Treat Em’ Right: October Is National Dental Hygiene Month | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see among patients. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates are left on your teeth. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular checkups can help aid in preventing tooth decay. In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, here are a few steps you can take to protect both your teeth and gums:

Brush your teeth daily. It’s important to brush your teeth two times a day, for two minutes each session. This accompanied with flossing can go a long way in preventing tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

Snack on healthy foods. It’s best to avoid eating sweets that may potentially alter your blood sugar and damage your health. Try eating more healthy snacks that contain healthy proteins and fats that will aid in a healthy body, this in turn can prevent tooth decay.

Ask about dental sealants. This is a method that is performed by dentists. Dental sealants are a plastic coating that’s applied to the back molars to protect them from tooth decay.

Rinse with fluoride. Rinse your mouth out daily with mouthwash that contains fluoride. Some mouthwashes even have antiseptic ingredients that can help kill bacteria that causes plaque.

Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings will help prevent tooth decay immensely. Professional cleanings are performed by dentists to remove plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental hygiene, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

When Your Dentist Can’t Save Your Tooth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-185147513The goal of most dental procedures is to save teeth. Brushing, flossing, and cleaning helps prevent decay. Procedures like filling cavities are meant to remove decay without damaging the tooth. Root canals are used to remove infected nerves within a tooth, but spare the tooth itself. Dental crowns are a method to strengthen the tooth even after significant parts of the tooth have been removed. Despite these advanced procedures designed to save teeth, some teeth simply cannot be saved. When teeth must be removed, your dentist will recommend a tooth extraction.

The most common reason that an extraction may be necessary is if the tooth is broken, or if the tooth is severely damaged by tooth decay. In some cases, severe periodontal disease may cause the supporting tissue to be unable to sustain the tooth, and may necessitate tooth removal as well. Extra teeth – such as wisdom teeth – may need to be removed to prevent crowding.

When extraction is necessary, there are two typical methods: simple extraction and surgical extraction. Simple extraction is typically used on teeth that are visible and properly aligned – dental forceps are used to grasp and rock the tooth back and forth until it can be pulled from its socket. Surgical extraction is often required for teeth that are not visible, or are not properly aligned. In surgical extraction, a dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision to reach the tooth, and may need to break the tooth into pieces in order to remove it from the mouth.

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth extractions, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Munch Your Way to Whiter Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

girl eating appleBrightening your smile is easy. There are so many ways to do it – in-office whitening, at-home treatments, like whitening toothpaste. But did you know you can eat your way to whiter teeth? It’s true! Certain types of food can cause stains and discoloration in teeth, but there are some that do the opposite. Want whiter teeth naturally? Start by adding these to your next grocery list.

Cauliflower. Cauliflower requires you to chew a lot and the more chew, the more saliva you produce. Saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser to help keep teeth bright and shiny.

Apples. Apples are hard, crunchy and tasty to boot. It’s that crunchy part that makes apples so beneficial for your teeth as chewing on them helps scrub away all the stains on your teeth. Also contributing is a high concentration of malic acid, an ingredient in many toothpastes. If apples aren’t a favorite, try strawberries. They have malic acid too.

Cheese, yogurt and milk. Dairy products contain lactic acid and calcium, both of which strengthen and whiten your teeth.

Pineapple. Pineapple is the only food that contains bromelain naturally, a powerful cleansing compound proven effective in stain-removing when used in toothpastes.

Broccoli. Nature’s toothbrush, munching on crisp, raw broccoli benefits not only scrubs your teeth but the iron found in broccoli helps provide an added wall of protection for your teeth against harmful bacteria.

Paired with regular trips to the dentist and proper oral care at home, munching on these goodies will surely keep your teeth feeling and looking healthy.

If you have questions or concerns regarding teeth whitenings, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Are You Brushing Correctly? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

oral hygieneMost people have heard that poor dental care is linked to other health maladies, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). And while you may brush regularly, you’re probably making one of these 6 mistakes.

Wrong time of day. Saliva production slows down when you snooze, spurring the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster. Brush twice a day (morning and bedtime) for at least 2 minutes, spending 30 seconds on each quadrant.

Wrong brush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can dislodge any plaque stuck in crevices. Brushing with a medium or hard model — and using excessive pressure — may make sense but it can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of teeth roots.

Wrong technique. Straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

You miss spots. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue. Run that toothbrush over your tongue as well!

You don’t rinse. Spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding an oral rinse to your routine is greatly beneficial to your oral health.

You don’t replace your brush. The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria.  If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately.

If you have questions or concerns regarding proper dental care, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

Mercury Fillings May Not Be the Healthiest Alternative | Manhattan Beach Dentist

494183909Fillings made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings, are commonly used to fill cavities. While effective, the use of mercury fillings has raised concerns in recent years, mainly due to the use and presence of mercury. So, we have to ask ourselves, are amalgam fillings the right choice for me? Let’s take a look…

Mercury fillings consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin and copper. Small amounts of palladium, indium and zinc can also be used. Mercury allows the filling material to be soft enough to mix and press into the teeth. The compound hardens quickly and is durable enough to withstand the constant pressure of daily activities, such as biting and chewing, making it ideal replacement material.

Dentists have used this combination of metals to restore teeth and fill cavities for more than a hundred years. While it no longer is the only material available, as tooth-colored materials have also become a popular alternative, mercury fillings remain a popular choice because it is generally cheaper and more durable. Now that we have a brief history, let’s understand why they would be given a bad image.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has stated that there’s no reason to limit the use of mercury, and have come to the conclusion that the fillings are safe for both adults, as well as children above the age of 6. There are groups, however, that believe that this conclusion should be reconsidered and reevaluated. The main reason for concern with mercury fillings is the effect of mercury in the human body. At higher levels of exposure, mercury has been proven to cause anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and even fatigue.

In recent years, it’s been shown that as the mercury filling wears, which happens over time, very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor are slowly released into the human body. Just how much this affects the human body, if it does at all, is debatable and there are experts that conclude that the amount of mercury released is very low to pose any threat. Still, there has yet to be any conclusion as to whether or not mercury fillings are truly safe.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. It’s also good to know that if you already have mercury fillings in your teeth, you don’t have to worry about having them removed. Doing so can cause do more harm than good and may even release more mercury. You only need to worry about having them removed when the teeth are already worn out, broken or if there’s decay present beneath the filling.

For other alternatives, you can choose from a wide variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. There are also dental amalgams that contain both iridium and mercury, as well as high-copper dental amalgams, both of which contain much less mercury compared to conventional dental amalgams or mercury fillings.

If you have questions or concerns regarding filling options, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach, Torrance and all surrounding areas.

 

How to Prevent Tooth Decay | Manhattan Beach, CA

oral hygiene

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see among patients. This is the destruction of your tooth structure; tooth decay can affect both your tooth enamel and dentine. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk or candy, are left on your teeth.

The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular checkups can help aid in preventing tooth decay. There also a few other steps you can take to protect both your teeth and gums, which include the following:

  • Brush your teeth daily. It’s important to brush your teeth two times a day, for two minutes each session. This accompanied with flossing can go a long way in preventing tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.
  • Snack on healthy foods. It’s best to avoid eating sweets that may potentially alter your blood sugar and damage your health. Try eating more healthy snacks that contain healthy proteins and fats that will aid in a healthy body, this in turn can prevent tooth decay.
  • Ask about dental sealants. This is a method that is performed by dentists. Dental sealants are a plastic coating that’s applied to the back molars to protect them from tooth decay.
  • Rinse with fluoride. Rinse your mouth out daily with mouthwash that contains fluoride. Some mouthwashes even have antiseptic ingredients that can help kill bacteria that causes plaque.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings will help prevent tooth decay immensely. Professional cleanings are performed by dentists to remove plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay.

As you can see, there are several simple ways that you can prevent tooth decay. One study even found that chewing gum that contains xylitol can temporarily slow the growth of the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from tooth decay, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule an appointment today. For additional information regarding tooth decay or oral health please visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, Redondo Beach and Torrance.