It’s Doing More Harm than Good | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). And while you may brush regularly, chances are you’re making at least one of these 6 mistakes. Here are the fixes for each.

You don’t brush at the right time of day. Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. Saliva production slows down when you snooze, spurring the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster.

You use the wrong brush. Choose a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there, increasing your risk of developing gum disease.

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 follow the wrong technique. Position your brush’s bristles at a 30- to 45-degree angle and brush in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

You don’t replace your brush. The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush.

You ignore the rest of your mouth. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dental hygiene habits, 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.

Why We Need to Use Toothpaste | Manhattan Beach Dentist

oral hygieneWe know the importance of looking after our teeth, and in doing that, brushing on a daily basis. Brushing, along with flossing, will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, it tastes great and makes our breath less harsh, but is that all it does for our dental health? You may be surprised by just how much it does…

Dentists recommend that you use fluoride toothpaste, as it not only cleans your teeth but protects them. Toothpaste and gentle circular strokes work to remove plaque, a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that grows on your teeth that causes cavities, gum disease and eventual tooth loss if not controlled. For toothpaste that contains fluoride, which makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay, and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage can even be seen.

Special ingredients in toothpaste help to clean and polish the teeth and remove stains over time. Toothpaste helps freshen breath and leaves your mouth with a clean feeling. But contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, the amount of paste or gel needed on your brush for effective cleaning does not have to be a heaping amount. Simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush.

Whatever toothpaste you choose will be effective in that it will clean your teeth and prevent the risk of tooth decay. Your dentist can advise about toothpaste, so feel free to ask him/her for their advice.

If you have questions or concerns regarding toothpaste, 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.

Protect Your Teeth by Choosing the Right Dentist | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Are you new in town? Do you need to find a reputable dentist for your family? It is important to know what to look for, especially when it comes to your dental health. There are so many factors that can cause further health issues, and our mouths are the first line of defense on so many of the bacteria that can cause them. Such factors may include state dental board certification, how you felt during your first visit, referrals from friends and family, and of course, if the dentist has all that you need and require. While such factors are really important, reputation remains the key that ties everything else together.

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 their clinic handles patients.

Engaged and communicative dental practices often garner a lot of praise and generally get more clients as a result. After all, why not? They talk to their patients, both existing and those who are just interested. They also are likely to engage with them and even post photos of before-and-after treatments. Some may even go as far as to take snapshots with their patients, further boosting their image as approachable professionals. A dentist that takes care of his or her reputation puts a premium on proper dental care.

If you have questions or concerns regarding choosing a dentist, 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 Mercury Fillings Dangerous? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When we needed a filling in the past, we didn’t have much of a choice as far as options were concerned. Fillings have been traditionally made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings. While effective, the use of mercury fillings has raised concerns in recent years, due to the use and presence of mercury. Dentists have used this combination of metals to restore teeth and fill cavities for more than a hundred years and remains a popular choice because it is generally cheaper and more durable. But, is mercury considered dangerous?

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. While we all are exposed to little amounts of mercury every day, very low levels aren’t really enough to warrant concern. However, at higher levels, 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.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mercury fillings, 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.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep with a Night Guard | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There is nothing more than getting a restless sleep. Not only do you feel sluggish all day, but it can develop into a more serious issue – bruxism. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a dental condition that affects as many as 1 out of 10 adults and in rare cases, may also affect children and teenagers. Common symptoms of bruxism include neck pain, jaw pain, headache, and tooth pain.

The most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is taking care of the teeth grinding itself, which usually happens while one is sleeping, by wearing a dental appliance known as a night guard. And while you’re at it, take a look at other ways you can improve the quality of sleep you get every night. Not only will you have more productive days, but you will improve your overall health.

Proper stress management. Bruxism is also likely to be caused by anxiety, so you may want to try out certain methods of relaxation such as meditation. Professional counselling, in severe cases, may also be necessary and useful.

Dietary changes. Stimulants, such as caffeine, have been known to cause teeth grinding, so your dentist might recommend avoiding such beverages. You may also be asked to stay off antidepressants, as they may make bruxism symptoms worse. This is a great time to remind you that during your initial consultation about bruxism, that you be honest with your dentist, especially when it comes to medication, so you can be told if it’s bad for you or be suggested an alternative.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mouth guards, 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.

It’s Possible to Relax at the Dentist | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It isn’t a far-fetched idea to say no one likes going to the dentist. While some may have a literal fear of the dentist chair, known as dental anxiety, others just dodge it because it may or may not end up being a painful visit. Luckily, there is some good news. The solution? 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.

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. So, if you find that you are dodging the dentist because you are worried about pain or nerves getting the best of you, talk to your dentist and let them know about your fears. They will be more than happy to make you feel comfortable and your mouth healthy.

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.

New Year, New Dental Habits | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When you were making your list of new year resolutions, did you include improving your dental health with your overall health changes? Chances are you didn’t, and this can become an issue. This is why it’s important to keep up with your dental health. But if you have any doubt you’re doing enough, take a moment to review your daily dental habits.

While we know a proper dental routine includes brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash, a couple of these steps may be done in error, or completely missed altogether. If you are forgetting to do any of these steps, it’s time to rethink your habits. They are all important factors, but using mouthwash is more important than you think.

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. The brand or flavor is up to you, as long as they have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

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. What better time than the new year?

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dental habits, 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.

Don’t Let the Holidays Stress You Out | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral health

There are lots of health issues that can develop from being too stressed out, so if stress is an issue in your life, getting a grasp on how to relax is imperative. But did you know that the more stressed out you are, the more stress is placed on your oral health? Scientists have reviewed more than two dozen studies conducted between 1990 and 2006 to determine whether negative life events and psychological factors might contribute to an increased susceptibility to periodontal disease. And according to the results, 57 percent of the studies found a link between stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness to periodontal disease. While we can’t always control how life works out, keeping up routines, like our dental routine is very important. As stress is a possible link to periodontal disease, here are some other factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives

So, what do you do if you live a high-stress lifestyle? Learn to find a time during the day to relax. Your method is your own; there isn’t one way to relax. Get a hobby, read a book, learn to meditate or find a new exercise routine. All are great ways to reduce your stress levels, making stress no longer a health issue.

If you have questions or concerns regarding stress and dental health, 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.

Salty Water Can Improve Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may not be the best taste you’ve ever tried, but a warm saltwater rinse can be highly beneficial to your oral health. Sounds impossible, but there are many benefits to the method. The reason why salt water is effective as a mouth rinse is because it is more than just a disinfectant; it also helps in removing swelling of oral tissues. Here are just a handful of dental issues that can be aided by rinsing with this salty concoction:

Halitosis. Halitosis, or bad breath, is condition that happens to people for some underlying reasons. While poor oral hygiene is a cause, rinsing your mouth with salt water can prevent bacterial growth and infection, which often causes halitosis.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is a typical condition characterized by swelling, inflammation and bleeding gums caused due to growth of bacteria that coats teeth naturally. Bacteria proliferation forms a sticky and whitish film, called plaque. Rinsing the mouth with salt water solution daily can help in soothing inflamed gums and wipes out bacteria.

Toothache. Toothaches are a common complication caused by several reasons. Bacteria are generally the main cause, but sometimes weak roots or open nerve endings are the culprits. Gargling regularly with salt water can offer some relief.

Sore throat. Sore throat from a cough is a common and seasonal condition. Salt water gargle can help in relieving soreness.

And now for the recipe – to make a saltwater solution for rinsing the mouth, mix 1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of warm water.

If you have questions or concerns regarding salt water rinses, 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.

Do You Chew Sugar-Free Gum? Manhattan Beach Dentist

Have you ever seen advertisements for sugar free gum that claim to help your teeth and wondered whether or not it actually works? Believe it or not, many of them are telling the truth, 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.

Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities (streptococcus mutans) feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol – chewing sugar free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed 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. If Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly. 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.

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.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Xylitol, 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.