The Dos and Don’ts of Halloween Candy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We’ve made it – it’s the spookiest night of the year. Halloween may be a favorite amongst us kids, but it isn’t very fun for your dentist. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable – it’s candy time! And on this night, it is important to keep in mind that candy isn’t great for our teeth, so keep things in moderation. And afterwards, giving your teeth a quick brushing will only help keep your smile healthy.

But not all candy is the same. There are definitely good candies and bad candies. Here is a quick breakdown of the best and worst. And in order to brighten what could be a sad article, we’ll start with the worst so there is hope at the end of the tunnel:

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.

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.

Sugary snacks, including candy corn, cookies, and cake, all contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause tooth decay.

And now, the treats that won’t damage your smile as quickly:

Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth.

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 candy, 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.

Tooth Decay Prevention | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that dentists see among patients and can affect both your tooth enamel and dentine. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk or candy, are left on your teeth. Because we are on the brink of this spooky candy-infused holiday, it is important to brush up on our dental hygiene practices, so we continue to maintain a healthy smile:

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 and tooth decay prevention.

Ask about dental sealants. Applied by dentists, dental sealants are a plastic coating 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.

Sugar-free gum. One study even found that chewing gum that contains xylitol can temporarily slow the growth of the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth decay, 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.

Don’t Break Down when You Break a Tooth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Sometimes accidents happen – they just can’t be helped. If this accident leads to breaking a tooth, it can be a rather jarring situation. But there is no need to panic – we have a solution to your dismay. Follow these tips to ensure the dental emergency goes smoothly.

Start by rinsing your mouth with saltwater to both 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.

Even if the broken tooth isn’t painful, a dental examination is required. 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 dental emergencies, 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.

Sometimes You Don’t Have a Mint Handy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Let’s face it – bad breath is one thing we never want to have. Unfortunately, we don’t always know we have it until someone happens to offer a mint. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – we all have it at some point. So many of our favorite foods are infused with some strong flavors. It’s only natural that our breath gets affected. But if you find that you have chronic bad breath, it may be another issue entirely. It could be a warning sign of gum disease, cavities or another dental issue.

The medical condition dry mouth also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth. There are other underlying diseases that may cause bad breath as well. If your dentist finds nothing wrong with your mouth, you will need to consult your physician. Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque
  • See your dentist at least twice a year
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products
  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist for further diagnosis.

If you have questions or concerns regarding bad breath, 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.

Don’t Miss Out on Getting New Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Dental ImplantsIf you are missing a tooth or teeth due to dental decay, it has likely caused a point of self-consciousness for you. Can it be fixed? Is it too late? For the most severe dental problems, like tooth loss, one of the most common solutions is the dental implant. Where fillings remove small areas of decay with a synthetic substance and crowns place a cap over an existing tooth root, implants replace the entire tooth – root and all. The process is involved, but done properly, a tooth implant can last many decades, potentially even a lifetime.

But how does it work? To be honest, it’s quite simple. The procedure starts by removing the existing tooth and root and replacing it with a titanium implant post. This metal post is the foundation for the entire implant, and for 6-12 weeks, the bone forms a permanent bond with the metal post. Once firmly bonded, the dentist will attach a second metal connector – known as an abutment – to the post, which provides a connecting surface for the replacement tooth. The dentist will then make impressions, modeling the entire mouth so that the replacement crown perfectly matches your existing bite. Finally, the crown will be attached permanently to the abutment, providing a solid, permanent tooth

The overall process typically involves very little pain – while there may be some pain in the initial extraction, the rest of the procedure can typically be done under local anesthesia. The procedure does take a few months to allow the post to properly bond to the jawbone, but once complete, the patient will have a natural looking, durable replacement for even the most severely damaged teeth.

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 and all surrounding areas.

Diet Habits that Are Ruining Your Teeth | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The choices in food we make can affect our oral health. That should come as no surprise. And dental visits aren’t exactly at the top of your list of things you look forward to – the poking and scraping of routine cleanings. But that’s nothing compared to the pain of more invasive procedures, like fillings and root canals.

So, wouldn’t it be nice to seriously lower your chances of needing dental work with some strategic eating? There are plenty of foods that people should be avoiding if they want to keep their teeth in good shape. What foods does even your dentist avoid? Here are some of the common culprits:

Hard candy. Chewing on them can break or crack teeth, fillings, and sealants.

Ice. Just like hard candy, munching on ice is an easy way crack or break teeth.

Wine. The acidity in wine makes teeth more susceptible to stains, and white wine is generally more acidic.

PB&J. The high sugar content of all three ingredients means that as soon as you bite in, enamel-eroding bacteria go on a feeding frenzy.

Chewy candy. Any chewy sweets have a chance to damage dental work you’ve had done while creating cavities in your teeth’s crevices.

Dried fruit. Unfortunately, dried fruit is packed with a dense dose of sugar and non-soluble cellulose fiber, which can bind and trap those sugars around the tooth to the same extent as saltwater taffy.

Keep your smile healthy with proper oral care and diet. Make sure to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss and rinse. Maintaining your daily hygiene routines will only help make those dental checkups a breeze.

If you have questions or concerns regarding diet choices, 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.

Is Toothpaste Really Necessary? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We know the importance of looking after our teeth, including brushing them twice a day. Brushing along with flossing will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease. Toothpaste cleans the teeth, protects them, and keeps them looking healthy and attractive to look at as well. It also ensures that your breath is nice and fresh as well. But do we really need it?

Dentists recommend that you use toothpaste, especially fluoride toothpaste as this not only cleans your teeth but protects them as well. Brushing the teeth with toothpaste, flossing and using a mouthwash are all essential parts of a daily dental hygiene routine that will result in healthy and great looking teeth. Brushing with toothpaste is important for several reasons:

  • Toothpaste and a correct brushing action 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.
  • Toothpaste 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.
  • Toothpastes help freshen breath and leave your mouth with a clean feeling.

Contrary to what toothpaste commercials show, simply squeeze a pea-sized dab of paste on the top half of your brush. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small, baby pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush. Whatever toothpaste you choose will be effective, but ask your dentist if they suggest one to clean your teeth and prevent tooth decay.

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 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.