Do You Have Bad Dental Habits? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Do have a bad dental habit? Believe it or not, most individuals have acquired bad dental habits over the years without even really knowing that they’re doing it. Unfortunately, because we don’t know we are doing these natural types of habits, it’s difficult to stop. What’s worse is that if this habit affects our teeth, it can lead to many issues down the road. And if we are aware of the problem, we don’t realize it’s damaging our teeth. Here is a list of some bad habits that does a lot of damage to your teeth. If some of them sound familiar, you may want to try changing your ways…for your smile’s sake:

Chewing ice. After you’ve finished a drink, you might have the habit of chewing the ice that is leftover. Little did you know, the cold and hardness of the cubes can actually do damage to your teeth by chipping or cracking them.

Tooth toolkit. Using your teeth to crack open nuts, or tear through plastic can be incredibly detrimental. Just like chewing ice, using your teeth as a tool may cause damage to your teeth.

Drinking soda. While this isn’t a surprise, we’re adding the usage of sugar free sodas as well. Sodas are acidic and incredibly harmful to teeth.

Nail biting. Perhaps one of the most common bad habits, biting your nails itself is not only damaging to your nail beds, but also to your teeth.

Grinding your teeth. The official term for this habit is bruxism and is a common occurrence at night. But grinding your teeth wears them down. While this is difficult to control, a dentist could suggest using a nightguard to help you get it under control.

If you have questions or concerns regarding dental bonding, contact Dr. Yamada at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Dr. Anthony Yamada proudly serving Manhattan Beach and all surrounding areas.

Cavities What Are My Options? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all do our best to try to keep our smiles bright and healthy, but there are times when things slip through the cracks and our dental visit reveals that we have developed a cavity. Always a gut punch to the ego, cavities are a very common occurrence, even to the most diligent dental patient. And in the past, the treatment option was simple – get a metallic filling.

Amalgam fillings, or metallic fillings, have been around for years and have been used by dentists to complete many cosmetic procedures. Metal fillings are most commonly used to fill holes left by cavities. While using this procedure is indeed very effective, there are a multitude of controversies surrounding the safety and appearance of them. After all, our teeth are white. The fillings are silver. Discretion about the state of your teeth is non-existent. Everyone can see every flaw when they are so obvious.

As far as safety is concerned, metal fillings are made out of a material composed of 50% mercury mixed with another 50% of copper, silver, and tin. The controversies sprung from the idea that too much mercury in one’s system has been proven to cause neurological issues and thus, made patients skittish.

If you don’t want to go the traditional route, ask your dentist about tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings, or resin, are made out of a much safer material than amalgam fillings, or the traditional option. Along with that, these fillings are safer, and enhance the cosmetic appearance of teeth due to their natural tooth like color.

Our dental flaws are something that shouldn’t have to be obvious to everyone you meet. With tooth-colored fillings, no one will be able to tell the difference.

Wearing a Night Guard Is a Good Idea | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all need a good night’s sleep if we want to keep our bodies running at optimum levels. But for many of us, these nights are few and far between because we’re grinding our teeth as we sleep and wake up with a dull headache or a sore jaw. 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 most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is taking care of the teeth grinding itself, which usually happens while one is sleeping, by wearing a dental appliance known as a night guard. Night guards are available at most pharmacies and can be bought without a prescription, or you can visit your dentist for a custom one.

In addition to a better, more sound sleep, night guards have other benefits:

Lesser pain and discomfort when you wake up. 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, earaches, 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 helping you avoid that stress-filled sleep that you’ve come to get used to because of bruxism.

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.

The Effects of Snoring on Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It’s unfortunate for some but everyone knows what snoring is and almost everyone has either experienced snoring or has been kept awake from someone snoring. Most people just dismiss it as a normal part of sleeping because it’s just so common. But snoring is quite harmful and more importantly, affects your teeth and oral health.

While we may have snored at one point or another, the severity of snoring usually varies from person to person. It can go from being a mild nuisance and disturbance to a symptom of something more serious, like sleep apnea. But what exactly is causing us to snore in the first place? Here are some common factors that can cause you to snore:

Bad habits. The use of alcohol, sedatives and even tobacco. Any one of these products can force your throat muscles to relax more than usual and promote the obstruction of the airways, which causes snoring.

Nasal problems. Those with chronic nasal congestion may interfere with their air flow every time they breathe and cause snoring.

Anatomical conditions. Some people with elongated uvulas or low, thick, soft palates, large tonsils or adenoids naturally have narrower airways, and this can cause snoring. Those who are overweight and obese do too, but this is because of the excess fat on the back of their throats.

Pregnancy. Pregnant women, those who have a long family history of snoring, those who are aged 40 and above, as well as males are more likely to develop snoring problems as well.

Dry mouth. Our teeth need saliva for protection and because snoring causes your mouth to dry out, leading to a variety of oral health problems.

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.

Preparing Your Gums for a New Year | Manhattan Beach Dentist

gum diseaseAs we prepare for a new year, it is important to take inventory about how our health is and any changes that could be remedied over the next year. This should also include our oral health. Because as much as we hate to think about it, many of us can be suffering from the early stages of gum disease and not even know it. Gum disease often goes unnoticed, especially amongst those dental dodgers, and can lead to major mouth problems if left untreated.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. It can progress without obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition can present some warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures

This is why a proactive daily oral care routine and regular dental visits are imperative. Most gum disease is treatable with regular professional cleanings, brushing, and flossing. Using a mouthwash twice daily can even reverse early gum disease. Treating it early, before the bacteria spread to the bone beneath the teeth, greatly improves your chance of recovery without tooth loss or surgery.

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.

Holiday Dental Tips for Snack Habits | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Well, here we are – the holiday season is upon us and we are making the final preparations for this very different holiday season. And while it may not look like our typical season, there are plenty of things that will remain the same. Namely, the foods. We may not have the calendar of social events, but we do find ourselves in a period of excess. That means more fat, sugar and alcohol. While these are all generally things that make up happier, the end result is usually more of a guilt trip down memory lane of all of the foods you shouldn’t have eaten. Not only because of your waistline, but because of the damage it’s done to your smile. We are definitely going to need to make a dental appointment in the new year. But in the meantime, there are things you can do to keep your holiday guilt-free:

Snack grazing. One of the most common issues lots of us are having is our need to be constantly eating something. We can’t help it though, right? It’s the holiday season – there are treats EVERYWHERE. With that, you should be aware of the food you eat throughout the day and try to pace yourself. It will save you the guilt, tooth decay, and unnecessary calories.

Overindulging yourself. Yes, we are talking about keeping it under control this Christmas, overindulging for ONE day won’t kill you. There is so much temptation around this time of year, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation. So, don’t. But keep a happy balance with foods that are also good for you. This way, you aren’t going to feel bad later. Just make sure to brush, floss, and clean when you’re done!

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

Tools to Brighten Your Smile | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Many patients want a brighter smile but do not know how to obtain brighter teeth or even how to go about it. With all of the option available, how do we know which is the best choice? Let’s discuss…

The most basic form of teeth whitening is available as toothpaste – toothpaste, whether it’s labeled as whitening or not – typically contains small abrasive components that gently polish the surface of your teeth, removing discoloration caused by surface staining. Other over the counter whitening products typically contain a bleaching agent – such as hydrogen peroxide – to lighten the color of your teeth by chemically bleaching them.

Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to whiten teeth. Some people get their teeth bleached to make stains disappear, while other just want a whiter shade. Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or, under dental supervision, at home. Many patients enjoy bleaching at home because it is more convenient.

Your dentist, however, can typically offer two different whitening options. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Oftentimes dentist provided trays are custom molded to the patient’s teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day, even overnight. Dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately.

No matter which method you choose, the results will not be permanent, but your dentist can advise you on the proper procedure for repeating the whitening process at regular intervals.

If you have questions or concerns regarding teeth whitening procedures, 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.

After the Last Bite of Pumpkin Pie | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Here we are, on the brink of the holiday season. A time for family, food and feeling thankful – yes, Thanksgiving is the first of the many holidays represented during this season. But after you finish overindulging in all of the delectable foods offered during this day of thanks, it may be a good time to give thanks to your teeth. After all, you couldn’t have done devoured all of that food without your mouth. Shouldn’t you thank them as well? One way you can do that is to pop a stick of sugar-free gum in your mouth after dessert. And when you choose, opt for one with Xylitol.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. First, Xylitol starves the bacteria in your mouth of food. Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities feeds on sugar, it cannot feed on Xylitol, allowing your body to wash away the sugar. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities. The dental benefits of Xylitol can have a significant influence on your oral health.

While chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities. So, enjoy this thankful day with your loved ones. Just remember – your smile loves you too.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Xylitol, 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.

Your Guide to Halloween Candy | Manhattan Beach Dentist

It may not be the typical Halloween, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t typical Halloween candy. We need to take a moment to think about our dental health. Sure, not the first thought we have during this spooky season, but the bacteria hiding in your mouth can’t wait until you get home with your candy haul and overindulging your sweet tooth will result in a poor dental checkup. To prevent this from happening, let’s take a look at the effects various sweets have on your teeth. This may help when deciding which Halloween treat to choose:

Chocolate. Good news – it’s the best bet for health, especially if it’s dark chocolate. Not only does it have a health benefit, but chocolate is easier to clean off your teeth than other candy options, making it the one you’ll want to reach for.

Gummy candy. Many of these are made with fruit juice, but because of the stickiness, gummy treats are tough on your molars. Limit these, especially with dental work. Sticky candy can also pull off braces and other dental treatments.

Hard candy. Be particularly careful when enjoying these treats. Not only can they stick to dental appliances you may have in your mouth, but they can also chip a tooth if you aren’t careful. Try not to bite into these candies as you suck on them.

Sour candy. Your children are going to be particularly drawn to this type of sweet, but these have to be the worst culprit in your sack of treats. Not only can the sour coating dissolve the outer coating of your teeth, but if they are sticky as well, they can wreak havoc on those pearly whites.

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.

Fighting the Power of Gum Disease | Manhattan Beach Dentist

gum diseaseNo one wants to know they have a disease. It really doesn’t matter what kind of disease it is, it’s something that is never good news to hear. Believe it or not, you are likely to get one in particular – gum disease. Approximately 75 percent of adults will have some form of gum disease within their lifetimes. It’s true. The problem is that many patients don’t even realize they are suffering from any type of gum disease until it has progressed into more of the worsening stages. In early stages, you may not even notice any changes at all. You may notice your gums swelling and bleeding more easily than before and ignore it. No one wants to hear things are going awry until they feel actual pain that can’t be ignored. Unfortunately, if bad enough, gum disease may eventually make you lose your teeth altogether.

Gum disease is a progressive disease in the mouth that affects the tissue surrounding your teeth. After a while, gum disease begins to deteriorate the support around your teeth, ultimately causing you to lose your teeth. And it all begins with plaque build-up in the teeth. Plaque is constantly accumulating in the teeth, but when it gets to an excessive level, it hardens, and bacteria begins forming. This causes the earliest stages of gum disease.

In order to fight gum disease, you must exhibit excellent dental hygiene habits such as sufficient brushing and flossing, as well as healthy eating, and non-surgical therapies that control the growth of harmful bacteria. Most importantly, keep your regular dental appointments. If your gum disease has progressed to a worse case, surgical procedures may be required to restore supportive tissues in the mouth.

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.