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.

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.

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.

 

Xylitol & Preventing Tooth Decay | Manhattan Beach Dentist

479328903Many patients like to take the extra steps to maintain good oral health and hygiene. Have you ever seen advertisements for sugar free gum that claim to help your teeth and wondered whether or not it actually works? It turns out, many of those products actually do work, and one of the reasons why is a common sugar replacement called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar. Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine.

First, Xylitol starves the bacteria in your mouth of food. Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities (streptococcus mutans) feeds on sugar, it can not feed on Xylitol – chewing sugar free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed this damaging bacteria, but it allows your body to wash away the sugar. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

The most common sources of Xylitol in sufficient quantities for dental impact is in gum and mint products. While replacing sugar with any Xylitol will help avoid feeding the streptococcus mutans bacteria, if Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly, perhaps 3-5 times per day for 5 minutes at a time.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the US FDA and World Health Organization, but like most things in life, should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, it’s also available over the internet directly – care should be taken, as too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest, and can have  fiber-like laxative properties.  While chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. The dental benefits of xylitol can have a significant influence on your oral health.

For more information about oral health call Dr. Anthony Yamada in Manhattan Beach, CA at 310-567-2595 or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com.

Dr. Anthony Yamada also proudly accepts patients from Manhattan Beach, Ranchos Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Torrance, Playa Del Rey, and surrounding areas.

Best & Worst Types of Halloween Candy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

77739226Halloween is a holiday most everyone enjoys, except for your dentist! Halloween is just around the corner, and candy consumption is inevitable! We all know candy is one of those ‘no-no’ things that are terrible for your teeth. Of course everything in moderation is fine. Brushing your teeth after consuming candy is highly beneficial, but not immediately after as your enamel is still soft. But as far as Halloween goes, are there better choices out there? Yes! Below is your best and worst choices for Halloween candy.

Worst:

  •  Chewy/sticky sweets, such as gummy candies, taffy, and even dried fruit can be difficult for children and adults to resist, and even more difficult to remove from teeth. “These candies are a serious source of tooth decay, particularly when they get stuck in the crevices between teeth, making it nearly impossible for saliva to wash them away,” Dr. Sherwood says.
  •  Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news: Saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. Dr. Sherwood recommends that patients wait 30 minutes to brush their teeth after consuming sour/acidic candies; otherwise, they will be brushing the acid onto more tooth surfaces and increasing the risk of enamel erosion.
  • Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

Best:

  •  Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth. “A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities,” Dr.Sherwood says.
  • Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Dark chocolate and its antioxidants, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure(Source: knowyourteeth.com).

Enjoy the holiday and candy but be accountable to your teeth, or we’ll be pulling out the drill at your next visit!

For more information about broken teeth and oral health call Dr. Anthony Yamada in Manhattan Beach, CA at 310-567-2595 or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com.

Dr. Anthony Yamada also proudly accepts patients from Manhattan Beach, Ranchos Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Torrance, Playa Del Rey, and surrounding areas.