James W. Mellert DDS

Foods That You Can Enjoy Without Feeling the Guilt or Having to Pay a Visit to Your Torrance Dental Clinic

It wouldn’t be much fun spending the holiday season avoiding treats, especially when everyone around you is enjoying them. In our last post, we discussed foods and beverages popular during the holiday season that you should avoid. For example, you should avoid candy canes, caramel popcorn and candied beets. But there is good news for those who want to indulge a little this holiday season. Lucky for you, there are holiday goodies that are relatively merciful on your teeth. Here are a few seasonal goodies and other foods that you can enjoy without feeling the guilt or having to pay a visit to your Torrance dental clinic.

Peppermint Beverages

Peppermint flavors are popular during the holiday season. But instead of eating candy canes or other peppermint candies, put a peppermint leaf into your water or hot tea.


Ginger has a bold flavor, which means many ginger recipes call for less sugar than other types of cakes and cookies. So serving gingerbread cookies is a great alternative.


Nuts contain a variety of nutrients like iron and magnesium and supply a healthy dose of calcium that helps keep teeth strong. Nuts also stimulate saliva, which keeps bacteria at bay. When it comes to eating nuts, the biggest decision you will have to make is to eat almonds or walnuts.


If there is a cheese platter at your next holiday party, go ahead and indulge. Cheese is antibacterial and has low pH levels, which makes your mouth a less acidic environment.


Vegetables like raw carrots and celery act as nature’s toothbrush. Consider all the good you are doing to your teeth and body when you are choosing vegetables over candy canes.


Apples are a fruit full of fiber and vitamins and work like tiny scrubbers that remove plaque from your teeth.


This holiday staple is a bird that is non-fermentable. Because of this, it battles cavity-causing reactions in your mouth. And the added protein pairs well with calcium to keep teeth strong.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a holiday favorite. Just like cheese, egg yolks are excellent sources of vitamin D and calcium, which strengthens teeth.

Sugar-Free Gum

Once you have finished with holiday snacking, top it off with a stick of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum increases saliva flow and helps neutralize and wash away acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth. And as an added bonus, it will leave your breath minty fresh.








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Holiday Foods That Might Prompt a Visit to Your Dentist in Torrance

During the holiday season. we are all a little bit more inclined to nosh on some less than healthy foods. It would also make sense that many of the foods you eat during the holiday season would be bad for your teeth, perhaps even prompting a visit to your dentist in Torrance. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanza or Festivus, eating and drinking an assortment of goodies is just part of the festivities. Let’s take a look at some of the holiday foods that could affect your dental health.

Candy Canes

The two main ingredients in candy canes are sugar and corn syrup. To say candy canes are pure sugar is no exaggeration. As you are already aware, sugar wreaks havoc on your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth decay. In addition to the amount of sugar in candy canes is the amount of time they spend on your teeth. Hard candies take longer to eat and may drench your mouth with sugar for a very long time, hours in some cases. If you value your smile, you might want to avoid candy canes this holiday season.


Eggnog is loaded with sugar and fat and the sugar clings to your teeth hours after consumption. And to make things worse, eggnog is often spiked with rum, brandy or bourbon, which dries out the mouth. With a lack of saliva, your mouth becomes vulnerable to bacteria growth which gives you bad breath and causes tooth decay. If you wish to indulge in this concoction, we suggest rinsing your mouth out after you are finished.

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel in any form sends shivers down the spine of dentists all over the world. Caramel is worse than hard candy because of the sticky nature of it. This sticky substance clings to your teeth long after it has been consumed. And when it’s drizzled on popcorn, caramel-covered pieces tend to get lodged between your teeth. When done eating caramel popcorn, you need a toothbrush, floss and chisel to remove all the remnants from your teeth.

Potato Latkes

Potato latkes are a staple in the Jewish tradition for Hannukah. They are basically pan-fried potato cakes made with flour and eggs. While the latkes themselves are no threat to your teeth, the sugar many dip these delectables in is cause for concern. So skip the sugar and dip your latkes in applesauce instead.


Candied beets are a staple on many tables during the holiday season. You might think this makes the list due to the sugar content, but you would only be half right. Beets are one of the most staining foods around and can discolor your teeth. So watch yourself.

Hot Beverages

Nothing warms the body from the inside out better than a hot cup of tea, coffee or cocoa. But drink these when they are too hot and you could burn your mouth or damage your gums. It only takes a single burn to cause permanent damage. So let that tea and coffee cool a bit before indulging.



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Your Torrance Dentist Focuses on Improving the Appearance of Your Smile

Your Torrance dentist might focus on oral hygiene and the prevention and treatment of oral disease, but he also focuses on improving the appearance of your smile. In other words, general dental practices address dental problems that require treatments that are necessary and cosmetic dentistry provides desired treatments. Cosmetic dentistry can also provide other benefits. For instance, fillings are used to treat tooth decay but can be composed of materials that match the color of your teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in the last several years, making cosmetic treatments more durable and predictable than ever before. Smile makeovers are more comfortable and recovery times have been greatly reduced. Here are a few treatments you might want to consider.

Teeth Whitening

Over time, your teeth can become discolored and stained, especially if you smoke, take certain medications or drink a lot of coffee or tea. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that is safe, quick and relatively inexpensive.

A mouthguard is made to hold the bleach against the teeth. Over the course of a week or two, significant whitening will occur. In fact, your teeth will be more than white, they will be brilliant.


If you have teeth that have excess space between them, are chipped, cracked or otherwise broken, bonding will help the way they look. The tooth is etched very lightly on the surface and a bonding liquid is applied. After this has set, a resin made from plastic is applied and your dentist sculpts it into the right shape. Once the resin is polished, it looks like your natural tooth.


Veneers are custom shells typically made out of porcelain, they cover the front of your teeth and change their appearance and shape. They are less expensive than crowns and last longer than bonding. Veneers are used to improve teeth that are chipped, cracked, permanently stained, poorly shaped or slightly crooked.


Crowns, sometimes called caps, completely cover the tooth, restoring its normal shape and appearance. Crowns can be made from any number of materials including metal, porcelain or resin. Crowns can be used when teeth are broken, worn or weak. They are also used to cover discolored teeth, cover a filling and cover a tooth after a root canal.


People of all ages benefit from the use of braces. Braces not only improve teeth that are crowded or crooked, they also correct jaw positioning, irregular bites and jaw joint disorders.

Many dentists choose clear braces for many reasons. Invisalign uses a series of removable aligners to straighten your teeth without the use of traditional metal wires and brackets. Each set of aligners are worn for about two weeks and can be removed to drink, eat, brush and floss. As each aligner is replaced, your teeth move, little by little, into their final position. The total treatment time can last anywhere from nine to 15 months.

Cosmetic dentistry offers several options for those who are unhappy with their smile. If you are unhappy with your smile, give us a call.







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Visiting Your Torrance Dental Clinic With a Child Who is Suffering a Cavity

This is the time of year when children all over the United States dress up in cute or scary costumes and travel from house to house in search of tricks or treats, but mostly for treats. But the scariest part of Halloween is what is inside those bags of treats.

United States consumers will spend nearly $7 billion on Halloween celebrations this year and about a third of that will be spent on candy. Do the math, that is over $2.5 billion spent on candy alone.

In a nutshell, this means there will be a whole lot of children eating Candy Corn, Butterfingers and M&Ms. It also means you might be visiting your Torrance dental clinic with a child who is suffering a cavity. Unless, of course, you follow some simple rules.pumpkin

Sticky is Worse

The stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candy tends to stick in cracks and crevices and remains even after brushing and flossing. So you might want to sneak those Tootsie Rolls from the treat bag.

Hard Candies Hurt

Hard candies like suckers and jawbreakers can be crunched into the teeth and can actually cause a hairline fracture in the tooth enamel. So you might want to sneak these out of the goodie bag as well.

A Practical Approach

From a dental standpoint, you need to monitor your child’s Halloween goody intake. For example, instead of letting them eat one piece of candy several times throughout the day, it is better if you have them eat two or three at once followed by a brushing and flossing session. And try not to let your child sneak candy throughout the day. Once the Halloween booty has been depleted, bring your child to the dentist office for a cleaning.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, here are a few interesting facts:halloween

  • A single candy haul for one child averages about 11,000 calories.
  • Skittles, Kit Kats and Whoppers contain more than 15 ingredients including chemical components and dyes.
  • Artificial dyes have been linked to ADHD in kids.
  • In Japan, Kit Kats are available in a variety of flavors including wasabi and sweet potato.
  • The most popular Halloween candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
  • If average, you will spend about $47 on Halloween candy this year.
  • 35 million pounds of Candy Corn will be produced this year, which works out to be over nine billion pieces, enough to circle the moon four times.




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Reasons to Visit Your Torrance Dentist for Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is no longer just for celebrities or those with deep pockets. Advancements over the years in teeth whitening has lead to it being a treatment affordable for almost anyone. But why would you want to visit your Torrance dentist for teeth whitening?

Because according to many surveys, 96 percent of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to the opposite gender. That is, a better, whiter smile will land you the boyfriend or girlfriend of your dreams.

All kidding aside, a white smile offers several benefits.smile

Boost Your Self-Esteem

It is not uncommon at all to feel dramatically more attractive and confident in your appearance after having your teeth whitened. If you are feeling insecure about the way you look, having your teeth whitened will make you feel a whole lot better.

Doors Will Open

Another benefit of having bright, white teeth is that your newfound look could land you that promotion or dream job you have always desired. There are studies that show people with attractive smiles hold an advantage over those who don’t when it comes to professional success.

Healthier Lifestyle

White teeth do have a connection with a healthier lifestyle. After having your teeth whitened, you are more likely to avoid foods and drinks that can stain, some people even quit bad habits like smoking. When you look better, you feel better about yourself and want to continue the positive transformation by watching what you eat.

Look Better

A whiter and brighter smile takes the focus off facial wrinkles, giving you a more youthful and friendly look.

No Side Effects

One of the best things about having your teeth whitened is the fact the treatment leaves no side effects. This is something you can’t say about other cosmetic treatments aimed to make you look better.



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Cosmetic Dentistry in Torrance holds Tremendous Benefits

Cosmetic dentistry in Torrance, no matter the procedure, holds tremendous benefits. There are many people who are choosing the many different treatments cosmetic dentists offer to improve their smile. And while cosmetic dental procedures might not be a modern-day fountain of youth, there are significant gains to consider.


The biggest benefit to cosmetic dentistry is that it produces visible results. It wasn’t all that long ago when a person with a chipped or cracked tooth had to simply learn to live with it. Modern treatments allow such imperfections to be corrected. In fact, cosmetic dentistry can leave patients with a more youthful appearance.supercute


Since cosmetic procedures are so successful in producing results, not only do patients leave the dentist office with a better physical appearance, but an improved psychological outlook as well. Crooked, broken or otherwise unsightly teeth have a way of lowering self-esteem, but cosmetic dentistry does a very good job in reversing that.

Lower Prices

It would be a stretch to say that cosmetic dental treatments are cheap, they are certainly more affordable than ever before. This means that cosmetic dental procedures are available to a larger portion of the population and not just the wealthy. Additionally, many insurance companies are choosing to cover some cosmetic treatments when it is done to repair structural issues.


The effects of cosmetic dental treatments are long lasting, which means your smile will still look great years down the road. In fact, there are many treatments that will last as long as 10 years or more.


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Gum Grafting and Why it is Needed

Gum Grafting

When recession of the gingiva occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum reconstruction using grafting techniques is an option.

When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.

In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.

before and after gum grafting

A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from adjacent areas to provide a stable band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.

The gingival graft procedure is highly predictable and results in a stable, healthy band of attached tissue around the tooth.

Reasons Residence of Torrance Should See Their Dentist for Cosmetic Procedures

There are several reasons residents of Torrance should see their dentist for cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic dentistry treatments are becoming more affordable and therefore much more popular. From dermal fillers to teeth whitening, there is a wide range of treatments available with a common goal; to help you achieve a beautiful smile. But you might be wondering what other benefits come with cosmetic dentistry, so here they are.

More Self-Esteemsmile

People with unsightly teeth tend to disengage from social contact for fear of embarrassment. These people suffer low self-esteem and often become withdrawn. But things change when they visit their dentist as cosmetic dentistry can do wonders with a smile. The results are a new lease on life and a huge boost in confidence.

An Improvement in Overall Health

There is a huge connection between dental health and overall health. For example, research suggests a strong correlation between gum disease and diabetes. Also, people with bad teeth are often left with lesser food choices which can negatively impact their overall health.


Surveys from various dating websites show that over 96 percent of people say that a nice smile is very important when choosing an ideal date. Additionally, over 85 percent stated that bad teeth are one of the biggest turnoffs. This is one of the reasons cosmetic dentistry has become so popular.

smileProfessional Success

It’s little wonder that people with great looking smiles are the ones who achieve professional success. part of the reason for this is not just in good looks, but the confidence in yourself that can be seen by others. People with bad teeth lack this confidence and therefore are slower to climb the corporate ladder.

Improved Relationships

A great smile makes you feel better about yourself and makes you a more attractive person. When you don’t have a great smile, you don’t feel very attractive or confident and it can lead to intimacy issues. A great smile can improve the relationship you have with your significant other.

If you would like to improve your smile, we are an option.



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Too Many People Go for Years Without Paying a Visit to Their Torrance Dentist

Far too many people go for years without paying a visit to their Torrance dentist. It could be for any number of reasons including lack of funds, fear of dentists or they simply feel their teeth are just fine. But whatever your reason for not seeing a dentist might be, you need to change that up. Here are a few reasons you should visit your dentist sooner than later, we hope it serves as motivation to make that call.

Overall Health Impact

There is a very strong correlation between good oral health and the overall health of a person. Studies show that the condition of your teeth and gums can impact almost every system in your body. This means any problems with your digestive system, circulatory system or even reproduction system could be linked to your oral health. Good oral health can reduce your risk of some pretty serious health problems.

Bad Breath

It is common and it is an embarrassing condition to have, but bad breath can also be a sign that something more serious is wrong with you. Bad breath is caused by any number of things, including dry mouth, tobacco products or leftover food particles. But bad breath can also be caused by bronchitis or a kidney ailment.

Tooth Decay

You might brush and floss every day and do a good job taking care of your teeth, but as we age, we become more and more susceptible to certain oral conditions like tooth decay. Older folks are also more likely to suffer gum disease and plaque buildup, good reasons to visit your dentist more frequently.

smileGreat Smile

Even though you floss and brush every day, your dentist can help your smile look even better. Your dentist can scrape the plaque that is beneath the gum line and in other places you cannot reach, leaving you with an even greater looking smile.

Tooth Loss

It is never any fun if you have to have a tooth pulled. Routine checkups at your dentist mean minor problems are discovered and fixed before they turn into big and expensive problems. Routine dental visits can help save your teeth.

As you can see, visiting your dentist on a regular basis is very beneficial.




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There are Several Reasons You Should Talk to Your Torrance Dentist About Dental Implants

There are several options when you have damaged or missing teeth, but dental implants should be at the top of your list. There are several reasons you should talk to your Torrance dentist about dental implants, here are a few.

Natural Lookingteeth1

Dental implants are strong and stable and look like your natural teeth. In addition, they function like your natural teeth. Traditional options for tooth restoration can lead to the deterioration of bone, might interfere with eating and may impede your speech.

Long Lasting

Traditional dental bridges tend to last only five to seven years, but if you take real good care of them they might last as long as 10 years. And though dental implants might need to be adjusted from time to time, they may very well last you a lifetime.

Enjoy Life

You might stay at home and avoid social settings because you are self-conscious about your smile. Missing teeth may limit your life and your ability to go out and have fun. Dental implants allow you to get back into the game and once again enjoy life.

Great Smile

If you have missing teeth, it could cause your face to sag and leave your smile droopy. Dental implants help retain a natural face and give you a great smile.

Eat Well

Dentures have a tendency to slip or fall while eating certain foods, which could prove to be embarrassing. Dental implants enable you to enjoy all the foods you love, without the possibility of slippage.

So as you can see, there are plenty of great reasons to seriously consider dental implants.






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