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.

Why Your Dentist Cleans Your Teeth | Dentist in Riverside

I know what you’re thinking – if you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, why go to the dentist for teeth cleanings? Unfortunately, there is more to it than just adding an extra toothbrushing to your day. Teeth cleanings are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. And because we don’t have the knowledge to know if we have any dental issues developing, it is important to have a dental professional take some time to find out. This can be done while cleaning your smile, because they can get into the nooks and crannies of our mouths that our normal toothbrush can’t. This helps to diagnose any of those pesky issues we all try to avoid – gum disease, tooth decay, even oral cancer.

In fact, did you know that your mouth can affect the rest of your body? It’s true. Think of our mouths as our bodies first line of defense. We ingest things through it, and it a germ is on any of those things, they have an instant access to our entire body! So, these checkups and cleanings you’re dodging isn’t doing you any favors. They help to prevent many other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

A tooth cleaning with your dentist will leave your smile healthy, clean and white while also keeping your overall health in check. Early detection is best in any situation. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to find out if you’ve been doing a good job looking after your smile.

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.

Tooth Decay Prevention: Is It Possible? | Dentist in Riverside

If you think about it, our dental issues begin from two sectors – tooth decay and gum disease. But there is only one reason for these issues in the first place – bacteria.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque (bacteria-rich film on the surface of teeth) before it hardens into tartar, an advanced form of plaque.

You may think of mouthwash as merely something to freshen your breath, but it is almost the secret weapon to your dental routine. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s actually wise to use mouthwash prior to brushing to prepare your mouth for a proper brushing by loosening up stuck on particles. Finally, use mouthwash containing fluoride – fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth. And we know it can be overwhelming, trying to decide which brand is best for you. Next time you’re in for a checkup, talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have about keeping your mouth its healthiest. They’ll be happy to share their recommendation with you.

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 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.

One Reason to Be Salty | Dentist in Riverside, CA

When we hear the word salty, we don’t necessarily think of it as a good thing. Not only does too much salt ruin a dish, but it can cause health problems if you overindulge. Not to mention the newest slang term for a someone with a bad attitude. But there is one way that salt is actually good for us – for our mouths more specifically. And it is something that we can do on our own: the saltwater rinse.

Saltwater mouth rinses are easily made at home using a combination of warm water and salt. The salt increases the pH of your mouth, creating an alkaline environment that is hostile towards bacteria. To put is basically, saltwater rinses help keep our mouths healthy by killing off cavity-causing bacteria. It is used often to soothe sore mouths after surgery or to relieve a toothache while waiting for your dental appointment.

Making a saltwater rinse is easy – add one half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth every two to three hours after surgery. The water should be warm to help dissolve the salt, but not hot – it should be considerably cooler than you would use for a cup of hot coffee or tea. The salt will help treat both dental-related issues (such as damaged tissue following tooth extraction) and even non-dental issues, such as sore throat caused by the common cold.

While there are benefits to using a saltwater rinse, many dentists typically recommend antibacterial commercial mouthwashes for everyday use. While saltwater is great for treating mouths with injuries, medicated commercial mouthwashes are better at killing bacteria, though they’re slightly harsher on the mouth.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Protect Your Teeth from Summer Fun | Riverside Dentist

As we are smack dab in the middle of summer, it is important that we know that while we are having summer fun in the sun, our teeth can be affected if we aren’t careful. Not only by eating too many sweets and neglecting our dental hygiene routines, but through physical activities we indulge in during these warm summer months.

Patients who have a tooth knocked out can anticipate upwards of $20,000 worth of lifetime dental costs associated with just that one tooth. In addition to these expenses, the person can suffer through lost work time, emotional and psychological scars and pain. An easy way to prevent these accidents from happening is to use a mouthguard when playing physical sports. But which is best for your needs?

Boil and bite. “Boil and bite” mouth guards are not thick enough in the most vulnerable areas and do not provide optimum protection in the prevention of dental injuries and concussions. This is unfortunate because athletes and their parents purchase these items expecting a certain level of protection, despite their inexpensive advantage.

Custom-fitted. These guards can be somewhat more expensive, but they are made to fit very accurately to the 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.

Performance. A third mouth guard is the so-called “performance mouth guard” utilize the repositioning of the bite to better align the athlete’s 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.