Dental Care During Football Season | Dentist in Riverside

It’s Autumn – and for many of us, Autumn means it’s time for to cheer on our favorite football teams, from professional to peewee.

When we think of the game itself, it’s hard not to think of the injuries that come along with it. They wear lots of equipment to “soften the blow”, but there are times when even the most padding can help. When it comes to playing football and protecting our smile, there isn’t a whole lot you can do, but there is something – wear a mouthguard.

There are lots of sports that can cause injury. A mouthguard will help to protect your teeth from falling out or some other dental emergency. After all, most sports can injure an athlete in some way. If you find that you have knocked out your tooth on the field, there are a few things you can do to not only save your tooth but prevent further dental issues while you wait for your dental appointment. Because this is considered a dental emergency, it needs to be addressed immediately if you want to save your tooth. If you act quickly, your severed root will experience damage to blood vessels and tissue, but the ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be reformed.

Assuming you can find the tooth, avoid scraping off any dirt particles, as you risk damaging the root further. Instead, rinse it gently with a saline solution while carefully handling it by the crown. If possible, place the tooth back in its original socket, or store it in a small container with saline or milk. Your cheek will also work well for storage in the interim; just be careful not to swallow your precious cargo.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

How Gum Disease Can Harm Your Health | Dentist in Riverside

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by the bacteria found in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed by preforming proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing, it will invade the small spaces in-between your gums and teeth.

If the plaque is left to settle, your gums can become inflamed and infected. And if left untreated, your overall health becomes at risk. Because if you think about it, your mouth is your first line of defense from the outside world. Here are a few examples of the way gum disease can affect your health:

Heart disease. Several studies have shown that people with gum disease are very likely to have poor health, including heart attacks. It is recommended that cardiologists ask about any gum disease issues, and periodontists ask patients about their heart health.

Diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease and inflammation may be partly to blame. Those with diabetes are also more likely to contract infections, one being gum disease, and if your diabetes isn’t under control, you’re at even higher risk to develop gum disease.

Premature births. Although studies are still ongoing, some research has found a link between premature birth and gum disease. A few researchers have found women that have had periodontal disease treated, helps them carry their baby to full term.

Dementia. Some studies have found that gum disease may raise the risk of dementia later in life. Others research shows that periodontal problems may be associated with mild cognitive impairment that can make daily life more difficult.

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.

What to Expect from a Professional Teeth Cleaning | Dentist in Riverside

While we know it is important to go to the dentist on a regular basis, it is more than just to check in with your dentist. Your dental appointment will entail lots of procedures to ensure that your mouth is still healthy, bright and ready to show off to the world. This will likely entail a professional cleaning. Yes, you have a daily dental routine, but a dental professional will give your smile a deep clean that is impossible for you to do on your own. But what does this procedure entail? Here is a step-by-step guide to your deep professional teeth cleaning:

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, so make your appointment today.

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.

Learning to Care for Your Dental Veneers | Dentist in Riverside

Getting porcelain veneers is guaranteed to not only improve your smile, but also your dental health. And while they are made to last for twenty years, the longevity of your porcelain veneers greatly depends on how well you take care of them. It is important that you follow your dental professional’s advice for aftercare, but here are some additional tips you may want to keep in mind after you get your brand-new smile:

Proper dental hygiene. Every single day, twice a day, your teeth need to be brushed and flossed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Good oral care at home helps prevent your gums from receding from periodontitis. Because veneers are placed right at the gum line, gum recession would compromise your veneers.

Avoid excessive force. Many patients have a bad habit of using their teeth as tools. Unfortunately, this is a terrible habit for your teeth, so there’s no biting your fingernails, hairpins, ice or hard candy going forward because these types of things can break or dislodge a veneer.

No clenching and grinding your teeth. This is one habit that many are unaware they are doing. Grinding your teeth can cause your veneers to become chipped or broken due to the force generated by these actions. If you find you’ve begun to grind your teeth, you may want to look for stress relievers to help curb that habit. If you suffer from bruxism at night, you may need a night guard while you sleep.

Avoid foods that stain. Yes, porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, but the cement holding them in place isn’t. Enjoy your favorite darker beverages like coffee and wine, but try to keep them to a minimum.

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.

Not All Dental Fillings Are the Same | Riverside Dentist

Back in the day, when we got a cavity, we expected to receive a little silver filling to remedy the situation. Wouldn’t big a huge issue for those cavities that resided in the back with the molars, but if it was one of the teeth people noticed when we spoke, it became a cause of embarrassment. Thankfully, dental technology has remedied that situation and we now have options.

Now, please keep in mind that the options vary depending on the patient’s health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of chewing pressure the tooth will have to bear, components of the filling material and the number of visits needed to prepare and accommodate the tooth. But these choices include amalgam, composite and ionomers. Let’s us explain…

Amalgam fillings are what you know as traditional. They’re very durable, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to other materials. Since amalgam fillings can sustain very heavy chewing loads, they are usually used to restore molars.

Composite fillings are made out of glass or quartz and resin, when mixed produces a tooth-colored filling. Composite fillings are durable and provide good resistance against fracture in small to medium restorations where there is moderate chewing pressure. Because less tooth structure is removed when using a composite, a smaller filling can be used.

Ionomers, on the other hand, are made out of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders. And they are usually utilized to fill cavities on the root surfaces of teeth or in small fillings that do not require any chewing resistance since they have low protection against fractures.

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.