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.

Before You Place that Next Coffeeshop Order | Dentist in Riverside

For many of us, the day can’t fully begin until we have our first cup of coffee, for others, coffee is more of an afternoon pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. Regardless of the time you drink it, before you grab you next cup, realize that you may want to find another alternative to that caffeine rush you’ve chosen to ingest every day. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease.

Quickly, there are two forms of gum 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. When caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.

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.

Here’s the good news: 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. Drink water between cups or have saliva-producing snacks to keep your mouth clean.

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.

Dental Hygiene for Summertime Sweets | Riverside Dentist

The summer season means a whole lot of things, but summertime sweets are at the top of the list. Ice cream and pie, cold drinks and county fair confections – no other season can beat it. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, indulging in these treats will do a number on our dental health. This is why it is important to balance our sugary intake with a proper dental hygiene routine. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions – you may need to make some adjustments.

How often are you brushing your teeth?

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 is always a great idea as well. 

What do you brush your teeth with?

It can be a bit overwhelming task, trying to choose the right toothbrush for your smile. After all, there is generally an entire aisle at the store dedicated to toothbrushes. How does one even begin to choose? It is a good idea to choose a soft-bristled one, so that it is gentle on your gums. Hard-bristled versions can wear at your gums, slowly causing future periodontal issues.

Is flossing important?

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.

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.

No More Excuses for Those Snack Attacks! | Riverside Dentist

There you are, standing in front of the fridge or pantry, craving something to snack on. Then the thought hits, “but aren’t you trying to watch your diet?” It is important to understand that if we intend to stick to our good healthy diets, we need to re-calibrate some of the excuses we come up with to justify our poor snack decisions.

Sweet or salty, it’s no question some of our favorite snacks are not exactly the best options. “We’re at our most creative when we’re trying to justify giving in to a craving,” says David Colbert, MD, a coauthor of The High School Reunion Diet. So, it’s no wonder we can fully convince ourselves of that bag of chips or candies when the craving is unbearable.

The saying holds true: ‘We want what we can’t have’. The more we keep ourselves from a craving, the easier it is to justify indulging. Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite snacks, try enjoying them as a reward for a goal you’ve set for yourself. When you wait to indulge, you’re probably in less of an impulsive mind-set and in more of a reflective, ready-to-savor one. Not only will you be able to enjoy your favorite snack, but you will also be working towards goals bettering yourself. And if that’s too much for you to handle, try a healthier option for that snack. There are plenty of snacks out there that can satiate that desire.

Here’s something you may not know about your chocolate craving: Research shows that chocolate’s comforting effect lasts only three minutes. Is it really worth it?

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.