Enjoy Your Halloween Candy, but Clean Your Teeth | Riverside Dentist

Now that you have your plans to devour candy later on tonight, it’s important to take the time out to schedule a dental appointment. Who’s thinking about the dentist on the sweetest of days? Your smile is. Not only are we getting close to the holiday season, but having a deep, thorough cleaning will only enhance your holiday photos. We hope that you brush and floss twice a day at home and use mouthwash, but a professional cleaning is also very important. Why? Teeth cleanings with your dentist are more thorough than the type of cleaning you do at home. Also, they help to prevent many other health problems.

So, as you can see, there are more reasons to consider a dental cleaning than a clean smile. Still not convinced? The following are the top five reasons you should go to your dentist for teeth cleanings:

Prevention of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in your gums that can lead to tooth loss. Routine dental cleanings help to prevent gum disease.

Detection of oral cancer. With every dental cleaning you are screened for oral cancer. Early detection is extremely important.

Maintaining good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly helps your dentist keep track of your oral health and any problems you have had in the past or are currently experiencing.

Beautiful smile. When your teeth are healthy and clean and white and you have a beautiful smile, you tend to become more confident and happier. Confidence leads to improved social life and career possibilities.

Maintaining overall health. Gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight.

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 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.

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.

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.

Baby Teeth Should Not Be Ignored | Riverside Dentist

When we bring a new life into the world, we do everything we can to keep them safe and happy. We baby-proof the home, buy all of the healthiest foods and read every reference we can find to make sure we are prepared for anything that can happen. There is one thing that has a tendency to fall through the cracks when it comes to our tiny humans – dental health.

It’s easy to think that baby teeth don’t really make a difference because they fall out, but these tiny placeholders can dictate what happens when they are replaced by the permanents. When it comes to general oral hygiene, always remember that consistency is key. And while it will forever be a struggle for parents to teach oral hygiene, it needs to be done. Here are some quick tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Teach them young. 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.

Make it a family affair. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

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 that is at least two minutes long, to ensure the brushing process is done in its full time, and then choose a song that your kid 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.

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.

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.

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.

How the Toothbrush Came to Pass |Dentist in Riverside

toothbrush

We all know good dental hygiene is great for our smiles, and that brushing is the first step to getting those good dental habits. There are manual and electric, soft and hard-bristled – the options are endless. But have you ever wondered how the toothbrush came to pass? Because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, let’s take a look back at how our smile’s best friend became so.

Did you know that the materials used initially for toothbrush bristle was cow hair or boar bristles? It was only until 1938 that commercial toothbrush stopped using other materials and opted for nylon bristles thanks to Dupont De Nemour’s introduction of “Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush”.

Toothbrushes can be traced as far back as 3,000 B.C where ancient civilizations used a thin twig with a frayed end as a makeshift toothbrush. The Chinese would then on “refine” this and in 1498, used a toothbrush made from stiff hairs from a hog’s neck and with bone or bamboo as its handle. By 1780, William Addis would invent the modern toothbrush while in prison and make money by mass-producing it.

The journey of the toothpaste, the toothbrush’s best buddy, is also quite intriguing. It’s believed that the first toothpastes were used back about 5000 years ago in Egypt using a formula consisting of oxen hooves, pumice and burnt eggshells.

As we celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, let us not forget to teach our children the basics of proper oral hygiene. This includes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing with it for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once and visiting the dentist as regularly as every six months.

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.