Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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How Aging Can Affect Your Oral Health: Facts You Should Know

Did You Know?: Dentures can help you start smiling again. It only takes a small adjustment period.

Aging can impact your teeth – be prepared with our easy guide to dental health as you age. 

For anyone getting along in age, it’s not uncommon to start noticing some changes when it comes to your mouth, your teeth, and the way they all come together.

As you’ve aged, have you noticed any of the following changes?

  • Loss of taste
  • Chewing and swallowing is much harder
  • Increased dry-mouth
  • Change in how foods feel or taste in your mouth
  • More cavities than usual

Unfortunately, as we age it’s not uncommon to begin experiencing greater difficulty chewing and swallowing. However, this also tends to lead to some lifestyle and diet changes that can hurt you in the long run. First of all, if you’re having trouble chewing – it can impact how well you chew, which can lead to both a choking risk and digestion problems. If you can’t completely chew your food, you should be sure to speak to your local dentist.

Cavity Risk Also Increases as You Age

Outside of a difficulty chewing and swallowing effectively, if you’re starting to notice that your mouth is drier than it usually is, you shouldn’t ignore it. One of the most common reasons for increased decay and cavities as you age is because of dry mouth – which can be caused by many of the medications that patients over the age of 50 tend to take. While hundreds of medications can cause dry-mouth, the most common tend to be those that treat conditions like depression, anxiety, and nerve pain – while antihistamines, muscle relaxants, many pain medications, and decongestants can also contribute to reduced salivary production.

 

Saliva is important because it makes chewing, eating, and swallowing much easier. But on top of that, it also fights many of the harmful bacteria’s that cause decay while helping your teeth stay free from sugars and debris. Of course, brushing and flossing help – and if you’ve started noticing reduced saliva production you should be sure to drink plenty of water, continue brushing and flossing every day, and talk to both your doctor and your local dentist to learn how to approach any possible medication side-effects.

Have questions about your teeth? Our dentists have plenty of answers. To learn more or to schedule a consultation – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of dentists and hygienists near Anaheim today. 

 

3 Tips for a Tooth-Friendly Easter

Many of our dental patients in the Anaheim area celebrate the Easter holiday with their families. What many of them experience, every year is a large and exciting basket full of candy to enjoy – sometimes Easter baskets even include small toys to enjoy. But does all that candy have to risk your family’s dental health? Not necessarily. Our Anaheim area dentists have some simple tips to help avoid that risk.

 

Tip 1: Do Away with the Massive Chocolate Bunny

Let’s face it. While a big chocolate bunny is often the centerpiece of a child’s Easter basket, it’s also a huge source of sugar that can wreak havoc on your child’s teeth.  But let’s also not forget – more often than not, the chocolate in a BIG chocolate Easter bunny also tends to be, generally, somewhat lacking when compared to smaller candies. Why not cut out the waste and the risk? Instead put something fun that’s not candy in the center of the basket — like a stuffed (inedible) bunny instead. It’ll still be exciting to discover, and if you’re one of our patients near Anaheim – your child will be exposed to much less risk for decay and cavities.

Tip 2: Stay Away from Sticky

No matter the season, sticky candies are always a problem for our dental office in Anaheim. Unfortunately, around this time of year they become more and more popular. We actually discussed these potentially dangerous candies in yesterday’s post: Candies to Be Careful of This Easter – learn more about which candies to avoid to keep your kids’ teeth as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.

Tip 3: Minimize Candy, Maximize Fun 

Minimizing the amount of candy you include in your family’s easter baskets doesn’t mean that Easter can’t be fun. Try adding different presents to Easter Baskets to continue making the holiday fun and exciting, while eliminating the high volume of sugary candies your children are exposed to. You don’t have to shut candy down completely – just be more careful. 

Tip 4: Extend Easter by “Rationing” Candy

Eating hand-over-fist of candy can be enjoyable for a couple minutes – but afterward, all it can lead to is a big stomach-ache and a good chance at a disheartening dental check-up in the weeks afterward. Instead, make the case for a longer-lasting Easter by freezing most of the candy, breaking it out as a reward for small chores around the house. It’s a win-win. Candy lasts longer, Easter “lasts longer”, and the whole family’s teeth escape the risk of bacteria, decay, and cavities.

 

Candies to Be Careful of This Easter

Our dentists near Anaheim are always trying to give our patients easy new ways to improve their dental health.

In the past, we’ve come to you with plenty of suggestions on how you can give your dental hygiene a quick boost.

Between articles exploring What to Do When You Don’t Have Any Toothpaste to Simple Changes You Can Make for Healthier Teeth – you should already be able to pick out a handful of ways to give your oral care routine a quick boost. But it’s still important to remain vigilant every season – especially around holidays.

March and the Easter holiday in particular can sometimes present its own special challenges for healthy teeth. While easter egg hunts are always fun, read on to learn about some of the dental dangers you should be aware of when it comes to the month of March.

We all know that eating candy isn’t always the best proposition for your teeth, but what would life be if you couldn’t indulge every once in a while? So our dentists from the Anaheim area come to you with tips on which Easter candies should be avoided.

Which Easter Candies You Should Avoid for Better Teeth

Peeps

You know them, you love them, there’s a chance you’ve also sent some to their melty-doom in the microwave.

But this is part of the reason why peeps are so bad for your teeth – they’re pretty much all sugar. Unfortunately, as you are by now very well aware if you’ve been reading our blog for a while, sugar actively feeds bacteria and supports tooth decay.

On top of this, the sugary “goodness” that is a Peep also happens to make this sort of candy very sticky – which causes the sugar to stick to your teeth long after you’ve enjoyed one.

 Chocolates with Fillings

Whether you’re enjoying one of the season’s famous cream eggs or a deliciously filled “bunny” filled with marshmallow – these candies all have one thing in common,  they’re sticky and full of sugar. Unfortunately, this makes them not much better than Peepers.

Jelly Beans

Are you beginning to see a theme here? Anything that ends up sticky and stuck to your teeth is never good when it comes to preventing dental decay. Like Peeps and chocolate treats with delicious fillings – all of the above candies can and will stick to your teeth – allowing bacteria and decay to thrive.

Are Athletes More Prone To Cavities?

athletes-teeth-dental-health-garden-grove

Did you know that athletes often experience more decay and get more cavities? Learn how to avoid the same if you live an active lifestyle.

While it can sometimes do a number on your joints and ligaments, the benefits of vigorous exercise far outweigh the consequences. In fact, exercise is one of the finest gifts you can give your body. It can lower cholesterol, help you lose weight, improve your blood pressure, and the list of benefits goes on and on.

But did you know that exercise could potentially put your dental health at risk? That is, if you’re not careful. But don’t worry too much – our Dentists in Garden Grove remind all of our patients that a diligent oral healthcare routine will protect your teeth from the ongoing attack that happens at the hands of bacteria every day, which creates acid that slowly but surely eats away at your enamel to get into the “meat” of your teeth and thrive. Unfortunately, this is how cavities happen – and what often necessitates procedures like root canal treatment (if the cavity goes untreated). By understanding what happens if you’re an athlete, you can make sure that your healthy and active lifestyle doesn’t backfire on your teeth.

So, how can being an athlete impact your teeth?

Breathing through your mouth

Whenever you’re engaged in strenuous physical activity – what happens? Besides sweat and exhaustion – you tend to breathe a lot heavier than you normally do. This causes you to breathe more through your mouth than your nose, which also tends to dry up saliva production. What saliva does – if you weren’t aware, is help your mouth clear itself of bacteria and debris that aids bacteria when it comes to breaking substances down into acids, which contribute to decay.

While it’s hard to avoid breathing heavy (and you shouldn’t try!), there’s one thing you can do, and our dentists in Garden Grove frequently recommend this tactic: drink more water! by keeping your mouth moist and rinsed, you minimize the bad bacteria and debris hanging around waiting to do damage. Which leads us to our next topic….

Sugary Sports Drinks

Many times, athletes sometimes drink sugary sports drinks to replenish fluids and nutrients like electrolytes. While these can sometimes taste better than water – they’re far worse for your teeth and can often go a long way towards contributing towards decay and cavities. Combined with mouth guards, which sit in your mouth and help trap bacteria on your teeth for the entire time you wear them – and athletes are presented with a dental disaster waiting to happen. Fortunately, all it takes is diligent care, brushing, and plenty of water.

 

Chlorine

If your sport is in the pool, do be wary of chlorine – as a caustic chemical that eats away at all sorts of organic compounds – chlorine can and will do damage to your teeth. Again – water is the key here. Bring a water bottle to the pool every time, and be sure to drink plenty.

Your Tooth Are Important Tools: Treat them Like It

caps

There are plenty of ways to open a  bottle without an actual bottle opener (or “churchkey” if you’re feeling old-fashioned). But if you’re searching for a way to do it with your teeth, you’ve come to the wrong place.

You’ll find countless videos and tutorials showing you how to accomplish such a feat. We won’t be sharing any of them here for a very good reason: it’s an incredibly stupid idea that can send you on the road to thousands of dollars worth of dental repairs.

What else can you do with your teeth that you shouldn’t?

From using your teeth as scissors to open packages to using them to slowly, but surely untie a monster of a knot you can’t seem to untie – your teeth can accomplish many great things. Then again, our dentists in Anaheim always recommend using them for their intended purpose – eating food.

Every year, patients who use their teeth for purposes other than eating food land themselves in our dental office near Anaheim for emergency dental work.

Obviously, one of the most likely outcomes from using your teeth as tools (for anything other than food) is the very real possibility of a fracture. But that’s not all. Tooth cracks and chips are also a very common outcome from the sort of stresses that you put your teeth through when you’re using them for things like tightening knots or opening a bag of chips. But that’s not all. If you’re using your back teeth, there’s also the chance that you can damage a filling or a crown.

No matter the damage, it can all lead to the same thing: more dental damage. Whether it’s a broken filling or a cracked tooth – any sort of damage can allow decay and bacteria to enter into your teeth and go to work. Unfortunately, if the damage is bad enough it can mean needing much more than just repair. If any bacteria or decay gets inside, you could need root canal treatment. If it’s even worse, and your tooth is irreparably damaged – it could mean a need for a new, replacement tooth.

So, next time you think about using your teeth as scissors, nail clippers, or bottle openers – think again!

 

What Medicine Can Do To Your Mouth: A Word of Caution

Whether you’re dealing with a bit of a cold and a cough or you’re contending with a more serious underlying problem that you’re working to treat with medication – you might not realize it, but your medicine could be impacting your dental health as well.

It’s not entirely uncommon for a dental patient in our Anaheim area dental office to react in surprise when one of our dentists or dental hygienists informs them that their teeth are struggling because of their medication. Unfortunately, it’s true.

Many medications can actually impact your teeth in different ways. Learn more about some of the most common examples below, keeping in mind that we’ve kept medications like chemotherapy off of this list, because it’s fairly well known that chemotherapy and other aggressive cancer medications can harm your teeth and other systems in your body as they work to fight away bad, potentially fatal cancer cells.

Antacids

After all we’ve said about how acid is the number 1 enemy of your teeth, antacids are bad for you? That’s right. Antacids like Tums and Alka-Seltzer can weaken your teeth by causing dry mouth – which reduces saliva production and prevents saliva from doing its job of washing your teeth. Many times, some flavored antacids can also contain sugars you might not realize you’re putting in your mouth. So, if you pop an antacid do be sure to make sure you chew it all up, and that you brush again before going to bed.

Pain medication 

This one might not seem obvious at first, but unfortunately, it’s true. Pain medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to contribute to tooth decay largely because of dry mouth. While occasionally taking a pain reliever for a headache (or hangover) is perfectly fine and shouldn’t cause any problems, long term use of medications like Tramadol and OxyContin can and will cause dental problems. This is why poor dental hygiene is prevalent among populations that abuse drugs like Oxycontin.  As always, the best defense is a strong offense with plenty of water and sugar-free gum (to stimulate saliva production).

Corticosteroids

Cotricosteroids are used to treat many conditiosn ranging from COPD and asthma to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. While managing these conditions is important, you should also be aware of the possibility that corticosteroids, used over a long period, can contribute to dental pulp calcification – which can lead to problems with pain, infections, and hardening pulp tissue that could require a root canal treatment. While these problems aren’t incredibly common, they’re sometimes hard to avoid when you rely on the medication. But don’t worry. All it takes to stay ahead of this is to make sure you communicate with your dentists and your doctors. Communication is always the smartest choice with any health concern.

 

 

How Beer Can Impact Your Teeth

Look on any grocery store shelf or take a stroll through any up-and-coming town and it’ll become very clear that more and more craft breweries are cropping up across the country.

For many, enjoying a nice cold beer at the end of a long day is a chosen way to unwind. On a blisteringly hot day – it can sometimes seem like a lifesaver.

However, when you’re enjoying a cold one it’s also pretty likely that you’re not worried about your teeth. On top of that, chances are you’re going to worry about your teeth even less after you’ve had more than a couple of them.  So, can beer hurt your teeth? Let’s find out.

Be Afraid of the Dark (Within Reason)

Dark beers like stouts and porters contain roasted ingredients that can often contribute to staining on your teeth. On top of this, stouts are often brewed with dark berries like plum, elderberry, and other substances – which can further contribute to staining.

If you’re thinking – “But I love stouts!” don’t worry too much. While your teeth will stain over time, you can work to avoid this by drinking water between beers and making sure to brush and floss religiously. No falling asleep after drinking a few and forgetting to brush.  That would be bad.

The Problem with Acid

As you’re well aware, our dentists in the Anaheim area frequently remind our patients to be on the lookout for hidden sources of acid. While you might be concerned about watching beer intake for other reasons (like already having too many, or being concerned with the carbs), you should also be concerned about the acid content of what you’re drinking.

While beers can have large amounts of acid in them, one way you can try to neutralize them is to eat food! Foods like leafy greens, vegetables, and bananas can all help. They’ll bring down the acid levels and make sure your teeth aren’t more susceptible to decay. But do remember to still brush, floss, and rinse to help out your teeth.

 Don’t Go Sour On Your Dental Health

While India Pale Ales (IPAs) have experienced a boom in the last few years, sour beers like lambics and goses, and flanders red ales all fall low on the pH scale — meaning they’re much more acidic than other beers. If you’re a lover of sour beer, do keep no top of your teeth as much as possible. This increased level of acid can and will contribute to accelerated erosion.

Remember: Moderation is Key

While it’s not your dentist’s job to stay on top of your liver, it is the job of our entire dental office in Garden Grove to stay on top of your teeth. If you suffer from severe hangovers after drinking – it’s not just your head that’s taking a pounding. You’re also giving your teeth a beating too. Stomach acid is incredibly acidic – naturally, since it’s purpose is to break down food. Unfortunately, it can also eat away at your teeth. So when it comes to drinking, do be careful. It could be more than your waistline at stake!

 

 

How the Health of Your Mouth Reveals Your Overall health: Dry Mouth

When you hear from your dentist that you should probably be getting a dental check-up every 6 months or so, it’s not just because your teeth are at stake.

While your regular dental checkups are always important when it comes to making sure your teeth are strong, healthy, and free from decay – it’s also a time for our local dentists in Anaheim to take a look at your teeth for a slightly different reason – to get a better gauge of your overall health as well.

A number of studies have shown that some oral health problems can be related to some serious medical conditions elsewhere in your body like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and more.

Ultimately, the health of your teeth has an impact on your entire life. From problems that connect with your teeth, to your self-esteem and social life – poor oral health can very quickly send a ripple through your entire life. At Primary Dental Care of the Anaheim area – we’re here to stop that.

In the interest of healthier teeth and healthier lives in general, our dentists in the Anaheim area are here with a simple symptom to look out for that can also help you manage your overall health. Today, we’re talking about dry mouth.

Dry mouth is an inevitable side effect of aging. However, the fact that many medications cause dry-mouth also doesn’t help. These often include common medications for blood pressure, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, and Alzheimer’s.

If you experience dry mouth, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. If your mouth tends to get dry, be sure to always be drinking water. In addition,if the problem has only just started – talk to your doctor to make sure there’s not something that’s changed with your prescriptions. Get to the bottom of why it’s happening, to – ideally – fix it the natural way. Chronic dry mouth should be carefully analyzed and treated to prevent long-term damage.

 

If you experience dry mouth, our dentists in Anaheim often recommend a simple fluoride varnisht hat helps guard your teeth from decay, since the acidity in your mouth can increase due to a decrease in saliva.

Your dentist can apply a fluoride varnish to protect the teeth from new cavities, since the mouth acidity may have changed. This will help reduce the risk for cavities, gum disease and infection.

 

Did You Know: February is National Children’s Teeth Month? Our Anaheim Dentists Weight in

You might not realize it, but February is a special month for dentists across the country and around the world. According to the American Cental Association,  It’s national Children’s Dental Health Month. A month long period of observance, for healthier kids teeth across the country.

This year, the American Dental Association’s slogan for National Children’s Dental Month is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile”.  Our dentists in the Anaheim area tend to agree that tap water is often a much better choice than pretty much anything you could possibly drink, or offer to your children.

Every year, dentists like ours in the Anaheim Area help patients cope with teeth that have fallen prey to decay, cavities, and even worse. But what many patients might not understand is that the preventative for decay and cavities might just be right in your sink.

Fluoride, the natural compound that helps your teeth fight the good fight against bacteria is in regular tap water. And if your natural water doesn’t have fluoride, there’s a good chance your city water has been supplemented with fluoride – for fewer cavities and stronger teeth. This is usually the case  if you live in pretty much any major city or town.

For every dental patient, drinking tap water and getting your daily dose of fluoride could be one of the best ways to avoid cavities. Better yet, it’s much easier on the wallet than having to deal with cavities, fillings, or even root canals.

So next time you think about grabbing a bottle of water, try the tap instead – you could be doing your teeth a favor.

Got Questions ? Our dentists in Anaheim are happy to help. 

Simple Changes for Healthier Teeth

Whenever it comes time to make your bi-annual visit to the dentist’s office, you might start to panic a little bit. You might worry that you haven’t been flossing as much as you used to, or maybe you’re concerned that there’s a small problem bugging you that you’re afraid will be expensive to fix.

Many times, however – these little concerns are easy to avoid by giving your oral hygiene routine a boost. Not only will it make your bi-annual dentist visits much easier, but our dentists in the Anaheim area say it often helps severely reduce any dental anxiety you may have.

The best part is, ramping up your “teeth game” doesn’t have to be hard at all….here are 3 simple tips you can follow to easily give your teeth a boost.

Change Your Grip: One of the most common causes of receding gums is often over-brushing. More often than not, we see over-brushing in patients who are pretty great about their oral hygiene. Unfortunately, they just happen to brush too hard.  This can slowly but surely erode your enamel and contribute to gum recession – which can both contribute to sensitivity.

Cut Out the Alcohol (At Least in Your Mouthwash): Alcohol, as many know, has a drying effect on pretty much everything. You experience it when you drink alcohol through dehydration and your mouth experiences it as alcohol dries it out. However, it’s not just “booze” that does this. It’s also your mouthwash. For that reason, try to choose mouthwashes that don’t have alcohol in them – they work just as well, and won’t dry out your mouth, which can often contribute to accelerated decay.

Drink With a Straw: Our Anaheim dentists frequently recommend that our patients drink through a straw, especially when drinking acidic and sugary juices or soft drinks. When you allow these substances to sit on your teeth, bacteria is sustained and your enamel is attacked – which can also accelerate the process of decay and lead to more cavities. If you have a problem with cavities and decay, drinking through a straw when you’re enjoying these beverages can seriously help!