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.

Do You Take Milk in Your Tea? | Dentist in Riverside

There are loads of reasons to enjoy a cup of tea. To warm (or cool) your insides, to gather with friends, to even get a good night’s sleep. No matter your reason, tea has become a favorite for people around the world. The problem is one similar to other dark drinks – they can stain your teeth over time. But it still doesn’t matter – tea is going to be a staple in everyone’s lives. So, to celebrate International Tea Day (May 21), let’s take a look at the pros and cons of our beloved leafy beverages…

First, let’s take a look at the pros: Black and green tea contain fluoride, which we all know helps ward off tooth decay while preventing cavities by controlling bacteria and reducing acid in your mouth. After all, saliva production is key to washing bacteria from inside our mouths. In fact, when making tea, use tap water for an extra fluoride boost!

Tea also contains polyphenols, which are micronutrients from plant-based foods that reduce gum inflammation and disease. Polyphenols are killing bacteria, while combatting bad breath better than a mint. If that’s not enough, tea is great for our overall health as it’s antioxidant-rich option that can even help slow the growth of certain kinds of cancer, including oral cancer.

And while this healthy drink can tinge our teeth, it isn’t a permanent feature. After your cuppa, why not give your teeth a quick brush? Not only will a teeth-whitening session improve your smile, but daily dental hygiene is the best way to slow down the staining process.

Do keep in mind that sugar and acidic add-ins can erode your teeth and make you more prone to cavities. So, try to limit the lemon, sugar and honey.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Teaching ‘Em Young: Brushing Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside

When it comes to parenting, it seems like everyone has a different opinion on what you’re doing. It can be exhausting, trying to figure out how to raise your child to be a happy, healthy human. But one of the most important, yet overlooked, areas of parenting is dental health. Many new parents think that dental health isn’t a thing when no teeth are present. And when they do break through, you may feel dental health is unimportant while baby teeth are still around, but that is completely false. It is important to instill good dental hygiene practices, regardless of the teeth present and consistency is key. After all, our mouth is the first line of defense against many of our illnesses, so having a healthy mouth is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, most parents will find that these hygienic lessons don’t happen easily. And for that, we present a few helpful tips to get those little humans to scrub their pearly whites:

Start earlier. If you start at a much younger age, they will be used to the times in the day our teeth are to be cleaned. And by slowly showing them what is to be done each time, they will begin to maintain these good habits as they get older and can do it all by themselves. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Make it musical. Not only is brushing important but sufficiently brushing is just as important. Why not make this a fun event by adding some music. Choosing a song that is at least two minutes long will ensure proper brushing, so choose one your little one 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.

Summertime Dental Hygiene | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teeth

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of a heatwave, some of our dietary habits have begun to change. The warm drinks and cozy comfort foods have been exchanged for iced drinks and frozen confections. The problem is, we tend to forget our dental hygiene having so much fun in the sun. Instead of having a tough time at your next dental visit, keep your indulgences in check and take a moment to look after your smile. After all, summertime is a happy time of year. It’s important to make sure you have a smile to show off…

Brushing. It is no secret that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes – in the morning to start the day with fresh clean breath, and before bedtime to prevent any remaining cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth while you sleep. If you happen to have a toothbrush handy, brushing between meals and sweet snacks won’t hurt.

Rinsing. Many of us have a tough time getting in all the nooks and crannies of our mouths. This is where mouthwash comes in handy. At what part of your dental hygiene routine doesn’t’ really matter. If you do it before you brush, you can loosen some stuck on foods; afterwards gets any remaining debris out while leaving your breath fresh. Just make sure you have a mouthwash with fluoride.

Flossing. One of the more neglected dental tasks has to be flossing. But in actuality, flossing plays a very important part in our dental routines. Not only does it get stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

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.