Should We Have Mercury Fillings in Our Mouths? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Fillings made with amalgam, otherwise known as mercury fillings, are commonly used to fill cavities. They consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin and copper, but the 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.

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. 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 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 and all surrounding areas.

Enjoy the Holiday Season! | Manhattan Beach Dentist

As we enjoy our holiday season with family and friends, it is important to take the time to look after ourselves as well. We can all get overwhelmed by the hectic schedule and zillions of events we are expected to attend, it is easy to let our health slip by, especially when it comes to our dental health. But the holiday season means excess – more fat, sugar and alcoholic delights. While these are all generally things that make us happier, lots of times the guilt trip hits us after the holidays are. And if we aren’t looking after our smiles, all of the fat, sugar and alcohol will also have done some damage to your teeth. With that, here are some things you should keep in mind to keep your holiday guilt-free:

Avoid the graze. One of the most common issues we all have during the holidays is our need to be constantly eating something. We can’t help it, though right? There are treats EVERYWHERE. With that, you should be aware of the food throughout the day and try to pace yourself. It will save you the guilt, decay, and unnecessary calories.

Overindulge. While we are talking about keeping it together this Christmas, overindulging for ONE day won’t kill you. There is so much temptation around this time of year, and it’s bad enough to indulge and then feel guilty. So, don’t. Give yourself a day out of the week to eat what you want. Enjoy the time with your family and friends. Just make sure to brush, floss, and clean when you’re done. Happy holidays!

If you have questions or concerns regarding holiday dental tips, 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.

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.

MythBusters: Dental Implants Edition | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Dental ImplantsWhen you lose a tooth, the best thing to do is get it fixed. Not only will it return your smile back to new, but it will also alleviate future dental issues. It’s time for you to take a trip to the dentist because you may need a dental implant. These artificial tooth roots are very durable and are known to last for a very long time. Not only that, but unlike dentures, dental implants do not hamper speech, nor cause problems with chewing, in any way. Need more incentive for the investment? Below are several interesting facts about dental implants that you probably do not know, but may convince you to restore your smile with implants:

Success rate. Dental implants are considered as the most successful tooth replacement solution due to their durability and shelf life. Dental implants can last for as long as a patient lives and are known to have an estimated 98% success rate.

No cavities. As much as dental implants share the same look and function as natural teeth, they are not made out of the same materials and cannot decay.

Pain-free. Dental implant surgery is generally painless due to various forms of sedation dentistry and local anesthesia.

Stronger jaw. Dental implants help strengthen your jawbone because the titanium used is a biologically compatible material that’s fused to your jawbone and makes it stronger than ever before.

Long-lasting. Dental implants can last for decades at a time, but with proper care, dental implants can technically last forever.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental implants, 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.

July 17th Is National Peach Ice Cream Day | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Nothing beats a nice frozen confection during these long summer days. It’s hot, you’re sweaty from hanging out in some vitamin D and little hits the spot like some ice cream. But what if you have sensitive teeth? The ultimate enemy to an ice cream lover is sensitive teeth. Those sharp jolts of pain when you least expect it? Ouch. But why are your teeth suddenly sensitive, and what can you do about it?

When you have sensitive teeth, certain things, like eating, drinking even brushing your teeth can react to the everyday activity. Teeth sensitivity is typically the result of enamel that has worn away and exposed the tooth roots. However, it can be caused by other things, like a cavity, chipped tooth or it can even be a side effect of whitening your teeth. Regardless of your circumstances, your dentist may recommend the following to remedy your sensitive tooth/teeth:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Fluoride
  • Desensitizing or bonding
  • Root canal

Yes, fortunately for all of us, tooth sensitivity is treatable. In fact, you might find that using toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth helps. If your tooth/teeth sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what you do, see your dentist for an evaluation. Other possible treatments could involve applying a fluoride gel to areas of the teeth where you have the most sensitivity, to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the sensations you feel.

So, if you find that you can’t indulge in some of your favorite frozen summertime treats, it may be time to take a trip to the dentist. They will be able to give the best advice for treatment.

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.

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 You Need Tooth-Colored Fillings | Manhattan Beach Dentist

If you ask your average Joe what they would change if given the chance, there is no doubt plenty would say their smile. It’s your first impression to others, it’s the surefire sign you’re happy, and having one less than appealing may cause you to quit smiling. In the past, our dental restorations were composed of metallic materials, making your fixes not so discreet. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth. Thanks to the advanced technology utilized by your dental professional, you can achieve your ideal smile with tooth-colored fillings.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to mid-sized fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth, making them a fantastic option for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.

It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, due to their cosmetic look. Need more reason to choose them? Here are the advantages:

  • Eliminates unnatural, traditional metal fillings
  • Diminishes discoloration caused by metal fillings
  • Prevents tooth decay and gum diseases
  • Strengthens your teeth
  • Undetectable to others; matches the exact shade of your teeth

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth-colored 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.

Repair Your Smile with Porcelain Veneers | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When you have a flawed smile, it is tough to show it off. The good thing is, visiting the dentist can bring your smile back to life. All you need to do is set an appointment to discuss your smile makeover. It is important to make sure you fix your dental flaws, because gaps and damaged can cause future dental issues as your teeth begin to shift inside your mouth. Accidents happen but taking care of these accidents can not only perfect your smile but can also prevent future dental issues from happening.

Dental professionals strongly encourage individuals with spaces between their teeth, broken or chipped teeth, discolored teeth, or crooked teeth to undergo a porcelain veneers procedure. Porcelain veneers are thin, semi-translucent laminate that are bonded to your teeth to drastically enhance the look and feel of your smile. Patients who have received porcelain veneers rave about their new smiles because they no longer have to worry about unappealing discoloration or any dental imperfections.

Visiting the dentist to restore your smile can be done in two quick and easy visits. And the great news is, your porcelain veneers are guaranteed to last and resist any chip that can threaten your rejuvenated smile, so you won’t need to worry about damaging it even more. However, keep in mind that the status of your new smile depends on how you care for your smile going forward. If you are interested in improving your smile, call Dr. Anthony Yamada about porcelain veneers today!

If you have questions or concerns regarding porcelain veneers, 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.