Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


5 Reasons to Brush Your Tongue Every Day

Did you give your tongue a thorough brushing this morning?

If not, you should have.

Because brushing your teeth might actually be more important than you think. That’s right, you might hear about brushing and flossing all the time – but you hear about the importance of brushing your tongue a lot less, which is unfortunate. That’s why our Dentists in Garden Grove are coming to you today with a tip that’s so simple it would almost be impossible not to follow: brush your tongue more. Here’s 5 reasons why.

It’s Really, Really Easy

If there was a surefire way to save money, become healthier, and get better tasting food in the process – would you do it? Of course you would! The simplest and most straightforward reason to brush your tongue is because it’s so easy to do – even easier than brushing your teeth. It’s the fastest way you can quickly take care of a large percentage of the bacteria in your mouth that can contribute to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis.

Yes! it makes your food taste better

Imagine drinking a beverage through a straw that’s covered in a thin film of bacteria. It probably wouldn’t taste as good as it could, would it? In the very same way, brushing your tongue is also an easy way to enhance the flavors of your food by scraping away the extra gunk building up on your tongue. When you scrape that layer away – your taste buds are much more exposed to your favorite flavors.

It helps you get rid of bad breath

Some studies say that the largest cause of your bad breath is the crap that’s hanging out on your tongue. Food particles, bacteria, and fungus all stick to your tongue – and if you stick it out right now, you’ll probably see a bunch of build-up already there. It could be white, yellow, or even brown. The thing is, if you don’t scrape away this build-up, it can get pretty stinky. Brush your tongue for an instant boost to your breath.

Tongue scrapers lead to fewer cavities

Cavities occur because of bacteria and toxins that contribute to plaque. When plaque builds up on your teeth – cavities happen. But by taking care of one of the largest bacteria havens in your mouth, your tongue, you’re significantly cutting back on the available fuel that plaque has to feed on.

It’s good for your immune system

By scraping your tongue, you actively prevent certain toxins from getting into your body. Think about it this way – when you’re sick, sucking on a cough drop, sneezing, coughing, and hacking up a lung, a lot of germy gunk can build up on your tongue. If you haven’t learned by now — build-up is bad. With a quick scrape, you take care of all of it and prevent any problematic germs from sticking around in your system for too long.

Brushing your tongue is just the beginning. Have you put off dental treatment for too long? Our dentists in Garden Grove work with all kinds of patients to make safe, modern, and affordable dental care a reality for patients of all ages in the Anaheim area. Check out our new patient specials and get in touch today to learn more

How to Keep Your Teeth from Getting Yellow

Picture the perfect pair of chompers. The pearliest pair of pearly whites. The brightest set of chiclets.

You didn’t picture any yellow did you? That’s because we’ve been brought up – to think of “good” teeth as “white teeth” – and there’s some truth behind it. That’s because a set of naturally white teeth is a good indicator that the teeth are healthy, have no underlying problems, and have plenty of dentin left to protect them. Which leads us to our next point.

What many patients in our Garden Grove Dentist’s office don’t fully understand is that the whiteness of your teeth can come from a couple underlying sources: your dentin and your enamel. Dentin is the innermost living tissue of your teeth, and it’s very important. Once your dentin goes away – it’s hard to get back. The other component of dental whiteness is your enamel. The enamel is the hard outer shell of the tooth, which is actually clear. So if the color inside your tooth is black – your enamel, like a window to your tooth’s soul, will show it.

The thing is, while enamel (the outer shell) is relatively simple to whiten with over the counter or in-office bleaching methods, it can be almost impossible to “whiten” the inside tissue of your tooth. While yellowing of your enamel is just a stain, yellowing of the dentin is the evidence of a long-term aging process that you really can’t reverse.

So how do you prevent the dentin from yellowing?

Staining doesn’t happen just because you’re getting older. While more exposure to staining foods like berries, wine, coffee, and tea will stain your enamel, the less-reversible staining that occurs with your dentin is related to more serious problems

  • Dental Grinding / Bruxism: grinding your teeth is one of the leading causes of premature yellowing because of the vertical stress it puts on them. The average nighttime grinder puts enough force on their teeth to really damage them. This leads to premature damage and aging – and in some cases, can even lead to irreversible dental damage. When teeth yellow prematurely – it’s often because the patient is a grinder.
  • A bad diet: a bad diet will rot a tooth from the outside in. If you’re malnourish or taking certain aggressive medications – teeth can often become more yellow because of how your diet is accelerating the aging process.
  • Injury: If you’ve ever seen someone with a single “dead” tooth you’ll know what it looks like. Many times, a tooth that has taken a hit (or more) will begin to yellow much faster. That’s because the injury it received is drastically speeding up its aging process.

To prevent these issues from contributing to rapidly yellowing teeth – get to the bottom of the problem. A night guard will prevent dental grinding, a mouth guard will prevent injuries during sport and other activities, and a better lifestyle all-around will ensure your teeth get the nourishment they need to give you a full lifetime of service.

Have questions for our dentists in Garden Grove? We’re here to help.


How Flossing & Brushing Help You Reduce Pneumonia Risk

A year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on a very important and troubling problem facing hospitals across the country: Pneumonia. The unfortunate truth is this: all too often, patients go into the hospital feeling sick only to get sicker because of how many different germs and illnesses tend to hang around.

But did you know that brushing and flossing can reduce your risk of getting illnesses like pneumonia?

That’s right, our dentists in Garden Grove (and dentists around the world) will be quick to remind you that brushing your teeth isn’t just good for your teeth alone. By cutting down on the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth – you also cut down on the amount of bacteria that could go on to make you ill.

Researchers behind the pneumonia study found a well-documented relationship between oral health and the occurrence of pneumonia. While the human body contains far more microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc) than it does human cells – even the dangerous microbes end up causing damage or illness in only the most specific circumstances.

That said, the bacteria that contributes to pneumonia needs to be inhaled to cause its special kind of infection. Because of this – brushing your teeth and tongue is actually a very effective way to fight against the illness.

But before you brush this aside because it only talks about pneumonia, think again – good oral healthcare can prevent much more by fighting inflammation throughout your body.

So remember, next time you’re feeling like you don’t want to go to the dentist or you’re contemplating going to bed without brushing and flossing, think again. Your good decision could be the choice that helps you dodge an illness like pneumonia.

Think of Your Teeth as an Investment for Long Term Success (Both Professionally and Orally)

You just met someone you desperately want to impress, they say something funny, you laugh, and then you instinctively look away, block your mouth with your hand, or feel self-conscious about your teeth. Like so many others – you’re not alone.

In a piece by NBC aired years ago titled “Bad Teeth, Broken Dreams” – the news outlet talked to numerous individuals in California about how their lack of dental care had an impact on their professional prospects. The consensus? It did – a lot.

Consider Patty’s story, for example:

With five broken teeth, three cavities and a painful gum abscess spreading to her sinuses, Patty Kennedy knew she had to get in line early for a free dental clinic held last month in San Jose, Calif.

The 53-year-old woman from Modesto, nearly 100 miles away, was counting on the care to repair not only her smile and her worsening health — but also her chances of getting a job.

What she said at the time was that she didn’t smile a lot, struggled to get a job, and truly felt like her teeth were holding her back because employers want someone with a pleasant, positive attitude. Many times – that starts with a smile.

The simple truth is that people assume a lot based on your teeth – and it’s not always fair. Unfortunately, the story isn’t much better for many people who have jobs but don’t have dental insurance – and in those cases, they might experience trouble climbing the ladder or finding a better job.

This is why everyone should view their oral health as an investment. Both in terms of the time you spend taking care of your teeth – and the money you spend (and save) in the effort to improve them.

Not only should you think about investing the time in your teeth by engaging in smart, habitual oral care – but in the event that you don’t have dental insurance, you should also keep an eye out for opportunities to invest in fixing certain problems as well. While you should always get cavities and infections handled like the emergencies they are – like many others you may be putting off cosmetic dental care because of the cost. In these situations – don’t lose hope!

Even if you live nowhere near our Dentists in Garden Grove , you should still go to your local dentist and get a professional assessment. You never know – like our dentist, there could be new patient specials, special incentives, and flexible payment plans to ensure you get the care you need. Think of your “future teeth as an investment in your future and make a plan to change it.  Your new teeth could very well be the change that completely alters the course of your life.

How Winter Weather Causes Toothaches & Sensitivity

Do your teeth become incredibly uncomfortable – maybe even painful – when you attach your ice-cream at the wrong angle, or gulp down a hot beverage? You’re definitely not alone. And now that it’s winter – if you have any trips planned that will take you to a colder climate, there’s a chance your teeth might feel extra sensitive.

This is because – as your tooth enamel wears down (a natural process) or your gums recede (also somewhat natural to expect some recession) – a layer of your teeth becomes exposed. A layer that is quite sensitive to temperature changes.

Think of your dental enamel as a puffy, warm winter jacket that requires the sharpest breeze to cut through. However – if you ripped a hole in that jacket, random gusts of cold wind would be felt quickly. 

But it’s not just ice cream and hot tea that will cause you to experience these pangs. In addition to sensitivity from loss of enamel, your teeth are also affected by the weather in other ways. Like everything – your teeth contract and expand depending on the temperature. When it’s hot – they expand. When it’s cold – they contract. As this happens, tiny little cracks can form. While they don’t impact the structure of your teeth – it can be uncomfortable (especially if you have metal fillings).

So, what can you do?

If your teeth become extremely uncomfortable in cold weather (or with cold foods) – there’s a few things you can do. First, our dentists in Garden Grove might want to take some xrays to understand the underlying cause of your sensitivity. Is it related to cavities, infection, or a more serious issue? Once we’ve ruled this out – improving your sensitivity to cold (and heat) could be as simple as starting to use a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.

“But I need a remedy FAST – I’m going skiing in Tahoe!”

If you have no time to see the dentist – you can help alleviate the pain by trying to find some sensitive toothpaste, breathing through your nose, or (if you’re skiing) – wearing a buff or neckwarmer over your mouth as a barrier.

Looking for more dental answers and located in the Garden Grove Area? Dentists in our office are standing by to give you the care and assistance you need. Contact us today to learn more about our new patient specials!

How Your Resolution to Exercise More Could Mean Your Teeth Need Some Extra Care Too – from Your Dentists in Garden Grove

In an article ran by the New York Times titled Is Excercise Bad for Your Teeth , we’re reminded that vigorous, grunting, sweat-covered, and absolutely exhausting exercise can effectively transform your body into the body of your dreams (with a proper diet of course).

But we also learn something a little surprising – it can also have a decidedly opposite effect on your teeth. That’s right – the surprising new study shows that heavy training can contribute to dental problems ranging from gum disease and tooth decay to erosion.

In a study – researchers from Germany gathered a group of elite triathletes and a control group of individuals who were not athletes. They then collected their saliva at different points – including after strenuous exercise.

It wasn’t sports drinks after all…

What many of the researchers believed going into the study was that the athletes were more prone to dental problems because they were consuming more sugary sports drinks and energy bars than the average person. But this didn’t turn out to be the case.

While the researchers found no difference in the amount or chemical make-up of saliva from athletes and nonathletes at rest – once everyone got moving the story changed.

In both groups – as activity increased, saliva production went down while alkalinity went up. In english: they produced less saliva, and what saliva they did produce was more acidic.

The Moral of the Story: Support Your Spit when You Sport!

While this study was fairly small – it reminds us of a very important truth: your saliva exists in-large-part to help protect your teeth. It actively washes debris away and neutralizes harmful acids in your mouth.

If you are planning to begin a brand new exercise regimen and have sensitive teeth or teeth prone to cavities, don’t think twice about exercising – just “drink twice” to hydrate more and give your mouth an extra hand when it comes to keeping fresh and clean.

Have questions about how your evolving health can impact your teeth? It’s all connected! and our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help.

How to Cure Canker Sores – from Your Garden Grove Dentists

Have you ever experienced a canker sore?  You know, one of those shallow, red, and painful sores that occur in the lining of your mouth and never seem to go away?

While the exact cause of canker sores isn’t well known, it’s often understood that a wide variety of food and substances can bring one about. These can ranging from minor abrasions and physical trauma to certain foods – like citrus, acidic fruits and vegetables, pasta sauce, spicy foods, and more. Sometimes, patients even report experiencing a canker sore when using certain dental products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, the ingredient some products include to create that lovely (but fake) “foaming” sensation.

Then, there are the causes that come down to over-doing it. For example – one popular drink, the Mimosas, is made out of both orange juice and champagne, which are two fairly acidic components. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that patients have reported canker sores after having consumed one (or two, or three). Other possible causes include: Accidental cheek bites, sports injuries, sensitivities to foods like pineapple, mango, and strawberry, allergic reactions, hormones, dietary deficiencies, and some other (more serious) sources.

How you can prevent a canker sore:

When it comes to treating your sore, remember a few things: the pain is worst in the beginning and will get better. But your canker sore might be sticking around for up to a couple weeks. If it’s extra persistent or spreading – you may want to give your dentist a call, who will likely prescribe an ointment or rinse to speed up healing.

It is also safe to use over-the-counter remedies (like bacitracin) to minimize the pain and make eating easier.

How to make sure you don’t get one again…

From making some of your favorite foods hard to enjoy to simply being a pain in the…mouth, canker sores are no fun. The best thing you can do to prevent one from happening again is to figure out your triggers. Make a note of what you ate before experiencing a canker sore, try changing your dental care products,  and see what changes. On top of this, if you’re not using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start! Irritation from a too-hard brush could be contributing to your canker sores.

Having persistent problems with painful canker sores and live in the Anaheim area? Our dentists in Garden Grove can help. Get in touch today to learn more. 

Avoid Cavities for Christmas with some Helpful Dental Hints from your Dentists in Garden Grove

You might love your family dentist. But even still, there’s a great chance that your dentist isn’t someone you want to see because of an emergency over the holidays. So with this in mind – our dentists in Garden Grove have compiled a list of suggestions on how to protect your teeth throughout the holiday season.

Say ‘No’ to Chewy Candy

Many times, holiday candies present the same risks you’d expect from Halloween candies. If it has a chance to be incredibly sticky – it has a good chance of sticking around on your teeth for long enough to be a problem. That means things like caramel, taffy, and other stickiness that can go so far as to pull out your fillings. If you can’t resist these sticky delights – eat them with something else (like a pretzel?) to prevent the stickiness from sticking to your teeth.

Watch out for Ice and Hard Candy

Hard candy like candy canes and the ice cube covered in the sweet or savory remnants of your slowly emptying drink can both seem like the perfect thing to chew on. But do try your best to resist the temptation. Crunching down too hard on a piece of hard candy or an ice cube can easily chip or crack your teeth.

Don’t even think about cracking a nut with your teeth

Just don’t. While nuts are – nutritionally – great for your teeth, cracking through with your teeth could defeat the purpose by defeating your teeth before they have a chance to do any good. You can seriously hurt your teeth and your gums by trying to crack them with your teeth.  The same goes for opening packages, bottles, and gifts. 

Try not to bite your nails over the details…

The holidays can be stressful – and one of the most common coping mechanisms for anxiety can be biting your nails. Just remember: it’s not going to help! Not only that but biting your nails can also contribute to sensitivity, teeth grinding, jaw pain, and clenching. Distract yourself and try to see if the urge subsides. If it doesn’t – you might need to go nuclear with some bittering polish to force your habit away.

As always – if you have questions about your teeth and live in the Garden Grove area, our dentist are here to help. Have you been putting off dental care? Take advantage of our new patient specials 


Getting Healthier in the New Year? Do it for your Teeth, too

It’s almost the time of year to start thinking about your new year’s resolution. And – let’s face it – a lot of people are probably going with the same goal they went with last year: to get fitter.

But have you ever thought that simply stating your goal as your goal might be working against you in the first place? What if you instead focused on a couple, small initiatives that pay off in multiple ways. That’s right – what if you try killing two birds with one stone with this year’s New Year’s resolution? You can get fitter and get healthier teeth (and better dental checkup). Follow these tips from our Garden Grove dentists to work your way to a healthier body and a healthier smile.

Eat and Drink Better







Every year, people resolve to adopt a better diet. Most of them do it because they want to look better, feel better, sleep better, and function better – but that includes your teeth too. By resolving to be healthier through your food and drink you resolve to also have better teeth.

Eat fruits and vegetables with vitamins, protein, and fiber – while also getting antioxidants and iron from the good stuff like spinach, broccoli, kale, and – yes – the occasional dark chocolate serving.

Kick Your Bad Habits

Whether it’s a nervous habit like biting your nails or an addictive habit like smoking – if your habit or vice is bad for your health, chances are it’s bad for your teeth. Even if you’re a coffee addict – try to rein it in to minimize the damage. But remember this! Replacing a bad habit with a good one takes time – but there’s no better time than now.

Are you quitting smoking? Our dentists in Garden Grove have helped countless patients do the same – and we’ve helped them get rid of the stains with teeth whitening afterward. The end result? A much happier (and healthier smile).

Need some extra health on the dental side of things? Starting fresh is much easier with some professional advice. If you’re serious about getting healthier in the new year – you should consider seeing your doctor. But when it comes to your teeth – your dentists in Garden Grove can help too. Get in touch with us today to learn about new patient specials that can quickly get you back on your way to a healthy smile.

How to do Halloween the Tooth-Friendly Way this Year

Dentist’s dread it (not really) and kids love it. You guessed it, we’re talking about Halloween.

Every year, children (and some teenagers) march forward in hordes to descend on expecting neighborhoods and extract their sweet, sugary bounty with the battle cry “Trick or treat!” and – even as dentists – we can’t disagree, it’s plenty of fun.

But when parents think about Halloween – the important thing to remember is that no fun is free, and the same is true for teeth.

That’s because sugar is basically cavity fuel, or if we’re keeping with the Halloween theme: nightmare fuel. To put it simply, cavities are nightmares. They are deep dark holes that form in the teeth of you and your kids. While many people think sugar is the root cause of these nightmares, they’re actually wrong. Sugar’s just the fuel for harmful bacteria that needs fuel to produce acid, which lets that nightmare dig deeper and deeper into the meaty insides of your teeth to continue its spread.

That is why parents need to be extra careful about what kind of candy they let their kids collect on halloween, and how they enjoy it.

Hard and sticky (kind of icky)

Remember this saying: “Hard and sticky, kind of icky (for teeth)” because it’s true. Hard candy and candy that sticks to your teeth do the most damage because the nature of the candy extends how long the sugar stays in contact with your teeth. It’s almost like holding a mosquito in place to give her a better opportunity to feast on your blood – not ideal. So, if you can’t completely stay away from sticky candies, the next best approach is to simply make sure you’re rinsing and brushing shortly after enjoying your forbidden candy.

Get rid of it!

Just because your family managed to collect 300 pieces of candy doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every single one of them. Your waistline and your teeth will thank you if you try your best to limit your stash. Have the family pick their favorites and simpy donate the rest. OR, hide it away for a rainy day (if you must)

Try another kind of candy, gum!

By chewing sugarless gum, increased saliva flow successfully increases saliva low to help neutralize the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth. So after any candy binge, sugar-free gum is a great idea.

Have a question for our dentists in Garden Grove? We’re here to help. We hope that Halloween doesn’t have a negative impact on your teeth – but if it does, we have the answers you’re looking for.