Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year from all of us at Buena Vista Orthodontics!

2010 is almost over—and what a year it was at Buena Vista Orthodontics! Dr. Merilynn Yamada and our staff thought we’d ask: what was memorable about 2010 for you, and what are you most looking forward to in 2011? Do you have a new year's resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

Have a safe and happy New Year, to all our patients, friends, family and all our dental and medical colleagues in Burbank and surrounding communities here in Los Angeles.

See you all in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When should you call Dr. Yamada and Buena Vista Orthodontics?

Thanks for the question. Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) have put together a helpful list that outlines when you should call Buena Vista Orthodontics. Here are some early warning signs indicating it’s time to check in with Dr. Yamada and team:

1. Early or late loss of baby teeth
2. Difficulty of chewing or biting
3. Mouth breathing
4. Finger sucking or other oral habits
5. Crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
6. Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or retrude
7. Speech difficulty
8. Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
9. Protruding teeth
10. Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all
11. Facial imbalance or asymmetry
12. Grinding or clenching of teeth

Do any of these warning signs fit you? If so, give our Burbank office a call as soon as possible! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Season's greetings from Buena Vista Orthodontics!

In this season given to tidings of comfort and joy, and as our team at Buena Vista Orthodontics reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask you, our great patients: What do you love about the holidays this year? Being with your loved ones? A clean slate for 2011? Opening presents by the fireplace? All the delicious food? Also, what gift are you most looking forward to getting this year?

We’d love if you shared with us here, or on our Facebook page, all the things you love about this time of year.

Happy Holidays from Drs. Yamada & Abbink and our entire staff!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What puts you at ease at Buena Vista Orthodontics?

Dr. Yamada and our team understand not everyone is always thrilled about visiting their orthodontist. But here at Buena Vista Orthodontics, we strive to bring you the best and most comforting experience at each visit at our Burbank office. Today, we’d like to know: What is it about our office that makes you comfortable or puts you or your child at ease? Is it something about our pleasant environment? Our courteous staff? Perhaps it's something about Drs. Yamada or Abbink?

Let us know by posting on Facebook or by giving us a call!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ask Dr. Yamada: “I’m 33 – am I too old for braces?”

Absolutely not! At Buena Vista Orthodontics, nobody is “too old” for braces! In fact, we read a fascinating statistic recently: adults getting braces has actually jumped 24 percent since 1996! In fact, one of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over the age of 21. Of course, braces help make your teeth stay strong, healthy and become perfectly-aligned. But we’d like you to know orthodontic treatment with Dr. Yamada or Abbink can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile.

In fact, we are proud to offer an adult-friendly option for straightening teeth called Invisalign, which uses a series of invisible, removable and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you're wearing. So, you can smile more during treatment as well as after.

If you’ve been thinking about getting that perfect smile, we would love to have you visit for a complimentary consultation at our Burbank office. Please give us a call at (818) 846-3774 to set one up and have a wonderful rest of the week!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving thanks this holiday season

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season knocking at our door, Dr. Yamada and our entire staff at Burbank's Buena Vista Orthodontics wanted to stop for a moment and extend our best wishes to you, our patients, referring doctors and families, for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

As always, if you know anyone we can help, just let us know. We promise to give them the same quality orthodontic care that we have given you. We hope that this Thanksgiving and holiday season brings fond memories. Thank you for being part of our family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Talking retainers with Buena Vista Orthodontics

If you've recently completed treatment at Buena Vista Orthodontics, our professional team would like to congratulate you! Now that your braces have been removed, Dr. Merilynn Yamada or Dr. Bruce Abbink will provide—or have provided you—with retainers. After braces are removed, teeth are known to shift out of position if they are not stabilized.

Retainers, however, provide that stabilization, and are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed by Drs. Yamada or Abbink is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime.

If you have additional questions about retainers or your treatment here at our Burbank office, please give us a call at (818) 846-3774 or ask us on Facebook! Our staff would love to hear from you! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What do you enjoy most about fall?

It’s fall here at Buena Vista Orthodontics, a time when families in Burbank and surrounding areas begin to make plans for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. But before you go celebrating, we wanted to ask you, our wonderful patients, “How are you spending your time this fall?”

Dr. Merilynn Yamada and team would love to hear about your favorite places for eating, shopping, and entertainment here in Burbank and surrounding areas. We are interested in learning about what makes our unique community “yours.”

Feel free to post your responses on our Facebook page, or give us a call! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"My son is turning seven - when should I bring him in for a consultation?"

Braces were originally considered to be best appropriate for teens. But these days, kids as old as seven years old are beginning their orthodontic treatment. Because preadolescent kids are typically not self-conscious, our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists suggest it could be a good idea to start early.

Experts, however, say it depends on the treatment required. Some children who get braces at an early age end up in a second phase of treatment, and end up having braces well into their teenage years despite starting young.

Dr. Yamada will tell you most orthodontic treatment begins between ages nine and 14, and the folks at AAO estimate most orthodontic treatment lasts from one to three years, with two years being the average. It’s important, however, that children be screened no later than age seven for our team at Buena Vista Orthodontics to assess what the best age for treatment is (Dr. Yamada offers complimentary consultations).

Hope this helps! Give our Burbank office a call at (818) 846-3774 if you have any questions about your child’s treatment, or ask us on Facebook! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dr. Yamada & Buena Vista Orthodontics with the 411 on Halloween treats

Dr. Merilynn Yamada and our staff at Buena Vista Orthodontics know a lot of parents are worried about their kids going overboard on candies this weekend, sugar and other sweets. We get it - Halloween is a dreaded annual event for a lot of you (no pun intended!).

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth, as well as braces! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which is known to ruin enamel. In addition, we also want your child to steer clear of sticky, chewy, gummy and nutty goodies.

Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend softer treats, such as soft chocolate or peanut butter cups, or melt-in-your-mouth foods. Trick-or-treaters who indulge should make sure they brush and floss between teeth, around brackets and at the gum line. If damage occurs, call Buena Vista Orthodontics as soon as possible.

We hope everyone has a fun, safe and scary Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What is Invisalign, and is it right for me? [Video]

We've touched on the power of Invisalign treatment before, but today thought we'd share a helpful video for those who are intrigued by the idea of straightening their teeth without using traditional metal braces. The Invisalign system at Buena Vista Orthodontics is a state-of-the-art system of clear, removable aligners that we proudly offer to adults and teens at our convenient Burbank, California office. We have plenty of resources on our website to check out about Invisalign, or give our office a call at (818) 846-3774 for a complimentary consultation to learn if this revolutionary new treatment option is right for you!

Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment. Plus, brushing and flossing are no problem. They are also comfortable, with no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time in our office getting adjustments. Dr. Merilynn Yamada is a Certified Invisalign® Provider in Burbank and surrounding communities.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love your smile? Then we invite you to review Buena Vista Orthodontics on Google!

Dr. Merilynn Yamada and our team at Buena Vista Orthodontics have a passion for excellence and are committed to achieving your orthodontic goals. Dr. Yamada combines her education at UCLA & UCSF with over 20 years of experience to give her patients something to smile about.

Whether you've visited our Burbank office for a week, months or even years, we'd love to hear your feedback about your experience. There are lots of places on the Internet where you may share your reviews, but we'd like to direct you to our Google Local Page to write a review of us - it only takes a moment!

You may write your review here.

Thank you in advance and enjoy the rest of your week! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dr. Yamada and Buena Vista Orthodontics support National Orthodontic Health Month!

Would you believe it's already October? This is National Orthodontic Health Month, and our friends at the AAO put together a helpful website that provides important information on protecting your braces, including tips for trick-or-treaters, braces-friendly Halloween recipes, facts about braces and treats you should avoid while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

The AAO recommends patients avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• Caramel
• Nuts
• Popcorn (including un-popped kernels)
• Taffy
• Jelly beans
• Hard pretzels
• Licorice
• Bubblegum
• Potato chips
• Ice

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (818) 846-3774, ask us on Facebook or ask Dr. Merilynn Yamada during your next visit!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Patient Video Contest at Buena Vista Orthodontics!

Dr. Yamada and our staff are pleased to announce the start of our patient video contest! Here’s how YOU can win an Apple iPad, Nintendo Wii or Amazon Kindle or a $100 gift card from Best Buy.

To be officially entered, we are asking you to record a video and submit it to us. Video length should be approximately 30 to 60 seconds (but longer videos will be accepted). In the video, you can:

a) Demo how to clean & care for your teeth with braces.
b) Create a “deband song”
c) Explain the benefits of orthodontic treatment.
d) Describe your personal experience with orthodontic treatment at BVO …OR
e) Discuss the best part of getting your braces off and/or having your new smile.

Please submit your video to the BVO staff or e-mail to Be sure to put “patient video contest” in your e-mail subject line and include your full name. Also, please label any CDs you give to our staff. Contest closes on December 31st or upon receipt of 25 entries (whichever comes first).

Once all videos are submitted and posted to our YouTube page, ask your friends and family to go online and vote for best video between January 1st and 15th. Videos with the most votes will be the winners.

Contest winners and awards will be announced on our Facebook fan page. This contest is Open to adults, teens, and kids (under 18 must have written consent from parent or legal guardian to participate).


Friday, September 24, 2010

Ask Dr. Yamada: Why are straight teeth so important?

Good question!

Some people ask us why Dr. Merilynn Yamada and our team at Buena Vista Orthodontics work so tirelessly to give our patients straight teeth. Of course it’s great to have a smile full of evenly aligned teeth, but did you know that straightening your teeth can keep them healthier? Straight teeth lead to better oral hygiene, increasing your chances of keeping your own natural teeth for a lifetime.

Straight teeth are less prone to decay, because they collect less plaque, which is the sticky colorless substance that forms on our teeth and leads to tooth decay; plus, straight teeth are easier to keep clean! If you’re wondering whether your teeth might cause problems because they are out of alignment, we encourage you to give us a call at (818) 846-3774 to set up a complimentary consultation. Dr. Yamada and our team can help you decide whether or not you will benefit from orthodontic treatment at our convenient Burbank office.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dr. Merilynn Yamada, reminding you to visit the dentist during your treatment

Are you brushing and flossing daily properly during your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Yamada? If the answer is yes, we think that’s great! But, don’t forget that it’s also important for you to visit your general dentist here in Burbank every 3-to-6 months in addition to brushing your teeth and flossing (and visiting our office, of course). Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health, especially during treatment at Buena Vista Orthodontics.

Your general dentist can check for problems that might not be seen or felt, detect cavities and early signs of decay, treat oral health problems early and show you how to properly brush and floss your teeth.

During an oral exam your dentist can check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Checkups will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, let us know during your next visit and we will provide a few great references in Burbank or surrounding communities! We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What are you reading this fall?

We're officially two weeks away from fall season, which means it's back to school time for most of our patients at Buena Vista Orthodontics. Today, we wanted to remind all our patients about the importance of reading.

In addition to textbooks, it's always great to pick up a great novel or a comic book. Today, we thought we’d ask: What's on YOUR fall reading list? What are some of your all-time favorites?

Out of ideas for great fall reads? Ask us for suggestions, and our staff would be happy to provide a few suggestions. You may also ask a local librarian here in Burbank for some ideas. Or, you may check out these fall reading ideas that we came across this week, courtesy of Borders.

Happy reading! Be sure to share with us your fall picks or your all-time favorites on our Facebook page!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The SureSmile® advantage at Buena Vista Orthodontics

At Buena Vista Orthodontics, we offer a variety of different orthodontic treatments - including Invisalign and the Damon System - designed to help give our patients the beautiful smiles they deserve. While there are so many effective treatments available, SureSmile is one of the top treatments in our Burbank office!

SureSmile gets our patients out of braces twice as fast, and with less discomfort than with most conventional treatments. Patients also spend less time in our office and more time smiling. Instead of Dr. Merilynn Yamada bending an archwire by hand, a SureSmile wire is custom-shaped by a robot. When the wire is inserted, each tooth moves directly to the prescribed position. It's this precise movement that enables such great results with a shorter treatment time.

For more information on SureSmile, head to our website or give us a call at (818) 846-3774. Happy Monday and have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dr. Merilynn Yamada, reminding you to wear your mouth guards

With the Dog Days of summer here for only another four weeks, our staff at Buena Vista Orthodontics would like to take this time to remind our young athletes wearing braces to take care of both your mouth and appliances while participating in contact sports (and non-contact sports) this fall. After all, we know this is a busy time of year sports-wise, whether kids are playing baseball in the park or getting ready for high school football in Burbank and surrounding areas.

Dr. Merilynn Yamada wants you to know that only by using a mouth guard can kids with and without braces avoid serious sports injuries. So, the next time you're in for a visit with Drs. Yamada or Abbink, we strongly encourage you to ask us for a mouth guard, and we will provide one! Have a great rest of the week and don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook for a chance to win amazing prizes this fall!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Like Buena Vista Orthodontics on Facebook, win GREAT prizes!

At Buena Vista Orthodontics, we value the relationships we’ve developed with our patients over the years. Even if you visit our office on a regular basis, did you know you can always connect with Dr. Yamada on Facebook and other social networks?

In fact, by “Liking” us at, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win five great prizes this summer, including:

1st place: $100 gift certificate to Best Buy.

2nd place: $50 gift certificate to Best Buy.

3rd place: Three awards of $25 gift certificates to Best Buy.

By “Liking” us on Facebook, you also will receive news, updates and contest announcements, including our upcoming video contest in which you can win an Apple iPad – all through your news feed!

Contest ends Tuesday, September 3rd, when we will have a drawing.

See you on Facebook and GOOD LUCK everyone!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dr. Merilynn Yamada, breaking down the myths about orthodontics

At Buena Vista Orthodontics, trust us when we say we're aware that there are quite a few myths out there about orthodontics (and orthodontists) as well. But before you buy into those myths, Dr. Merilynn Yamada and our entire staff want you to get the facts first! Our friends at the American Association of Orthodontists help set the record straight (no pun intended) by providing some information that sheds some light on the myths and facts of orthodontics. We encourage you to check them out!

If you have any questions about braces or your orthodontic treatment at our convenient Burbank office, please feel free to give us a call at (818) 846-3774!

We hope you're having a wonderful summer :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Staying connected with Buena Vista Orthodontics

At Buena Vista Orthodontics, we embrace all forms of new technology, whether it’s through the innovative orthodontic treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook page. For social media to work, however, Drs. Yamada and Abbink understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While we take a little time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our amazing patients and readers: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog in the coming months? Please post your thoughts on Facebook or give us a call at (818) 237-4779!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thanks to Invisalign® with Dr. Yamada, mom & dad can have perfect teeth, too!

Focusing on your kids' teeth so much that you're neglecting your own? If you've been thinking wistfully about having your own set of perfect teeth, please let us know! Dr. Merilynn Yamada specially trained to offer an adult-friendly option for straightening teeth called Invisalign. In fact, Dr. Yamada is a 2010 Invisalign Preferred Provider.

Invisalign consists of a set of clear aligners that are molded to fit your teeth using a proprietary technology. You wear them all day and night, except for meals, brushing, and flossing – when you can easily slip them out to make eating and cleaning a snap!

Because they're clear, your teeth will be steadily straightening – and the best part is no one will know it but you!

Please give us a call at (818) 846-3774 to set up a consultation, so we can discuss the specifics of your treatment.

Summer is a great time to start your treatment at Buena Vista Orthodontics! Happy Monday!

Monday, July 19, 2010

What are happy patients saying about Buena Vista Orthodontics?

Last Tuesday, you may remember, our staff at Buena Vista Orthodontics asked you, our amazing patients, what you most liked about your experience Dr. Yamada, Dr. Abbink and staff. Well, we received some pretty great reviews, and thought we’d share a few with you today. Please feel free to contribute your own thoughts about our office! Our entire staff loves getting patient testimonials!

"Very friendly office staff - kids are very comfortable there." ~ Christopher V.

"I love the way Dr. Yamada has incorporated computer(s) system in her office. It is fantastic!" ~ Maggie R.

"Friendly, experienced, professional, super staff." ~ Eunice W.

"Drs. Abbink and Yamada and staff are great with the patients. They are very good at explaining the procedures and the reasons behind performing them." ~ Noah K.

"Good results with my daughter, so it was an easy decision to go to her when I needed orthodontic treatment." ~ Stephen S.

"Positive atmosphere and quality staff. A great environment begins at the top and that says a lot for Dr. Yamada." ~ Karen R.

"Dr. Yamada is at the top of her game." ~ Ryan O.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dr. Yamada wants to know: What do you love about our office?

From your very first visit to Buena Vista Orthodontics, our dedicated team - including Dr. Merilynn Yamada - strive to provide superior orthodontic treatment in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere.

Today, we thought we’d ask you, our wonderful patients: Have you been especially impressed by Dr. Yamada? Did our dedicated team go out of their way to make your day? Are you in love with your smile?

Dr. Yamada and our staff have a passion for excellence and are committed to achieving your orthodontic goals. Beautiful smiles, facial esthetics, a comfortable bite and long term dental health are some of the many benefits of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Yamada combines her education at UCLA & UCSF with over 20 years of experience to give her patients something to smile about.

Whether you’ve just come in for a complimentary consultation or your family has been visiting our office for years, we’d love to hear your feedback. Or, you can tell us by posting on our Facebook page or by giving us a call at (818) 846-3774!

We hope you have great rest of the week, and we hope to post some of your responses next week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The advantage of SureSmile® in Burbank, CA

Does the thought of having braces bring you down? We understand that one of the biggest concerns for orthodontic patients with braces is the length of their treatment.

But you’re in luck, because Dr. Yamada specializes in SureSmile, high-tech braces that are revolutionizing the orthodontic industry. SureSmile, which combines digital 3-D imaging, has computer-aided treatment planning and customized archwires to straighten teeth about 40 percent faster than traditional braces. The SureSmile program calculates the exact shape and pattern of the teeth and bends and cuts the braces wires, with more precision than traditional braces.

There are three steps. First, we identifies the initial tooth position with the patented OraScanner, a wand with a tiny camera attached. The OraScanner creates a precise 3-D digital model of your mouth, which is then uploaded into software that lets us view your mouth and teeth from any angle. Next, the SureSmile system allows us to create your entire treatment plan prior to treatment, using special computer software to analyze the 3-D model of your mouth and develop a custom archwire treatment. Finally, SureSmile’s robotic technology bends Shape Memory Alloy archwires, which can “remember” your prescription.


With SureSmile’s specially programmed archwires, your teeth move more directly into their intended positions. The result for our patients is shortened treatment time and a more comfortable experience in braces.

Once the braces are on it’s only a matter of time before they are taken off revealing beautiful, straight, healthy teeth. With traditional braces a patient is expected to schedule 18 to 20 office visits over two years. With SureSmile, patients average seven to 10 visits and can have their braces off within half the time!

If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, please contact Buena Vista Orthodontics today!

Friday, July 2, 2010

24/7 Access to Your Account at Buena Vista Orthodontics

At Buena Vista Orthodontics, we embrace new technology, whether it is through the innovative orthodontic treatments that we offer, our high-tech web site and social networks, or our modern office conveniently located in Burbank.

Did you know that patients at our office have access to their account 24 hours a day, seven days a week—all through our website? You can look up your appointments and all of your account details at your convenience, from the comfort of your own home! You can even receive appointment reminders through email or text messages!

You, too, can sign up for this convenient service on our website by clicking on the "Patient Login" button at the top of our homepage. Please give us a call if you have any questions about getting started!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Meet Our Orthodontist

Dr. Merilynn Yamada founded Buena Vista Orthodontics in 1990 and was voted Burbank’s Best Orthodontist many years in a row. She is a certified orthodontic specialist who graduated from the nationally renowned UCSF Department of Orthodontics and the UCLA School of Dentistry.

She was awarded scholarships and graduated with distinction, being elected to Omicron Kappa Upsilon, a society honoring the top 11 percent of the class. She was also a UCLA undergraduate and graduated on the Dean’s Honor Roll, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She is known for her excellent diagnostic skills and treatment results, a great sense of humor and excellent rapport with her patients.

In addition to her private practice, she has volunteered her services to children in need throughout her career. She has donated her services for over 18 years to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Dental Clinic and the Burbank Community Dental Clinic.