Before You Drink that Cup of Coffee | Manhattan Beach Dentist

young beautiful woman drink coffee

There is a reason there is a Starbucks on every corner. People rely on it as the pick-me-up of choice to get them through the day. So much so, coffee statistics show that an average amount of 3.1 cups of coffees is consumed by an individual every day in the United States. 50 percent of the population, which equals out to about 150 million Americans drink espresso, cappuccino, latte, or iced/ cold coffees. With coffee being such a prominent figure in our daily lives, it’s stressful to learn that coffee is actually incredibly bad for your teeth. How can this tasty jolt of energy do so much damage? The reason being that coffee contains enough acids to permanently damage teeth. Here are a couple other reasons as to why coffee is bad for your teeth:

  • Acids in coffee directly attack your tooth enamel. This leaves teeth vulnerable to cavities, as well as cracked and broken teeth.
  • Acids and bad bacteria feed off each other. Bacteria left in your mouth love to feed off the acids found in coffee. They multiply rapidly and become responsible for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
  • Coffee stains teeth. While this is no surprise, coffee is the leading contributor to stained or yellow teeth.

It isn’t necessary to completely give up on coffee. But it is necessary to keep it in moderation. And order a cup of water alongside that cup o’ joe. Rinsing your mouth will help prevent staining between dental cleanings.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the effects of coffee on your teeth, 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.

Swish, Swish: Ways Mouthwash Is Good for You | Manhattan Beach Dentist

skd284147sdcWe know having a good dental hygiene routine is important to keeping our mouths healthy. The better we treat it, the better our dental check-ups become. Brush, floss, rinse – it’s all very basic. But do you know why mouthwash is so beneficial to our dental health?

Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Research shows that adding mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay. But gargling and rinsing for a few seconds doesn’t quite cut it.  Most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use.

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath. Who doesn’t love minty fresh breath?

Prevents plaque build-up. Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build-up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth, but it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

Removes particles. This may seem out of order, but if you rinse BEFORE brushing, you can rinse out loose particles in your mouth to make brushing and flossing more effective.

Stop cavities. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Check the label.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mouthwash, 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.

How to Choose Your Next Dental Professional | Manhattan Beach Dentist

494183909Whether you’re moving to a new town or just looking to improve your dental health, it is important to choose the right dental professional. Because, like snowflakes, no two dentists are the same. When you’re looking for the right dentist it is important to consider a lot of factors. Such factors may include state certification, your first visit, and referrals, but the most important factor is if the dentist has all that you need and require.

For many dental practices, or just businesses in general, a few bad reviews is not a good sign. In fact, it’s enough of a reason for them to lose a few clients. In worse cases, bad reviews may even cause some practices to close down.

With the internet and sites like Google+, Yelp, and even Foursquare, you, as a prospective client or patient, have access to resources to check if a particular dentist is worth your time and money. While reviews are not a totally accurate means of measuring quality of service, it still tells a lot about how a dentist and his or her clinic handles patients.

Dental practices that put an emphasis on their presence on social media and online are likely to have built a reputation, good or bad, that can easily be assessed as soon as you visit their page. To put simply, a reputable dental practice is likely to take better care of your teeth and gums, making reputation the most significant factor when looking for a dentist.

If you have questions or concerns regarding our dental qualifications, 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.

Gum Disease: The Menace in Your Mouth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum diseaseYou just found out that you have gum disease. Bummer, right? Nearly 75 percent of people in the United States are right there with you. Though typically caused by not practicing proper oral hygiene, some cases are caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, etc.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed by practicing proper oral hygiene, the bacteria can end up severely infecting a tooth enough to need extraction. There are three different stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease is mainly due to plaque buildup and can cause the gums to bleed. Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible, but only through dental care and by practicing proper oral hygiene at home.

Periodontitis. Typically irreversible, your gums start to form pockets below the gum line, where food and plaque can get trapped, making the condition worse.

Advanced Periodontitis. This is very final stage of gum disease where the bacterial infection has not only affected your teeth, but has also destroyed the fibers and bone supporting your teeth. This can lead to your teeth shifting or loosening, which affects your bite.

As mentioned before, bleeding and inflamed gums are some of the first signs of gum disease. Bad breath is also commonly associated with gum disease. If you notice any symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum disease, 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.

When You Need a Sleep Study | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthThere is nothing worse than not getting a good night’s sleep. It’s time to see a doctor. More than likely, you will need a sleep study. But what should you expect? How does one analyze sleep?

A sleep study is done by your dental professional or some other sleep specialist, and can be done either in a sleep lab or in the comfort of your own home. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has a listing of accredited sleep centers and you can find them here.

You will be sleeping a good six hours while various test results are produced in order for the specialist to pinpoint any issues you may have. The test, or polysomnography, watches the sleeping patterns of your brain waves, eye and chin movements, heart rate, respiration, blood levels and leg movements. These test results produce a more concise diagnosis, the most important piece to this puzzle are your apnea-hyponea index, or AHI.

Your apnea is the amount of times you completely cease breathing for 10 seconds or longer. Your hypopnea is constricted breath for longer than 10 seconds. Combine the number of times you experience any of these within each hour of sleep.

If obstructive sleep apnea is your diagnosis, then you will need to discuss with your doctor possible treatment. Chances are it you will be fitted for a positive airway pressure, or PAP, device to help you sleep through the night because any blockages you may have will remain open with this device.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep studies, 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.

Is Mouthwash Really Necessary? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

478243911Germs thrive in dark, moist places so our mouths are a constant breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Gingivitis, or the beginning stages of gum disease, can be reversed. It’s an infection that irritates the soft tissues around your teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious periodontal diseases as it begins to affect the tissue and bones that support your teeth. The redness, swelling, bleeding and/or bad breath are all listed as symptoms we should watch out for, but they can be reversed with mouthwash.

Antimicrobial mouthwash is your leading line of defense when gum disease presents itself in your mouth. It not only helps cure up the gingivitis, but also prevents bleeding gums and inflammation by eliminating the bacteria in your mouth causing the irritation. There isn’t any particular brand that works better than others, but as long as they have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, they’ll work just fine.

If periodontal disease has been neglected for too long, your dentist may prescribe you a prescription-strength mouthwash. Its main ingredient is chlorhexidine gluconate, which kills the bacteria that promotes irritated gums but plaque formation.

When it comes to periodontal disease, the best thing you can do is stay on top of your oral health. Make sure you brush for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, change your toothbrush every few months, and see your dentist regularly. Taking care of your teeth doesn’t take work, just a conscious effort.

If you have questions or concerns regarding periodontal disease prevention, 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.

Help! I’m Scared of the Dentist | Manhattan Beach Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669If you ask anyone if they like the dentist, chances are they will say no. One can never be too sure what will happen when they see the dentist, and this causes a lot of fear as the dental appointment approaches. There is an official diagnosis for this fear – dental anxiety. So, you are not alone. And the solution to your fears is called sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is an innovative field of dentistry that is extremely useful for those who fear the dentist, hate needles, have sensitive teeth, or are immune to the numbing effects of anesthesia. Although sedation dentistry may not be right for everyone, it should be considered to ease discomfort, and paranoia. Sedation dentistry isn’t dangerous or complicated. It uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The levels of sedation used include:

Minimal sedation. You are awake but relaxed.

Moderate sedation. You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.

Deep sedation. You are on the edge of consciousness but can be awakened.

General anesthesia. You are completely unconscious. Both this version and deep sedation will require you to have a driver after the procedure is complete.

Integrating sedation dentistry in to your procedure is absolutely comfortable and safe. Patients agree that sedation dentistry was the best option for their procedure because it allows your dental professionals the ability to work without worrying your pain or discomfort will prevent them from achieving maximum results.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sedation dentistry, 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.