Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Teeth Whitening 101: How and Why Your Teeth Get Stained

It’s not every day that you think about the impact that your teeth play in your life. From the food you eat to the feeling of confidence you get when you’re told, “My,What white teeth you have!” So naturally, it’s not surprising that patients like you are interested in keeping your teeth stain free.

Here at Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove, our patients are frequently surprised by the answer they receive when they discover that their teeth are being stained. More often than not, they wonder why it’s happening. Again, more often than not it can be tied to something they never would have guessed, why’s that? Because when something is a part of your routine — like drinking coffee or a glass of red wine, you don’t always notice how often you’re partaking.

With this in mind, our dental team has provided a short list of  foods and drinks to avoid in order to to prevent staining. While some of these might be obvious, others can be more surprising. So, without further ado: 5 Foods and Drinks that Contribute to Stained Teeth

But first, a note about tannins.

Tannins are present in a wide variety of food and drinks, you might have heard of them — but what are they? A tannin, to be brief, is a polyphenolic compound that actively binds to proteins and other compounds. Because of this, tannins are a very important process when it comes to tanning leather. It should come as no surprise, then, that substances with tannins on them can also actively “tan” (or color) your teeth. A large majority of foods and drinks that contribute to staining your teeth also contain high levels of tannins.


1. Wine

Not only is red wine acidic it is also notorious for staining your teeth due to its dark color and tannin content. However, white wine isn’t out of the dark either. In fact, in recent studied it was shown that teeth exposed to coffee and tea that had previously been exposed to white wine were stained to a much greater degree. With this in mind, if enjoying a glass of tea after a glass of wine is part of your nightly routine — changing it up can give the whiteness in your teeth a valuable break,

2. Berries

The saying goes, “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice” however a much more matter of fact saying might go something like, “the darker the berry, the darker the juice”. Because of the darkness of the juice in these berries (and sometimes, the sugar content) dark berries like blackberries, cranberries, cherries, and pomegranates can actively contribute to staining.

3. Tea.

Earl Grey tea, one of the most popular teas in the world also happens to be one of the most powerful staining agents when it comes to your teeth. One of the primary reasons for this is due to the prominence of tannins in the tea. If you can’t give up your tea, you can try herbal tea, white tea, or green tea — which contain fewer tannins and are less likely to stain your teeth.

Have your teeth been stained? Whether it was coffee, smoking, tea, or any number of other substances — in office teeth whitening can do the trick for even the toughest cases. At Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove, we have years of experience when it comes to solving our patients’ dental discoloration problems. Do you have questions about whitening? We can help.

Why You Need to Get Your Teeth Cleaned Every 6 Months

Many times, when patients come to us for their regular dental cleaning  they wonder why they need to schedule a dental visit every 6 months.  It’s an old saying in the dental community that a regularly scheduled dental cleaning is far more than just a cleaning. In fact, your periodic dental visits accomplish much more.

Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings is incredibly important. It typically begins with an oral cancer screening on both the outside and the inside of your mouth. This typically begins on your neck, where the dentist will usually check for any irregularities. On top of this, your dentist will also check for issues like TM disorders or tissue problems on your gums or in the back of your throat.  This all occurs before the dentist even takes a look at your teeth — which, while important, are just another important part of the entire oral “picture”. When it finally comes time to check your teeth, the dentist will typically check for bite problems, plaque, and any underlying issues that can cause you trouble in the future, like decay, deteriorating gums, and potential cavities.

This is all necessary because, while you may brush your teeth regularly and even use floss, most people don’t brush perfectly and they also tend to floss with a consistency that is, let’s say, less-than-regular. Let’s face it, if you brush your teeth every day it would be fair to say that your oral hygiene is part of your daily routine. Do you actually think about your daily routine? Probably not. For this reason, it’s no surprise that many patients don’t pay attention to brushing properly and might only be removing a small portion of bacteria, plaque, and tartar that gather on their teeth. These are the substances that go on to cause cavities and gum disease, which is one of the primary reasons why it’s important for your dentist to help clean them off, and remind you to stay “on top” of your oral care as it gradually gets more and more lax between visits.

So, you might wonder how often you should really get your teeth checked by a dentist. The truth is, the answer varies. If you’re a healthy adult who actively takes care of your teeth, a dental cleaning roughly every 6 months should be more than enough. However, if you’re a smoker or you experience inflammation of the gums, you’ve had gum disease, you have bleeding gums, or you’ve had veneers or dental restorations done — it’s much more important to see your dentist with a higher degree of regularity.

As always, if you have questions about your dental care and live in the Garden Grove or Anaheim area, we’re here to help.

4 Tips for a Healthier Smile

While you hardly realize it, your teeth play a major role in your life. Naturally, chances are if you’re teeth are doing their job you won’t notice them doing their job, but as soon as they start to slack off, you’ll know right away

Of course, they help you chew and eat the food that keeps you going day in and day out. But they’re also responsible for much more. While your teeth have a great deal to do with your confidence and the way you feel about yourself, it’s also important to remember that infections stemming from your teeth can also affect the rest of your body. For this reason, it’s important to do all you can to keep your teeth healthy. So without further ado, 4 tips for healthier teeth.

Check in with your Dentist Regularly

You might be surprised to know that your regular dental visits accomplish more than just cleaning and polishing. They’re also important for a much more valuable reason. At every one of your visits, your dentist also checks for problems like oral cancer and signs of decay — which can be discovered by your dentist before they become more expensive problems to fix.

Use the Right Brush

It’s always best to use a soft tooth brush. Using a hard toothbrush can contribute to irritation and gum recession, especially if you brush too hard. You might also consider trying an electronic tooth brush, which can help remove additional plaque and bacteria, with the added benefit of timing your brushing in order to keep you honest.

Don’t Forget to Eat Your Vegetables

Not only does snacking on vegetables ensure you don’t get too much decay-causing sugar, but vegetables can also actively help reduce plaque. For example, some raw vegetables (like celery) can actually help remove food that’s stuck between your teeth while also helping to neutralize the acidity in your saliva.

Stop Smoking!

Did you know that smokers and tobacco users are up to 6 times more likely to eventually develop forms of oral cancer affecting your lips, cheeks, tongue, or the tissues of your mouth and sinuses.

Here at Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove, we remind our customers that these are just a handful of the things you should keep in mind. If you haven’t gotten your dental cleaning  or you’re worried about what your smoking habit might be doing to your oral health, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!


Why Your Baby Needs to See the Dentist



Did you know that most children don’t see a dentist until they’re walking? It’s one thing that can catch many parents off guard, but it’s been recommended by dentists across the country that infants should see their family dentist much earlier than most parents think

In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your baby should have his or her first dental visit  by the time they’re 1 year old — or at least 6 months after they’ve sprouted their first tooth. In most cases, your child should grow his or her first tooth right around 6 months.

“A trip to the dentist for just ONE tooth?!”

We know, it sounds crazy — many parents wonder why a dental visit is necessary for a single tooth or a couple of teeth. But many of them are also surprised to learn how important a child’s primary teeth are. Contrary to popular opinion, just because they’re going to be whisked away by the tooth fairy some day, this doesn’t mean that they can be ignored. As the AAPD explains, the primary teeth are vital and it’s important that they remain in place until they fall out naturally. 

This is important for a number of reasons:

  • Primary teeth make-way for permanent teeth. Improperly aligned primary teeth lead to improperly aligned adult teeth.
  • Primary teeth help your child properly chew
  • Primary teeth play an important role in early speech development and pathology

What to expect at your child’s first dental appointment

So you’ve noticed your baby has finally sprouted their first tooth. You’ve taken the pictures, you’ve washed it with a washcloth, and you’ve started the very touchy “teething stage”. What next?

As you can probably expect, your baby’s first visit to the dentist is generally a short one and involves only a small amount of treatment. First of all, it gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a very friendly way. Many times, the dentist will have mom or dad sit in the chair to demonstrate to the baby what a dental examination looks like, so they understand it’s normal and nothing to be afraid of.

Next, the pediatric dental specialist will check what few teeth your child has for decay, while also inspecting the jaw, gums, and other tissues for any problems. If necessary, the dentist will also clean available teeth. After a prize for the baby, the dentist will instruct you on any special instructions that should be followed for healthy growing teeth and send you on your way.

Questions about Pediatric Dentistry?

Not only do early pediatric dental visits ensure your child has a good foundation of oral care for the future, they also establish early on that the dentist’s office is nothing to be afraid of.  Do you have questions about your baby’s first visit to the dentist  and live in the Garden Grove, Orange County, or Anaheim area? We’re here to help.



Why A Dental Cleaning is More than Just a Cleaning


As a family dentist for the greater Anaheim area, it’s no surprise that we see many patients from all walks of life. However, many times — whether in our office or just in passing, we hear the same simple comment about routine dental cleanings and it goes something like this: “It’s just a cleaning!”

In fact, your routine dental cleaning does a whole lot more than remove a little plaque and keep your mouth feeling cleaner than ever. Without further ado, let’s go through some of the lesser known benefits of a dental cleaning:

Cavity Prevention

As most patients know by now, plaque  is the thin film that develops on your teeth. The worst part about plaque is that it’s hard to avoid and it’s also one of the leading causes of decay. Decay from plaque occurs because of the way the plaque will slowly erode your tooth enamel, which can lead to weakness and cavities. Fortunately, plaque is avoided by brushing and flossing. However, your dental cleaning is one of the most effective methods for removing excess plaque.

Get a Whiter, Brighter Smile

You probably already know that dark drinks like wine, coffee, tea, and other substances can stain your teeth if you’re not careful. But you might not realize that you’re not just stuck with those stains. Your routine dental cleaning is great at removal stain build up, leaving your teeth looking fresh, white, and polished.

Prevent Loss of Teeth

Many times, loss of teeth is often caused by plaque build up and gum disease — which weakens the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to become loose or dislodged. In addition to staying on top of your home-care, scheduling regular visits to the dentist ensure that you don’t fall victim to gum disease.

Improve Your Breath

Do you ever find yourself doing the “cup your hand and check your breath” test? If you’re ever self conscious about your breath, and you’re overdue for a cleaning, less than an hour in the dentist’s chair can be the solution for your potentially stinky problem.

Save More in the Long Run


This one is simple. Discovering simple issues or bad habits now prevents the occurrence of more serious problems in the future. Typically (as is to be expected) more serious problems are more expensive to treat, meaning your routine dental cleaning can be a very important cost saving measure for you, especially if you don’t have dental insurance.

Do you have questions about your teeth? Or do you need to schedule a cleaning in the Anaheim or Garden Grove area? We’re here to help. 

The Holidays and Your Teeth: 5 Tips for Healthier Teeth

Here at Primary Dental of Garden Grove, it’s not uncommon for dental visits to slow down a bit during the holiday season. It’s understandable! Family, food, and festivities often put routine dental visits in the back seat. However, while you might be relaxed about visiting your dentist during the holiday season, don’t relax when it comes to keeping up with comprehensive oral care.

Balance Sugar Intake

It’s not uncommon to be bombarded by sweet, sugary desserts throughout the holiday season. Don’t feel like you can’t indulge here in there. After all, the desserts of Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season are one of the best parts! Just remember to try and balance sugary foods with other foods to reduce their negative impact on your teeth.

Be prepared

Buy an inexpensive, soft toothbrush and a travel tube of toothpaste and put it in your car’s glovebox! You never know when you need to brush your teeth, and if you keep a spare toothbrush handy you’ll never go long without brushing and your teeth will thank you.

Avoid sticky sweets!

Sticky foods, especially sticky foods that are loaded with sugar are dangerous for a couple reasons. Not only can sticky foods have an impact on fillings, they tend to, well, stick around, exposing your teeth to damage.  Try to opt for sweets that actually go away. 

Brush, Brush, Brush

It’s always a good idea to keep a tooth brush close by so you can brush after eating. Think about it, from brunch with a bloody Mary or Mimosa to dinner with Wine, sweets, and all sorts of sugary and acidic foods and drinks — your teeth are exposed to a wide array of potentially damaging foods. Minimize the damage by brushing between meals! While you might not typically only brush twice a day (in the morning and at night), making a point to brush more during the holidays can help prevent cavities from overindulgence.

When in doubt, rinse!

So you’re at a holiday party, you’ve indulged in the chocolate pie, a little bit of the cake, a glass (or 4) of red wine, and maybe even a couple cookies. This isn’t even to mention the sugary cranberry sauce and countless other side-dishes. Needless to say, your teeth have had quite the day. But you just realized you forgot your tooth brush. Don’t worry too much, just rinse (and swich) with water to wash away as much of the debris and bacteria as possible.

Do you have questions about your oral care? As an experienced general and family dentist in the Anaheim area, we’ve heard just about every question there is to ask.  Feel free to contact us today for the answers you’re looking for.






Dental Emergencies and How to Approach Them

At Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove, emergency dental service is something we have a lot of experience with. These days, one of the first things our new patients do when they suffer a dental injury is to “Google it”. Dental injuries are more common than you think, but they don’t receive the degree of education that other injuries do. This doesn’t change the fact that a dental injury can be incredibly traumatic. For that reason, we’re here to help.

So You’ve Broken a Tooth. Is it an emergency? Maybe. Should You call your dentist immediately: Maybe

The first question to consider is this: are you bleeding from your nose or ears? If your tooth injury is the result of a traumatic facial injury, you should go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

What to Do

You can not treat a cracked or fractured tooth at home. It must be treated in the dentist’s office. That being said, if your tooth has fallen out, avoid touching the root. If it is still intact, try to keep it safe by placing it in a jar of milk or even in your own saliva. Bottom line: it’s important to keep the tooth wet.

Cracked Teeth:

If your tooth is constantly hurting, or if there is only pain when you release your bite — there might be damage to your blood vessels or nerves. This is a good warning sign, and you should contact your dentist.

Broken Teeth:

  • Rinse with warm water to remove any debris
  • Apply pressure to any areas that are bleeding until the bleeding stops.
  • Apply cold to the lips or cheek over your broken tooth to help reduce swelling and assist with pain.
  • If you cannot visit your dentist immediately , purchase some dental cement at the drugstore and use as directed.
  • Use an OTC pain reliever for any pain

Chipped Teeth

Chipped teeth are fairly common. Fortunately, they aren’t always an emergency. Learn more below about the extent of chips and crown fractures. The level of emergency with a chip is directly related to how deeply your tooth has been affected.

As dental injuries go, they tend to fall into a few different categories.

Crown Fractures (Injuries to your teeth above the gumline)

A crown fracture is one of the most severe dental injuries you can suffer, and can include damage to your enamel, the dentin, the pulp — or all three.

Enamel damage: enamel damage is often expressed as “Craze lines” which occur when enamel becomes cracked but the underlying tooth structure appears unaffected.

Chipped teeth: If you’ve cracked or fractured the enamel, resulting in a loss of the outermost layer of your tooth’s structure, you’ve suffered what’s typically known as a “chipped” tooth” The important factor here is to consider how we should define the word “broken”. If you’ve simple chipped a tooth, there’s a good chance that you don’t have to make an emergency same day appointment with your dentist. While the chip will be uncomfortable, and you will constantly run your tongue over it (by force of habit), don’t panic. You can probably schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

Enamel and dentin damageEnamel and dentin fractures expose the outer and middlemost layers of your tooth and should be brought to your dentist’s attention as soon as reasonably possible. Approach the issue according to the level of pain you are in, but contact your dentist as soon as possible.

Enamel, pulp, and dentin damage: Fractures or damage to the enamel, dentin, and pulp of your teeth expose every layer of your tooth, from outside to inside, and should be addressed immediately. Crown fractures that expose the pulp of your tooth can open up your root canal to bacteria and infection, which can often require the need for a root canal.

Root Fractures (injuries below the gumline)

An injury below the gumline is known as a root fracture, and is often manifested as a vertical or horizontal crack in the root of the tooth

Loosened or Displaced Teeth (injuries where the tooth sits)

Loosened or removed teeth can occur for a number of reasons. Most of these “reasons” boil down to one simple cause: impact. Whether your tooth is the first point of contact from an impact, has been moved or dislocated, or it’s become completely avulsed (removed from the socket)

Complete avulsion (removal) of your tooth from its socket is one of the few true “emergencies” when it comes to dentistry.


Have you suffered a dental emergency? We can help! Don’t panic and contact Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove now for the fast and effective same-day emergency dental care.

Is it Time for You to get Braces?

Chances are, if you opened your browser and began researching the possibility of braces for yourself, the time for the choice to be made for you is long past. Unless you’re an incredibly forward thinking and resourceful adolescent, it’s more likely that you’re an adult with good, healthy teeth. However, there is that one small imperfection that you’ve been able to push aside for years, thinking to yourself “I can live with that”. But sometimes, circumstances change and you eventually decide that it’s time to fix that bit of misalignment you’ve been tolerating, or the underbite that’s bothered you in the past. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.


The dedicated team of dentists at Garden Grove Primary Dental Care has helped countless patients get the teeth they’ve wanted. From children with serious alignment issues to adults hoping for subtle and effective orthodontic treatment that gives them the confidence they need.

The wonderful thing about modern orthodontics is that virtually anyone of any age can get braces or invisalign.  Which answers the question for many patients who wonder, “Am I too old for braces?” and the answer is NO. As long as the underlying bone structure of your teeth is healthy, your teeth can effectively support the braces that will correct a wide variety of problems.

What Braces and Invisalign Can Solve:

Overbite and Underbite

Overbite occurs when your upper teeth overlap a great deal with your lower teeth.  Many times, Overbite is hereditary. However, sometimes it occurs due to your jaws being either underdeveloped or over developed. In addition, childhood habits like thumbsucking and over-reliance on bottle-feeding can also impact a child’s overbite (or underbite) in adulthood. In adulthood, habits like nailbiting can also influence your bite. Like overbite, underbite is largely due to your genes but can also be caused due to bottle feeding, thumbsucking, and other habits.

Open bite

Unlike the genetic and hereditary factors at play with overbite and underbite, open bite is almost always caused by “tongue thrusting” by the patient, whose constant tongue pressure against the teeth can gradually influence their position.  In essence, open bite can cause the front teeth (upper and lower) to be forced outward, which can have number of effects, primary among them being a seriously affected smile and the potential for a lisp.  Preventing open bite is relatively simple, and simply requires that parents ensure children do not develop habits like thumb sucking while limiting use of bottle feeding.


Also known as protrusion, overjet occurs when the lower teeth are too far behind the upper teeth.  Overjet is often caused by an improper alignment of your molars, an imbalance with your jaws, or missing lower teeth. Again, as is the case with many of the other issues corrected by braces — overjet can also be influenced by early habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.

Do you have questions about braces or the conditions that they treat? We’re here to help. The dental team at Primary Dental Care has provided braces for patients in the Garden Grove and Fountain Valley area for years and have experience dealing with even the most challenging problems.



The Problem with “Fad” Diets and Your Teeth

dieting-and-your-teethYour diet — like gas in your car — fuels your body throughout the day. It gets you where you’re going and, if formulated right,  it’s gets you going there while keeping all of your moving parts in proper working order. You probably understand that a terrible diet can make you feel a bit sluggish at the end of the day, but sometimes even diets you think are “good” can have a negative impact on certain parts of your body. While you might be interested in some of the latest “fad” diets for their ability to help you lose weight, be careful that they don’t bring you closer to losing teeth.

You shouldn’t be surprised that your dental health has a very real impact on the health of your teeth. But keeping a well balanced diet will influence more than just the size of your belt. While many people feel tempted to turn to fad diets for faster results when it comes to losing weight, they are not entirely without issue.  Read on to learn more about some of the most popular fad diets and the influence they can have on your teeth.



the “Raw Food” Diet

One would imagine that there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with eating food that can only be eaten raw, like fruits and vegetables.  While it means your body does get the clean fuel that it craves, it also means that your diet will also include a large amount of acid and sugar.


Juice Cleansing

“The juice cleanse” as it has been popularly called is a fairly famous solution for quickly losing weight. As any patient who has had to endure a liquid diet for an extended duration will well you, foregoing solid foods will most definitely help you lose weight.  While this isn’t always healthy and won’t typically lead to sustained weight loss, it surely puts your oral health at risk.


The issue with replacing a solid diet with a liquid diet is that it provides your teeth with no exercise. While that might sound silly at first, it’s true. Chewing your  food actually plays a vital role when it comes to promoting oral health.  When all you’re consuming is juice, the sugar and acid from fruit juice bathes your teeth without chewing to create the saliva that helps wash it off.   WHile it can sometimes simply appear to be little more than a nuisance, saliva is actually your mouth’s primal first line of defense against decay.


The Six Meal Diet

One of the more popular and enduring fad diets has become known as the “small meal diet” and was popularized by celebrities and celebrity doctors alike. While this diet doesn’t restrict what you eat, it does change how you eat. The thought is that by eating several smaller meals throughout the day, you will stimulate your metabolism and encourage greater weight loss. The problem with this is that eating gradually weakens your enamel and opens your teeth up to the risk of bacteria and decay. With the small meal diet, your teeth are exposed to risk more than twice as often, and chances are — you might not be brushing your teeth twice as often.

The Bottom Line:

More often than not, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! While fad diets can help you lose weight faster, there’s a reason they are drastically different from the way you currently eat, because it might not always be natural. So don’t lose sight of your teeth when you’re focused on your waistline.

Do you have questions about general dentistry? The dental team here at Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove  can help. With years of experience serving the Garden Grove and Fountain Valley community with expert dental care, we’ve literally seen it all. Whether you’re wondering about the impact of a particular diet on oral health or have another question, explore the rest of our blog or contact us today.



An Introduction to Gum Disease

If your dentist never finds anything wrong with your teeth or gums, you might think that regular dental visits are a waste of time. However, that is where you couldn’t be further away from the truth.  While most patients don’t exactly look forward to going to the dentist, here at our family dental practice in Garden Grove, we try to make every dental checkup as enjoyable as possible. But what’s even more important than making your dental visit enjoyable is the importance of reminding patients that dental checkups are far more than just a cleaning and a quick once-over by the dentist.

If you’re one of those model patients who wonders “what the point is” when it comes to regularly scheduled appointments, try not to forget that your regularly scheduled check-up is an incredibly important opportunity to catch problems before they become bigger problems. While you might not notice anything wrong when you’re brushing your teeth or flossing, your dentist can notice the early signs of potentially serious problems, like gum disease.

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, occurs when the bacteria in plaque collects in your mouth and builds up over time. When this happens, your gums can become irritated and inflamed. If this goes untreated for too long, the inflammation of your gums can influence your gums to start deteriorating, which can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss. But there’s hope!

Gum disease is entirely preventable.

Simple tips to prevent gum disease:


  • Brush your teeth twice a day and after meals (whenever possible): this helps  eliminate any trapped food that can lead to plaque and bacteria
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue: bacteria is particularly proud of its ability to hide on your tongue
  • Rinse with Mouthwash: Gargling and rinsing with mouthwash helps to actively cut down on plaque and also joins in on the fight against food and bacteria left behind by brushing and flossing
  • Floss daily: flossing at least once a day also helps your teeth keep clean by removing stubborn food debris and plaque that your toothbrush couldn’t reach.
  • Understand your risk: You rage, your genes, and any smoking habits can all influence your risk for gum disease. It’s important to understand what your risks are so you can play an active role in ensuring they don’t contribute to a potentially uncomfortable (and expensive) problem further down the road.


We see gum disease in our Garden Grove general dentistry practice far too often. Many patients don’t understand that it’s easy to avoid. If you think you might need help dealing with periodontitis, contact us today.