to better meet modern needs, including the development of toothbrushes made of recyclable materials.

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.

Prevent Tooth Decay Five Ways | Riverside Dentist

Keeping a healthy, bright smile isn’t an easy task. Well, let’s say that again – keeping a healthy, bright smile isn’t difficult if you keep up with the daily basics of dental hygiene – brushing, flossing and rinsing. But it doesn’t just stop there. It takes a village to raise a child, and a healthy smile. The following are five tips to help prevent tooth decay:

Dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. Brushing your teeth three times a day makes your teeth stronger.

Regular professional cleanings. It is very important to seek the help of a dentist since they know a lot about it. They know what to do and where to focus on your teeth.

Dietary snacks. It is good to limit sweet snacks as excessive intake of sweets alters’ your blood sugar. If you avoid snacks, you may be depriving your body of nutrition from food. Good snacks should include healthy proteins and fats.

Fluoride therapy. When you have treated your smile with fluoride, you are doing your first steps to preventing the tooth decay that causes cavities. Fluoride therapy involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. When the public water supplies aren’t fluoridated, tablets and/or drops are used as a substitute.

Dental sealant. It is the dental treatment that consists of plastic material that covers one or more teeth, for preventing of cavities and tooth decay. Dental sealants are applied in a dentist’s office.

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.

Lasers at the Dentist? | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When you think about lasers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A sci-fi movie? Chances are you aren’t thinking about your dentist, but lasers are actually more commonplace than you may think. Why? Laser dentistry can relieve and cure several dental conditions you may encounter with added benefits.

A laser is a device that emits a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. When that beam of light comes into contact with tissue, it causes a reaction that can remove, vaporize, or shape tissue. Lasers have been used in several other industries; however, in 1990 they became a common tool for dentists. So, as much as we have come to expect sharp metal objects fixing your smile, you may be pleased to know a laser has replaced many of those tools.

Some of the scenarios where lasers can be used in dentistry are: correcting tongue speech problems, uncovering partially erupted wisdom teeth, removing decay from a cavity prior to filling, removing muscle pulls, managing gum tissue, performing biopsy procedures, reducing the amount of bacteria in periodontal pockets, treating infections, reducing discomfort from canker or cold sores, and activating whitening chemicals when bleaching teeth.

Then there are the advantages: no need for anesthesia or drilling, reduction of symptoms and healing times as well as bacteria in gums and teeth and controlling bleeding during a surgery.

Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, unfortunately using lasers is not suitable for all dental procedure. Make sure to call your dental professional to set up an appointment to discuss treatment options.

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.