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.

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.

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.

Mouthwash Is Important to Dental Hygiene | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Do you use mouthwash? If you don’t, it’s time you start. Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Of course, you still have to brush and floss your teeth regularly. But if done together, will do a much better job of removing plaque and debris. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay.

Most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use. That proves to be quite tasking for most of us, some people say mouthwash is so strong that it’s difficult to use for that long. Still, it’s worth toughing it out if you want the best results. Did you know it’s also a good cleaning agent for mouth guards? There are tons of reason you need to get yourself some mouthwash:

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

Prevents plaque. Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build-up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build-up of plaque, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

Removes food particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice but using it before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

Stop cavities. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mouthwash, 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.

New Year, New Dental Habits | Manhattan Beach Dentist

When you were making your list of new year resolutions, did you include improving your dental health with your overall health changes? Chances are you didn’t, and this can become an issue. This is why it’s important to keep up with your dental health. But if you have any doubt you’re doing enough, take a moment to review your daily dental habits.

While we know a proper dental routine includes brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash, a couple of these steps may be done in error, or completely missed altogether. If you are forgetting to do any of these steps, it’s time to rethink your habits. They are all important factors, but using mouthwash is more important than you think.

Antimicrobial mouthwash is your leading line of defense when gum disease presents itself in your mouth. It not only helps cure up the gingivitis, but also prevents bleeding gums and inflammation by eliminating the bacteria in your mouth causing the irritation. The brand or flavor is up to you, as long as they have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

If periodontal disease has been neglected for too long, your dentist may prescribe you a prescription-strength mouthwash. Its main ingredient is chlorhexidine gluconate, which kills the bacteria that promotes irritated gums but plaque formation.

When it comes to periodontal disease, the best thing you can do is stay on top of your oral health. Make sure you brush for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, change your toothbrush every few months, and see your dentist regularly. Taking care of your teeth doesn’t take work, just a conscious effort. What better time than the new year?

If you have questions or concerns regarding your dental 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.

Salty Water Can Improve Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may not be the best taste you’ve ever tried, but a warm saltwater rinse can be highly beneficial to your oral health. Sounds impossible, but there are many benefits to the method. The reason why salt water is effective as a mouth rinse is because it is more than just a disinfectant; it also helps in removing swelling of oral tissues. Here are just a handful of dental issues that can be aided by rinsing with this salty concoction:

Halitosis. Halitosis, or bad breath, is condition that happens to people for some underlying reasons. While poor oral hygiene is a cause, rinsing your mouth with salt water can prevent bacterial growth and infection, which often causes halitosis.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is a typical condition characterized by swelling, inflammation and bleeding gums caused due to growth of bacteria that coats teeth naturally. Bacteria proliferation forms a sticky and whitish film, called plaque. Rinsing the mouth with salt water solution daily can help in soothing inflamed gums and wipes out bacteria.

Toothache. Toothaches are a common complication caused by several reasons. Bacteria are generally the main cause, but sometimes weak roots or open nerve endings are the culprits. Gargling regularly with salt water can offer some relief.

Sore throat. Sore throat from a cough is a common and seasonal condition. Salt water gargle can help in relieving soreness.

And now for the recipe – to make a saltwater solution for rinsing the mouth, mix 1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of warm water.

If you have questions or concerns regarding salt water rinses, 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.