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.

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.

Six Steps to Preventing Tooth Decay | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all want a healthy smile, but if you don’t take care of your teeth with proper daily dental care, you may end up with a dental malady – tooth decay. Tooth decay typically occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk or candy, are left on your teeth. And because we are very close to a spooky candy-infused holiday, now is a great time 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 twice a day, for two minutes each session. This, accompanied with flossing and mouthwash, can go a long way in preventing loads of dental issues we all want to avoid.

Snack on healthy foods. It’s best to avoid eating sweets and carbs 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. Mouthwash is ideal for loosening food caught in our teeth.

Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings to remove plaque build-up, preventing tooth decay immensely.

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.

When Eating Ice Cream Hurts | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Now that we are smack in the middle of the summer season, cold drinks and frozen confections are everywhere you look. And while they are quite refreshing in the heat, for many of us, enjoying these summertime treats can become painful. Unfortunately, you have developed sensitive teeth and it’s time to visit the dentist. After all, sensitive teeth can be an annoying affliction. No one wants those sharp jolts of pain when enjoying the delights of the season. But why are your teeth suddenly sensitive?

When you have sensitive teeth, certain things, like eating, drinking even brushing your teeth can react to the everyday activity. Teeth sensitivity is typically the result of enamel that has worn away and exposed the tooth roots. However, it can be caused by other things like a cavity, a chipped tooth or it can even be a side effect of whitening your teeth.

Depending you circumstances, your dentist may recommend the following to remedy your sensitive tooth/teeth:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Fluoride
  • Bonding
  • Root canal

Tooth sensitivity is treatable. In fact, you might find that using toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth helps. If your tooth/teeth sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what you do, see your dentist for an evaluation. Other possible treatments could involve applying a fluoride gel to areas of the teeth where you have the most sensitivity, to strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the sensations you feel.

If you’re concerned about sensitive teeth, start by visiting your dental professional. He can identify the cause of your tooth pain and get you on a treatment plan.

If you have questions or concerns regarding tooth sensitivity, 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.

Do You Have Bad Dental Habits? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to various health conditions. And while you may brush regularly, how you brush is just as important as brushing itself. Unfortunately, many of us have developed habits over the years that may be doing a disservice to our dental health in the future. Here are the common bad habits we have and the fixes for each:

When you brush. Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night and your morning method is equally important. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant.

Using the wrong toothbrush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. Brushing with a medium or hard model—and using excessive pressure—can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your roots, or the bottom of your teeth.

Rinsing issues. 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.

Incorrect technique. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque.

Toothbrush replacement. The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria. If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately.

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 dental hygiene, 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, which includes brushing them twice a day. Brushing, along with flossing and using mouthwash, will not only remove food debris and plaque but will also protect your teeth against tooth decay and gum disease, leaving your mouth happy and healthy. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, it tastes good, but do we need it? To be fair, yes. 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.
  • It also 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, 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. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush inside, outside and between your teeth, the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth. Children under age 6, however, should be given a very small dab of toothpaste on their brush. As to which flavor or type, this is up to you. But if it becomes overwhelming to choose from the hundreds of options, ask your dental professional.

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.

Why Do We Rinse? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

There are three basic steps when it comes to daily oral hygiene – brushing, flossing and rinsing. We all know why we brush and why we floss, but why it is that we rinse? Believe it or not, but there are a few benefits to rinsing your mouth with mouthwash.

Mouthwash can help keep your gums and teeth healthy—but only if you use them properly. Rinsing with mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. But Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Of course, you still have to brush and floss your teeth regularly and combined 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. Just remember – most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use.

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 the build-up of plaque but cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

Removes particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing, but beforehand can help loosen particles stuck between your teeth, making brushing more productive.

Stop cavities. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming if your mouthwash contains fluoride so be sure to check the label.

If you have questions or concerns regarding rinsing, 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.

Do You Have Gum Disease? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

The stages of gum disease

Do you have gum disease? Are you sure? Many patients can be suffering from the early stages of gum disease and not even know it. Are you still sure? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults and often goes unnoticed.

Don’t worry – it isn’t the end of the world. Many Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, or gingivitis and its most common cause is straightforward: poor oral hygiene.

Gum disease 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

Unfortunately, you can have gum disease and not even know it. Keeping a proper daily dental routine is intricate to keeping your mouth free from harmful bacteria. This is also why it is so important to keep your dental appointments regular – so that your dentist can make sure to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

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.

How to Celebrate with Zero Dental Guilt | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Being smack dab in the holiday season is a wonderful time of year. Not only do we get to spend time with our family and friends, but there is so much delicious food around to delight in! So much so that many times we forget to maintain our dental hygiene routine because we are elbow deep in holiday treats.

We aren’t going to stop you. In fact, we are going to be joining you in lots of it. But we need to make sure you keep some things in mind while you are celebrating. Because it may be fantastic at the time, we don’t want to have regrets once the holidays are over and we visit the dentist. So, enjoy yourself this holiday season – just make sure your smile doesn’t suffer. It’s a time to smile and be merry!

Avoid grazing. One of the most common issues we all have during the holidays is our need to be constantly eating something. Grazing is just so good to do as we are catching up with family and friends. And let’s be fair, there are treats EVERYWHERE. Be aware of the food you snack on throughout the day and try to pace yourself. It will save you the guilt, decay, and unnecessary calories.

It’s okay to overindulge. While we are talking about keeping it together this holiday season, 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. Just make sure to brush, floss, and clean when you’re done.

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.

Protect Your Teeth with Xylitol | Manhattan Beach Dentist

Many patients like to take the extra steps to maintain good oral health and hygiene. After all, this is the age of the selfie, and a selfie just isn’t right without a bright, healthy smile. But we are smack dab in the midst of the holiday season, and we are surrounded by sugary delights. So, in order to keep these smiles bright and helping to satisfy a sweet tooth, we turn to sugar-free gum containing xylitol.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. 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. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the US FDA and World Health Organization but should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, it’s also available over the internet directly – care should be taken, as too much xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest and can have fiber-like laxative properties. So, pop in a stick of gum a couple times a day to maintain that smile you love to show off, keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.

Research has shown that the use of xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel while stimulating saliva. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth and is stimulated saliva in particular contains all the components needed to repair early cavities.

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.