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.

Good Night, Sweet Dreams | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There is nothing worse than waking up your alarm after a night of restless sleep. You’re cranky, and the day never plays out to be a good one. That is why it’s always important to get a good night’s sleep, not only for your temperament, but your health. Not only does sleep strengthen our immune system, but it also helps with memory loss, high blood pressure, heart disease and your weight. But as we get older, getting a good night’s sleep seems impossible. Here are a few simple lifestyle tips that can work wonders:

Get some exercise. Physical activity is going to wear your body down, so it is prepared to relax when you are.

Take a hot shower. A shower or bath relaxes your muscles, making it easier to sleep.

Avoid food, sugary drinks and alcohol. It is a good idea to limit these for the hours you are fully awake. Each has aspects that will not only make it difficult to fall asleep, but they can also disturb your REM sleep once you finally get there.

Give yourself a bedtime. You are never too old to have a designated time to get to sleep. Keeping a schedule will not only give you an end of day, but it will also keep your body clock in check.

Become a bookworm. Sleeping with the TV on, or being in some other loud environment, leaves you susceptible to waking up throughout the night. Instead, bring a book and read yourself to sleep. You’re never too old for a good bedtime story.

If you have questions or concerns regarding sleep 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.

Sleep Soundly with a Night Guard | Manhattan Beach Dentist

snoring on oral healthIf you find yourself constantly waking up with a dull headache, tooth pain or a sore jaw, you may want to go to your dentist to see if you’re suffering from bruxism. The most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is taking care of the teeth grinding itself, which usually happens while sleeping, is by wearing a night guard.

Night guards are available at most pharmacies and can be bought without a prescription. To use, the appliance is boiled, left to cool for a few seconds and then worn for it to shape according to one’s own teeth. For a better-fitting, more durable, but more expensive night guard, buy one directly from your dentist.

Regardless of the type of night guard you’re wearing, the main function remains the same and it’s to prevent the damage done by the constant grinding of your teeth while you’re asleep. Beyond the added protection, wearing night guards also carry other benefits:

Lessen pain and discomfort. While the main purpose of wearing a night guard is to protect your teeth from further damage, these dental appliances can also make a huge difference for patients who complain about sore jaws, muscle fatigue and spasms, ear aches, neck pain and other types of pain commonly associated with bruxism.

Improved sleep patterns. Because of how night guards minimize common bruxism symptoms, they also help improve your once-disrupted sleeping patterns. The mouth guard helps improve the position of your jaws to make it easier for your muscle to relax and avoid that stress-filled sleep that you’ve become accustomed to.

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

Bruxism: What You Need to Know | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all need a sound night’s sleep. When we don’t, we are cranky and unpleasant to be around, but more than that, it can be an issue that can cause issues in the future if not addressed. If you find yourself constantly waking up with a dull headache, tooth pain or a sore jaw, you may want to go to your dentist to see if you’re suffering from 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 easiest solution? A nightguard. Not only will wearing a nightguard while you sleep alleviate the pains you feel when you wake up, but it will help relax your jaw muscles to give you a more solid sleep pattern.

If you feel that the nightguard isn’t making enough of a difference, there are other alternative treatment options that you can inquire to your dentist about, such as:

Teeth straightening. Maloclussions, or teeth that are out of alignment causing an overbite or underbite has been known to contribute to bruxism. Wearing braces can help in such cases.

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.

If you have questions or concerns regarding snoring, 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.

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.