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.

Are Your at Risk for Gum Disease? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum disease

This may seem like a staggering statistic, but nearly 75 percent of people over the age of 35 in the U.S. have some form of periodontal disease, or gum disease, in their lives. So, what’s the bottom line?

The main cause of gum disease is the bacteria that’s found in plaque. Plaque is that sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. Practicing proper oral hygiene often scrapes away food debris and plaque and prevents it from building up. If you aren’t taking proper care of your teeth, the plaque will build up and infect both your teeth and gums, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. The first symptoms? Your gums usually start to bleed when you brush or floss.

As I mentioned above, gum disease is oftentimes caused by poor oral hygiene, however there are many other risk factors. While some of these risk factors are completely avoidable, others are not. Some risk factors include the following:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Smoking/Tobacco Products
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Certain Medications

The key to preventing periodontal disease is to practice proper oral hygiene, every single day. An ideal oral care routine should involve you brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session, flossing at least once and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, be sure that you’re producing enough saliva by drinking enough water, chewing on sugarless gum or snacking on healthy snacks loaded with fiber. Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser that helps wash away leftover food debris or loosen plaque from your teeth and gums.

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 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.

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.

What to Eat when You Have Gum Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

oral hygieneYou realize that when we develop a medical condition, there is a chance that we will have to make some changes to our diets in order to not worsen the issue. The same applies for any dental conditions you may encounter, like periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. When you have periodontal disease, there are many factors in which can trigger worsening symptoms. One of the most important ways you can treat this and prevent anything worse from occurring so changing your diet. Here are some recommendations in which you should follow if you have periodontal disease:

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C, like grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. One study found that people who ate less than the RDA for vitamin C were one and a half times more likely to develop gingivitis.
  • Choose high-quality, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free “grass-fed” meats.
  • Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acids by selecting high-quality wild-caught salmon, minimal-mercury albacore tuna, fish oil, avocados, and sprouted walnuts.
  • Eat raw, organic vegetables.
  • Add high-quality fiber to your diet, such as ground flax seed.
  • Add healthy saturated fats to your diet, such as organic virgin coconut oil.
  • Choose sprouted, whole-grain products.
  • Add nutrient-dense and unprocessed foods such as sprouted nuts and seeds to your diet.
  • Eat limited fruits and fruit juices.
  • Choose organic, cage-free eggs.
  • Choose dairy items that have live, active cultures (probiotics), such as yogurt and kefir. Regular yogurt consumption can eliminate bad breath.
  • Drink purified water throughout the day.

Gum disease is a common situation for many adult Americans. In fact, it can occur in close to 85% of adults in their lifetime. Preventative measures will only help improve your dental checkups.

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 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.

Gum Disease Prevention the DIY Way | Manhattan Beach Dentist

No one wants to hear they have gum disease, but many times we have no idea how we got it. After all, we are on top of our dental game every day. But what we fail to recognize is that our daily lifestyle habits could be the main cause of our periodontal disease. Things like drinking coffee can make our mouths more susceptible to it. Let’s take a look at how we can help prevent gum disease from getting worse, and more painful, while we wait for your next dental appointment:

Daily brushing. Brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the biggest lines of defense against periodontal disease in the first place. Bacteria that sit on your teeth after long periods of time create havoc on your gums. Drinking coffee dehydrates our mouths, preventing saliva production and saliva is our natural defense against harmful bacteria.

Flossing. Floss regularly to clean the spaces between your teeth in which brushing cannot reach. 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. After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash that helps destroy bacteria left over by the prior two forms of cleaning.

If you find your mouth to be in pain due to the swelling of the gums, try a lifestyle change. Reducing your coffee intake and stress helps your oral health because your immune system is less compromised when you’re relaxed. DIY tip: Using water infused with salt draws out infection in your swollen gums.

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.

Don’t Stress – It’s Bad for Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthFor most of us, the holidays are an extremely stressful time of year. Between the holiday parties, gift shopping and melee that is being in public during this time of year, the holidays can be a nightmare for some.

We know that stress can cause lots of other health issues, but did you know that stress can also cause problems with your smile? It’s true – as much as we hate to admit we are becoming overwhelmed, if we don’t take the time to decompress, it can also lead to a trip to the dentist. How is that for added stress?

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, or gum, disease. It has been revealed that the more stressed out you are, the more stress is placed on your oral health. According to the results, 57 percent of the studies found a link between stress, distress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness to periodontal disease. Increased levels or cortisol, which is produced during times of stress, might be a contributing factor in lowering the body’s immunity.

No one wants to develop gum disease, but unfortunately the chances of you developing some type of gum disease in your lifetime is likely. Here are some other factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco products
  • Systemic diseases, such as diabetes
  • Medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy or cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
  • Ill-fitting bridges
  • Crooked teeth
  • Defective fillings
  • Pregnancy

If you have questions or concerns regarding Stress-related dental issues, 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.