Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Dental Pain Isn’t Always Created Equal – What Does Yours Mean?

When it comes to pretty much any part of your body – from your head to your toes, they’ve all developed pretty incredible and effective ways to give you a hint that something’s wrong.

When it comes to your teeth, the story is no different. Your pearly whites posess an amazing (and sometimes painful) ability to act relatively quickly when it comes to potential problems in your mouth. Below, our dentists in Anaheim have highlighted what pain could mean when it comes to your teeth.

Aching Pain in One or More Teeth

A low, throbbing pain or dull ache emanating from your teeth might not be anything. But if the pain lasts for more than a few days or up to a week – it could be a sign of a number of things. If you’re stressed, and it doesn’t happen often – it could be that you’re having some trouble with nighttime grinding. If this happens a lot, you should probably talk to your dentist about a night guard.

On the other hand, if you have a persistent aching pain and you’re noticing swelling around your gums, gland, or in the proximity of the pain – there’s a chance you have something our dental clinic in Anaheim sees quite a bit – an abscessed tooth, which typically requires root canal treatment.

This is something your dentist will need to look at, and if it’s been going on for a long time – it could be a reason for an emergency same day dentist appointment.

Sharp tooth pain

Sharp pain that comes on suddenly is often a sign of something a little more serious than dull pain that comes and goes, or goes away completely after a couple days.   If you’re noticing a sudden pain in one of your teeth – such as when you bite down, it could be a good sign that you have a cavity. Generally, this might not be a dental emergency – but our dentists near Anaheim always suggest calling your own dentist and getting some advice.

Are you experiencing dental pain? Our dentists can help! Give us a call today to learn if you need to schedule an emergency dental appointment in the Orange County area..
Loose or suddenly crooked teeth

Water, You, and Your Teeth

You’ve probably heard your family doctor tell you about how important water consumption is.  It will help the way you feel, it will help the way your body feels, it can help repair certain systems in your body, it will help make you lose weight, and the list goes on. Water is essential. 

What you might not hear about water as much, is how helpful (and healthful) it can be when it comes to your teeth as well. On top of helping to deliver nutrients throughout your body, a healthy water habit improves your teeth on three key levels. As a family dental practice and emergency dentist in Anaheim – we can’t recommend water enough.

More Water = More Rinsing, More Rinsing = Healthier Teeth

While drinking something like soda or juice might help wash down your food, they also unfortunately leave quite a bit of unwanted sugar hanging around on your teeth – which feeds bacteria that produces the acids that actively chip away at your enamel and lead to decay and cavities.

Water Makes Your Teeth Stronger

Regularly drinking fluoridated water is perhaps one of the easiest and most sure-fire ways to keep your teeth strong and cavity free. It’s been proven that fluoride – a natural mineral substance, actively helps prevent cavities. In the 30’s researchers studied people who grew up with naturally fluoridated water and found that nearly two thirds of them had fewer cavities than those that had grown up without fluoride.

More Water = Less Sugar

By making it a habit to consistently drink water throughout the day, you will find that you tend to turn to water when you’re thirsty instead of other more sugary drinks like soda and juice. This is just another example of how good habits, built over time translate into healthier teeth.

In the long run, the habit of drinking water will lead to fewer health problems throughout your body and far fewer visits to your dentist – take it from our emergency dentists in Anaheim, we know!

 

 

 

 

No Extra Time To Brush Between Meals? Follow These Novel Dental Hacks

When it comes to keeping your teeth in tip-top shape, it’s important to keep the ongoing battle in your mouth, in mind. In other words: remember that bacteria is constantly trying to fight its way inside your teeth to feed and thrive. Until it makes there (often through damage, or a cavity), it uses food debris to create acid, to weaken your enamel, and gradually eat its way through your teeth.

Our dentists in Garden Grove will be the first to tell you: this generally takes quite a while. However, after the first stages of decay begin – it gets faster and faster, which makes it even more important to take care of problems as soon as possible before they become larger and more expensive to treat.

With that said, one of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy is to brush and floss between meals. It literally only takes a couple minutes and it can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, as well as hours upon hours of time in the dentist’s chair fixing a problem that could have been solved by a couple minutes in front of your sink.

So, without further ado – take a look at this short list of suggestions to help keep your teeth healthy, even if you don’t have time to brush (or if you forgot a brush) between meals.

Eat Crunchy Vegetables

Crunchy veggies like celery and carrots are GREAT for your smile because of the way they both stimulate saliva growth and gently scrape gunk and debris off your teeth because of their natural abrasiveness.

Drink More Water

Water truly is the stuff of life. It can help you lose weight, it protects and benefits all of the systems in your body, and – when it comes to your teeth – it helps rinse, wash, and protect them from decay.

Don’t Brush for 30 Minutes After Eating

While conventional wisdom says to brush between meals, do be careful when you brush. If you’ve eaten anything acidic, the time immediately after your meal is actually a vulnerable time for your teeth because they’re essentially bathed in acid – brushing will only rub that acid into your teeth, further weakening them.

We hope these tips will prove helpful in your quest for healthier teeth. Are you a patient in the Orange County area looking for a dentist nearby? We can help! Schedule a consultation today to learn more. 

Is Thumbsucking Bad? YES! Here’s How to Get Your Toddler to Stop

Do you have a thumbsucker on your hands?

For some, it might seem like it’s not a big deal. Kids will be kids, right? For others – thumbsucking is a sign for alarm and immediate intervention, or else they will be stuck with crooked, misaligned teeth forever. Right?

Not necessarily. Our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove frequently help families deal with the problem of thumbsucking. The right answer is somewhere more in the middle.  Of course, if you have a child who has been thumbsucking for years and they already have a full mouth of teeth then yes, it is something you should be concerned with (more on the “why”  in a moment). On the other hand, if your infant or toddler is sucking their thumb (or a pacifier) and they haven’t yet had many teeth come in yet – you still have time to break the habit before any damage is done. Read on to learn the “why” and the “how” behind getting your kids to give up the habit of thumb or pacifier sucking.

Why You Should Discourage Thumbsucking

The answer for why you should discourage your children from thumbsucking is pretty simple. If this bad habit continues until the age of 5 or even 6, the pressure from sucking and the obstruction in your child’s mouth will almost act in the exact opposite way braces do – except it will push teeth out of alignment as they grow in. When permanent teeth come in, they will be influenced by this misalignment – which can lead to serious problems in the future that can impact speaking and eating.

When You Should Discourage Thumbsucking

Generally, if your child is still sucking their thumb beyond age 3 – it’s time to start making serious efforts to break the habit. If possible, you should begin a program of positive reinforcement to break the habit as soon as teeth begin coming-in for your toddler.

How You Should Discourage Thumbsucking

Discouraging thumbsucking doesn’t have to be hard. In the beginning, offer a pacifier instead – to eliminate the reliance on a thumb and for the fact that a pacifier is much easier to take away (we don’t recommend taking away your child’s thumb!)

Later, you can use positive reinforcement to reward your child for not sucking their thumb for certain periods of time. You can even try keeping a chart to track your little one’s progress towards quitting.

Having trouble? If your child is increasingly stubborn about quitting this bad habit, it could be time to see a pediatric dentist near you, who can show your child pictures and explain in their own way why they should leave this habit behind.

 

Little Known Uses for Dental Floss That You Might Love

Okay, this is a little unorthodox, but bear with us. Today, we’ll be talking about dental floss.

While we might not be talking a lot about teeth today, keep in mind this one – undeniable fact – dental floss could be one of the most effective materials for getting things out of tight places. The whole reason our dentists in Garden Grove frequently remind patients to be better about flossing is because of the way dental floss can rather quickly and effectively clear your teeth of food debris that gets stuck in nooks and crannies where bacteria loves to thrive. When food particles are left to take up residency in these spots, it’s a treasure trove of food for bacteria that will thrive and eat away at your enamel – causing decay and eventually cavities.

With that said, we’ve compiled a list of other uses for dental floss to hopefully demonstrate how powerful a tool it is when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy.

  • Hanging a Picture or Piece of Art: Have you ever tried to hang something on your walls, only to remove it months later to find the paint scuffed by that rough, braided wire that gets used so often for hanging home accents? Why not try a couple lengths of floss instead? Floss is built to be strong, stretchy, and soft in order to give you enough power to clean your teeth without damaging them. Fortunately, many have also found that these are great qualities when it comes to hanging a picture or two around the house (just like with your teeth though – don’t put too much pressure on the floss or you could end up with damage).
  • Remove a Stuck Ring: Time and time again, dental floss proves that it’s particular talent for getting things unstuck doesn’t just work inside your mouth. If your fingers have swollen, leaving a ring that seems hopelessly stuck on your finger – it’s easy to let panic set in. Never fear, however, because floss is here. In the same way floss can get around the curves of your teeth, a piece of floss snugly wrapped around your finger will help compress the skin to allow for more room to get the pesky piece of jewelry off.
  • Getting Cookies off of a Cookie Sheet: Ever eat a gooey cookie, only to find that you still have bits of sweet, delicious confection stuck in your teeth hours later? The dentists in our Garden Grove dental clinic sure have noticed! The ability to get all that gunk out of your teeth with floss is equally useful before you’ve eaten the cookies in the first place. If you’re trying to remove warm cookies from a baking sheet without crumbling them into messy chunks, just use a piece of (preferably unflavored) floss to free them.

Have a question about your teeth? We think these “floss tips” go to show how versatile floss is when it comes to solving problems with virtually anything stuck – especially when it comes to your teeth. If you have a specific question about your teeth and live in the Orange County area – we’re here to help. 

Is My Tooth Cracked?

When it comes to your teeth and keeping them healthy, one of the most important things to remember is how delicate their insides are. Whenever the delicate insides of your teeth are exposed to the outside world, it’s important to do everything you can to close the tooth up and preserve it for the future.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can do yourself – and will often require a trip to the emergency dentist. In our dental practice in Garden Grove, we frequently deal with emergency dental problems like this and fix cracked teeth in a number of different ways (depending on the severity).

How Cracks Happen

Cracked teeth can come about for a number of reasons. Naturally, one of the more common reasons is a simple accident from chewing on foods (or objects – shame on you!) that are simply too hard or from taking a blow to the mouth during a contact sport or fall. However, cracks can also happen as a result of a tooth that’s been weakened due to a large filling, uneven biting pressure due to misalignment, or a weakened tooth that’s become brittle due to a recent root canal treatment (without a crown).

How Your Dentist Fixes a Cracked Tooth

Assuming the “crack” you’re talking about isn’t a simple craze line (covered in a previous post: What are these vertical lines on my teeth?) fixes can range from bonding to root canal treatment, or even a complete replacement of the tooth if the crack is severe.

The fortunate thing for most patients is that a lot of cracked teeth are tiny, and typically don’t cause major problems. The best way to prevent a crack like this from becoming a larger crack is to be sure to regularly visit the dentist. Checkups aren’t just for cleaning and polishing, they’re also to catch little issues long before they become much bigger (and more expensive) to treat.

Is a crack an emergency?

If it’s big enough – yes! If it’s small, and the discomfort isn’t too bad, do be sure to call your dentist at the next opportunity, and until you have a chance to schedule a visit – chew on the other side of your mouth.

Have a dental emergency like a cracked tooth? Our same day emergency dentists in Garden Grove can help. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

 

What are these vertical lines on my teeth?

Here’s the scenario. You’re brushing your teeth or flossing – and you look closely at your teeth to notice a few small, but definitely noticeable lines. More specifically, you notice some vertical lines on your teeth and wonder, “are those cracks. Or are they stains?”

Fortunately for you, you will be relieved to learn that these lines generally aren’t serious. What they probably are, are craze lines. The thing about craze lines that you should be relieved by is the fact that they only really affect your teeth’s enamel. This means that – by and large – they are a cosmetic problem. Fortunately, as a specialist in cosmetic dentistry in Garden Grove, our dentists have a wealth of experience helping patients hide their craze lines and love their smiles again.

But you might be wondering, “what causes craze lines?”

Typically, some of the leading causes of craze lines tends to be rough wear and tear on your teeth – like clenching, biting your fingernails, and grinding. However, craze lines can also occur on patients who have braces.

If you’re noticing craze lines, the important thing to remember is that a) they are treatable and b) they can get more pronounced if you don’t take care of them. As more time passes and more stains are allowed to get trapped inside the microscopic depressions in your enamel – craze lines can get darker. The nice thing is this: the polishing and cleaning your teeth receive at your bi-annual check-up should significantly reduce the appearance of craze lines.

If after your cleaning, you find that the appearance of craze lines still bothers you, an in-office dental whitening treatment can also be applied to take care of them even more. Finally, if you have very stubborn stains that just won’t seem to go away a more long-term (and involved) option is the installation of porcelain veneers — which will cover your teeth with a thin sheet of custom formed porcelain, giving you a smile full of bright, white teeth that are completely free of stains.

How a Pediatric Dentist Fixes Cavities

Yesterday, we talked about cavities and how you get them, and for many families – when it comes to our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove, cavities are often one of the most common concerns. Our goal is to prevent them altogether by impressing upon all of our young patients how important good brushing routines are.

ids everywhere have heard it from their friends after a dentist’s appointment, “How many cavities did you have?” with bright eyes eagerly awaiting an answer. For all of them – our dentists in Garden Grove hope the answer is always “none”. But cavities aren’t uncommon for kids and young adults everywhere. Fortunately, they’re also pretty easy to prevent.

Sure, genetics can play a small role in the formation of cavities – good oral hygiene, including rinsing and flossing also helps keep cavity causing decay to a minimum. But what happens if you do end up with a cavity?

Fillings for Cavities

 

One of the most common and affordable approaches to fixing a dental cavity is to fill it. By filling it with a substance that prevents bacteria and decay from entering the tooth, and then sealing the tooth shut – it fixes the cavity and sustains the tooth for the future.

In order to place a filling, first your dentist will numb the spot before removing any decay with a laser, air tool, or drill. Next, the area is cleaned so that there’s enough space for the filling to be cleanly made.

Once the tooth is filled, the dentist will then shape and polish the filling so that it’s surface closely matches the tooth’s original surface. This is done both to ensure proper chewing, mouth closure, and comfort.

The relative ease and low-cost of a filling is one of the primary reasons why it’s important to find and fix a cavity as soon as possible. If left too long to decay, cavities become bigger and require more serious treatments – such as a dental crown.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is typically used when a tooth has so much damage or decay that it’s at risk for breaking. A crown protects it from this future bu restoring the tooth from the gumline up and essentially replacing the tooth with a new external covering.

 

When a tooth decays badly enough, it can become broken. In this case, the tooth can only be repaired with a crown, which attempts to restore the tooth at the gum line. The crown is sometimes added after a root canal to prevent the tooth from breaking. If the tooth has already received a large filling and there isn’t a whole lot of natural tooth left, a crown will replace the remaining tooth for better aesthetics and functionality.

The crown will hold a very fragile tooth together, maximizing the chances that the patient will keep his or her teeth. The crown also can be used to restore a tooth that has already been broken. If there isn’t much of a tooth left and the tooth has received a very large filling, the crown will cover the filling and support the tooth. The crown is intended to look like an actual tooth, allowing patients to keep the dental work a secret.

Are your children complaining about dental pain? Our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove are experts at treating cavities in kids of all ages. Have a question? We have answers. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Why Some Get More Cavities Than Others

This week we’ve been focusing quite a lot on pediatric dentistry and cavities.

Outside of brushing and flossing, cavities are often one of the first concepts a child learns about when it comes to their teeth.

“Not brushing your teeth every night before bed?”

You might get cavities.

“Eating too much candy and sweets?”

You might get a cavity

Just about every parent knows that cavities come from poor oral hygiene. But what about genetics? Why does it seem like some people don’t get as many cavities as others? That’s where you might be surprised.

Did you know that some people simply have bodies better suited to fighting decay? It’s true, some people simply have the right cocktail of bacteria in the ecosystem of their mouths, making them much more resistant to decay.

But even if you weren’t born with these “super genes” you aren’t without hope. There are many patients out there who have never had a cavity simply based on good oral hygiene. The tricky part about this little fact is that there’s no real way of knowing if you’re one of the lucky few with iron-clad teeth. So all you can do is adopt a good oral hygiene routine anyway and hope for the best!

Curious about your teeth?

As a family dentist in Garden Grove – we’ve spent years developing our pratice to offer families of all sizes a dentist that can serve the whole family, from cleanings and fillings to dental implants and dentures.

 

 

 

 

What Cavities are and Why You’re Getting Them

when-to-find-a-dentist-garden-grove-dental-arts

When it comes to our teeth – many times, one of the first manifestations of poor oral hygiene (or a bad sugar habit) can be the appearance of a cavity.

A cavity comes along when a tooth has been assaulted by acids, bacteria, and decay. This usually starts with the food and drinks your teeth comes into contact with. When they contain a high amount of sugar and acid, it can lead to the enamel wearing away, an early sign of this is a white spot on the tooth.

Even though this is an early sign of decay, the good thing is that it can still be slowed or even reversed. When working as a family and pediatric dentist in Garden Grove, we are careful to remind all of our patients this – that enamel can repair itself, but that takes a dedicated oral hygiene routine that ensures you catch problems before they become bigger problems.

For many, their first dental “problem” is signaled by a sharp pain when chewing and extra sensitivity. Telltale signs of a cavity, the end result of the enamel weakening to a point where it develops a hole. Unlike decay, a cavity is permanent and must be treated by your family dentist.

Fortunately, if you have a child in Garden Grove that has a cavity – our dentists can help. These days, treating a cavity is all-too common and relatively straightforward. Compared to years ago, when it didn’t exactly feel too good – today the process is much more comfortable due to the widespread availability and effectiveness of local anesthesia.

 

Hoping to learn more about how we fix cavities? check in for our next blog post covering how a cavity is filled.