The Best and the Worst Halloween Treats | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We are on the cusp of Halloween, the day your smile dreads all year long. Not only is the main component candy, but it tends to lead to an overconsumption of these sweet confections. This Halloween, take a more active role in your dental health by limiting some of the more harmful sweets from your celebrations. Keeping your teeth clean and healthy will ensure a safe and happy Halloween.

The 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 as they get stuck in the crevices of your teeth.
  • 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. Wait 30 minutes to brush so you aren’t brushing the acid onto more tooth surfaces and increasing the risk of enamel erosion.
  • Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies and cakes all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

The Best:

  • Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth and cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth and causing issues.
  • 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.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Halloween candies, 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 and all surrounding areas.

Move It or Lose It | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Let’s face it – we aren’t exactly the greatest at keeping our teeth a top priority. And then something happens and we’re off to the dentist to find out what procedure is going to fix our dental mistakes. The goal of most dental procedures is to save teeth because procedures like filling cavities are meant to remove decay without damaging the tooth. Root canals are used to remove infected nerves within a tooth while sparing the tooth. Dental crowns strengthen the tooth even after significant parts of the tooth have been removed. Unfortunately, when a tooth can’t be saved, your dentist will recommend a procedure known as a tooth extraction.

The most common reason for an extraction is a broken tooth, 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, so an extraction is necessary. Extra teeth, like wisdom teeth, are also candidates in order 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 properly aligned. In surgical extraction, a dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision to reach the tooth, then break the tooth into pieces in order to remove it.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental 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 and all surrounding areas.

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…and Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Accidents happen. There is nothing we can do about it. And many times, these accidents can lead to a broken tooth. It’s time to make an emergency trip to the dentist. But what do you do while you are waiting? Here are some simple tips to help while you wait for your appointment.

Start by rinsing your mouth with salt water to remove any remaining tooth pieces and help sterilize the mouth. If the tooth is painful, consider taking acetaminophen to reduce the pain. Until you can visit a dentist, try to eat only soft foods, and avoid biting down on that part of your mouth.

If the chip is minor, the dentist may use composite resin or bonding material to strengthen the broken area, polish down the sharp edges, and ensure that the tooth will be safe for eating. If a large area of the tooth has broken off, or if the break is due to decay, the dentist may recommend replacing the remaining tooth surface with a crown.

It is very difficult to determine if the tooth root is jeopardized without a proper dental exam.  Even if you believe the crack is minor, be sure to have a dentist inspect the tooth to ensure that the root is not damaged. Ignoring a cracked tooth can allow the tooth pulp (the soft interior of the tooth containing nerves and blood that keep the tooth alive) to become infected, which is not only painful, but can also threaten your overall health long term.

If you have questions or concerns regarding emergency 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 and all surrounding areas.

Improve Your Self with Good Dental Hygiene | Manhattan Beach Dentist

You may think that good dental hygiene only affects your smile, but it really affects your overall health. After all, it is easy for bacteria to enter our bodies via our mouth since it is used for so many of our daily activities, like eating and speaking. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, poor dental hygiene can lead to periodontal, or gum, disease. Periodontal disease affects a large array of individuals and can prove to be very uncomfortable and/or painful if left untreated. In honor of National Self Improvement Month, here are some at home remedies that may be used to ease some of the pain:

Regular brushing. Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the biggest lines of defense against periodontal disease because bacteria that sit on your teeth after long periods of time create havoc on your gums. Make sure to brush at least two minutes.

Flossing. Clean the spaces between your teeth brushing cannot reach with floss. If you don’t remove plaque buildup found between your teeth, it hardens into something known as tartar, which requires a more extensive form of cleaning.

Rinsing. Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash will help destroy bacteria left over by the prior two forms of cleaning. Before or after brushing doesn’t matter – the choice is yours.

Relaxation. Now, if you find yourself in pain due to swelling of the gums, try a lifestyle change. Reducing stress helps your oral health because your immune system is less compromised when you’re relaxed.

Saltwater solution. Using water infused with salt draws out infection in your swollen gums. Do this a couple times a day until your dental appointment.

If you have questions or concerns regarding gum 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 and all surrounding areas.

Time for the Dentist. You Have Gum Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may seem like gum disease is a serious issue – and it is – but it is also preventable and treatable. In fact, 50% of Americans will have some degree of gum disease at some point in their lives. While it may not make you feel better about you developing the issue, but it should be a relief to know it doesn’t have to be a permanent condition.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single reason one will come to develop periodontal, or gum disease. It can be caused by many factors including poor oral health, tooth decay, and bacteria and plaque formation. The most common symptoms of periodontal disease consist of:

  • Gums that frequently bleed
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums

Not only is periodontal disease treatable, but if caught early enough, you may not have to deal with further issues, like tooth loss. How is it treated? Here are the three main aspects to treating periodontal disease:

Prompt treatment. Because gum disease can progress into worse, noticing any of the above symptoms are encouraged to see a dental professional to evaluate your periodontal health and determine what treatment option is ideal for your specific condition. Depending on the severity of your condition, a variety of procedures are used to treat periodontal disease.

Proper dental hygiene. Consistent oral health care is essential in treating and preventing periodontal disease. This includes thoroughly brushing teeth after every meal, flossing after every meal, and using mouth rinse to kill of bacteria and remove plaque.

Regular dental visits. Routine visits to your dentist will ensure that your periodontal health is maintained to avoid any dental problems.

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.

Dr. Anthony Yamada proudly serves Manhattan Beach and all surrounding areas.

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.