Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

714-537-5700

5 Habits That Could Be Hurting Your Teeth

snacks

Just like any part of your body – your teeth take much more of a beating than you may realize. From what you eat and drink, to the ways you use your teeth that you probably shouldn’t be, everything from the enamel protecting your teeth to the actual shape of your teeth can be impacted by your habits.

With that in mind, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re doing to your teeth – so that you can be more aware of how you can protect them. So our dental team in Garden Grove has come together to put together a list of the 3 habits you might not realize could be seriously hurting your teeth.

Too Much Snacking

Eating too many snacks isn’t just a problem for the size of your jeans. When you eat snacks, it allows food debris, sugars, and all manner of junk to hang out in your mouth for much longer than you probably intend. This is especially true when you aren’t drinking water to rinse everything down. Too much snacking can lead to sugar lingering far longer than you want it to, which can produce more acids than you would if you were simply eating your standard 3 meals a day. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t snack – it just means you should be more aware of what you’re putting into your mouth so that you can either brush, rinse, or simply drink more water throughout the day.

Chewing Ice

For some people, chewing ice is simply a fact of life. Part nervous habit, part “comfort food” chewing ice is a daily thing for people everywhere. Unfortunately, the hardness of ice can contribute to tiny cracks on your teeth – which can then grow into much larger, more problematic cracks.

Teeth Grinding

Do you ever wake up with a headache? If so, it probably means you’re grinding your teeth at night – which can be caused by a number of factors ranging from genetics and what you eat or drink before bed – to anxiety. If you’re noticing headaches or jaw pain in the morning do speak to your dentist about the best available options for you. Why? Because grinding can slowly file away your teeth, contribute to sensitivity, and cause even more serious problems like cracks and fractures.

Have a question about your teeth? We’re here to answer your concerns. If you’re a dental patient in the Orange County or Garden Grove area, our friendly team of dentists, hygienists, and oral surgeons can help make sure your teeth are healthy for years to come.

Enjoy Your Night Without Killing Your Teeth: Our Garden Grove Dentists Weigh in on the Safest Drinks for Your Teeth

white-teeth-orange-county

By now, if you’ve been reading our blog for any amount of time you understand that acid can have a big impact on your teeth.

When you drink beverages with a high acidity level, it can cause a number of problems in your mouth. Of course – this doesn’t happen overnight. But when you give acid the opportunity, it will slowly begin to eat away at the hard outer layer of your teeth known as enamel. This is referred to by dentists as erosion, and it is often the first step on the road to cavities.

In addition to making your teeth vulnerable to cavities, erosion also exposes the layer beneath enamel known as dentin. When this happens, the dentin – which is a yellowish tint – becomes exposed, this is why your teeth begin to take on a yellowish color when they’re not doing so well. This is often accompanied by symptoms like sensitivity when you drink hot, cold, sweet, and acidic foods.

Our dentists in Garden Grove do understand that sometimes it’s hard to avoid acidity.

The Safest Alcoholic Drinks for Your Teeth

Light beer

The high water content and low acidity of light beer means that it is relatively safe for your teeth when compared to other drinks. Of course, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean any option is a safe one. But when these factors are combined with its light color – you can ensure that your teeth aren’t being hurt by acid or stained by dark colors.

Gin and Tonic

Similar to light beer, gin and tonic is also clear – so it won’t stain your teeth. On top of this, the acid content is relatively low when compared to other drinks.

Lighter Wines

While wines contain some acid, lighter wines like chardonnays and rose’s tend to contain fewer staining elements than their dark red counterparts. Looking for a crisp, refreshing summer drink? Choose a light colored sangria instead of a dark red – your teeth will thank you.

Have more than a few nights out hurt your teeth? Dental damage can be a very real thing. Fortunately, our dentists in Garden Grove can help. If your teeth need support and you live near Orange County – our dentists are happy to help. Contact us today to learn how. 

 

Quick Tips for Better Teeth from Our Dentists in Garden Grove

Could you be smiling more? Maybe Invisalign can help.

Could you be smiling more? Maybe Invisalign can help.

If you’re thinking about improving your teeth, you should pat yourself on the back. It’s always a suitable goal. When it comes to achieving that goal, our dentists in Garden Grove can help.

Whether your dentist has told you that your gums need work – or you suffer from sensitive teeth – there are plenty of ways to improve your teeth. Today, we want to discuss some of the easiest ways to make it happen.

Get Electric

For many patients, the best thing you can do for your teeth is to get an electric toothbrush. While brushing is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your teeth – a standard brush sometimes just doesn’t cut it. Did you know that an electric toothbrush can often remove up to 80% more plaque and debris than usual? The best part is you don’t even need a fancy electronic toothbrush. Even a simple one will often do a better job than a simple manual one. On top of this, a powered toothbrush can also ensure that you’re brushing with enough force without brushing too hard – which can help reduce the occurrence of receding gums.

Don’t forget to floss

Flossing really can help prevent some serious problems in your mouth – however, because flossing can be one of the fussier parts of your oral hygiene routine, it’s important not to cut it out in the interest of time. If you can, try to use real floss instead of floss sticks – because real floss helps ensure that you can get all the way between your gum and your teeth.

Rinse your mouth out

Rinsing should never be a replacement for brushing, but it can be a great way to supplement your existing oral hygiene routine. Many rinses can increase your mouth’s ability to fight decay and cavities while others are great at preventing gum disease. Others simply kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Do be careful when it comes to mouthwashes with alcohol, however, which can often cause problems.

Have your questions? Our Garden Grove dental practice can help. For more information, get in touch with our friendly team today. 

 

 

Why Do My Teeth Hurt?: Your Questions Answered By Garden Grove Dentists

Did you know around 40% of Americans these days don’t have dental insurance? That’s a large number! So when something starts feeling off about your teeth – it’s no surprise that the average person tends to get a little worried.

One of the most popular (and sometimes vague) questions our dentists in Garden Grove get goes something like this: “Why do my teeth hurt?” The truth is – there can be a few different reasons for this. And they’re not all tied to factors like cavities and decay.

Gum Disease

Did you know that half of the American population over 30 years old has gum disease? In fact, you might have gum disease yourself if painful teeth are something you’re beginning to experience.  When bacteria works its way into your gums and has the opportunity to multiply to the point where your mouth can’t fight it, the infection can cause swelling and even pain that can often emanate from around your teeth.  Outside of pain, this can also lead to other symptoms – like swelling, a bad taste in your mouth, the release of pus, and even the formation of a dental abscess – which can often appear as a small pimple on your gum, near your tooth.

 You could have a sinus infection

If you’re experiencing dental pain and it happens to be allergy or flu season, the dental pain you’re experiencing may not be related to your teeth at all. Instead, it could all be due to your sinuses. Because the roots of your teeth are located right near your sinuses, problems with your sinuses can manifest as pain in your teeth. In these cases, your doctor will recommend a proper treatment – like anti-allergens or a nasal decongestant to take care of the swelling in your sinuses.

You’re a Tooth Grinder

If you live with dental pain – especially in the morning, there’s a good chance that you’re grinding your teeth at night, which can often lead to a loose or fractured tooth. This can very easily cause dental pain.

But this isn’t all….there’s a lot going on in your mouth, and a lot of different factors can lead to dental pain. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your family dentist. If you need a family dentist in Garden Grove – get in touch with our friendly and professional team today.

Our Dentists in Garden Grove Answer Your Questions: How Do I Choose a Filling Type?

Fillings are one of the most common dental treatments in use today by our dentists in Garden Grove and dental teams around the world.  But first, what is a filling in the first place?

Fillings do exactly what it sounds like they do – they fill holes and imperfections to return a tooth to its normal shape, function, and feel. Or at the very least – they do their very best.

By filling the whole – the filling material both returns the tooth to its original function while also preventing any bacteria from getting inside and causing further (more serious) damage.

The first step when it comes to fixing a tooth with a filling is to actually remove any decayed material and clean the area – next our dentist fills the area (usually a cavity, or maybe a chip) with filling. This is where you have a bit of choice.

Amalgam or Composite?

Many times patients refer to amalgam fillings as “silver” fillings because of the way they look. They are the most common types of fillings because they are strong, inexpensive, and resistant to wear. However, the downside here is that they’re much more noticeable than a tooth-colored composite filling. For this reason, dentists often try to not use them in highly noticeable areas and instead reserve their use to the backmost teeth.

But patients in our dental practice in Garden Grove often wonder – what’s the downside composite and porcelain fillings? Outside of being a little more expensive – why would someone not get a filling that looks as much like the natural tooth as possible? Outside of price, this tends to be because they can sometimes be a little bit weaker – especially when being used for larger restorations. On top of this, they are also susceptible to staining – which makes the choice a bit difficult for patients who enjoy red wine, tea, or tobacco.

Trust Your Dentist

Sometimes, the difference in price between a silver filling and a composite filling can be pretty close. When this is the case, and the cavity isn’t large, you will often need to trust in your dentist to guide you in the right direction. Have a question about filling a cavity? If you’re a patient in Garden Grove – our dentists can help.

 

 

What You Should Be Telling Your Dentist

cavities-dental-garden-grove

Our dental practice in Garden Grove serves patients of all ages and backgrounds. And like every doctor-patient relationship, each one begins with questions. Answer them correctly, and you set yourself on a path to great dental health and a bright, healthy smile for a lifetime.  But how do you answer these questions “correctly”?

Well, it’s kind of a trick question. You don’t answer them correctly. You just answer them honestly.

So, what should you be telling your dentist?

Start with your worries

The first thing you should be sure to talk to your dentist about is your fear. Don’t be afraid of the dentist. From the treatments he or she might suggest, to what they could cost. The first thing you should understand is that the sooner you speak to your dentist about your concerns, the sooner you get an answer. And when it comes to dental treatments – sooner is always better. Otherwise – small problems have the opportunity to turn into bigger (and more expensive) problems.

Or maybe you’re concerned about the dentist’s office for a different reason. You might be concerned about the pain or discomfort you think will arise from the treatments that you need. Rest assured – modern dentistry has come a long way. Chances are, your fears are unfounded.

Tell Your Dentist about Your Health, In General

While your dentist is largely concerned with your dental health. Your overall health is incredibly important as well – and it can have a major impact on your dental health as well.  For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with any health problem or disease – it could have consequences for your teeth, gums, and mouth. On top of this, any of the medications that you may be taking can undermine your teeth. For these reasons, it’s important to be open with your dentist about the same things you’re open with your family doctor about.

And of course, tell your dentist about your dental health

Naturally, your dentist can’t know everything. Despite the fact that every one of your dental visits will involve a thorough exam, we can’t always see everything. So sometimes, we rely on you to guide us. Just because we don’t find a cavity – doesn’t mean you don’t have one. So, if you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity here or there, and we don’t mention the presence of a cavity – you shouldn’t jump for joy and assume you dodged a bullet. Otherwise, it could come back to haunt you when that very small problem your dentist didn’t catch becomes a bigger problem — all because you didn’t report a minor issue, like sensitivity, pain, or an abnormality in your mouth.

Think about your relationship with your dentist as a partnership. The more we communicate – the better we both do the job of keeping your teeth healthy for life. 

Have questions? Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help. Get in touch today to learn how we can help. 

 

Two Dental Myths Worth Forgetting About

In our dental office in Garden Grove, California we see thousands of teeth in any given month. That means hundreds of appointments with patients who need dental care, cleaning, root canals, and cavities taken care of.

The interesting commonality about many of these appointments is that we continue to hear many of the same things about teeth, myths that patients believe – which ultimately change the way they approach their own dental hygiene.

Today, we will dispel some of those myths so that you get the facts – and can approach your own dental hygiene in the best possible way – without relying on myths that could alter how you approach problems or seek to prevent them.

If you have a cavity, you’ll know

One thing that patients are frequently surprised by is cavities. We hear things like “I had no idea I had a cavity!” which is kind of funny – because if you knew you had the signs of a cavity, there’s probably a great chance that it wouldn’t have become a problem in the first place.  The truth is that cavities form because they’re sneaky. While the largest cavities will often cause pain, small cavities that grow into larger cavities may not. By maintaining a strong oral hygiene regimen and seeing your dentist every 6 months – you can prevent this and avoid more costly treatment.

Pulling a Tooth Out Will Hurt Much Less than A Root Canal

One of the greatest misconceptions in dentistry is that root canals are painful. While this might have been the case years ago, before dental technology advanced considerably, root canals are now an option designed to relieve pain – rather than cause it. In fact, today – a root canal is on par with a simple filling and shouldn’t cause much pain at all.

Did you previously believe these dental misconceptions? Maybe it’s time to get an expert opinion. Our dentists in Garden Grove are dedicated to offering it. For help, answers, and support – get in touch with our friendly team today. 

 

 

 

The Danger of Tooth Decay in Children

Recently, our dental office in Garden Grove has had the opportunity to answer a number of questions for patients. These questions range from those about sensitive teeth to dentures, crowns, and pretty much everything in between.

This week, however – we’re giving a bit of extra focus to children’s teeth, because the foundation you establish for your child’s dental health can not only ensure that they have a better chance at healthy teeth for life, but it can also help families of all sizes save hundreds or even thousands of dollars when it comes to treating problems that could have been avoided in the first place.

Did you know, that the most common health problem among children is often tooth decay? That’s right. This can often be influenced by a couple factors. First, there’s the problematic idea that because children have “baby teeth” that eventually fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, it means the first set of teeth are somehow expandable – a trial run.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your child’s first set of teeth set a very important foundation for their dental health in the future. From whether or not their teeth grow in straight to how their oral hygiene shapes as a whole, primary teeth are very important and shouldn’t be ignored.

Another common misconception (which we covered in a previous blog post: Are you Expecting? Our Dentists in Garden Grove Remind You: Your Baby’s Teeth are Growing RIGHT NOW) Is that a baby doesn’t have teeth. The reality is, that while a baby’s teeth aren’t very obvious at first, they actually started growing in the womb – and improper oral hygiene can influence whether they develop early decay or not.

With these two misconceptions in mind, you might be starting to see that it’s not hard for children to be exposed to dental dangers very early on – even when it seems like they might not be at risk. The truth is – early childhood is the best time to get your children well acquainted with a toothbrush, floss (if old enough), and a good family dentist.

Are you Expecting? Our Dentists in Garden Grove Remind You: Your Baby’s Teeth are Growing RIGHT NOW

Our dentists in Garden Grove run into quite a few questions from patients, experiencing a wide variety of symptoms and concerns ranging from periodontitis and tooth decay to cavities and all sorts of questions about infant teeth.

With that in mind, over the next few posts we will be discussing some interesting facts about dentistry, and how they can influence the approach you take to your dental health and oral hygiene. We start with the very beginning: baby teeth.

“Expecting? Your baby’s teeth are growing right now.”

Sometimes, your child’s first teeth have been known as “milk teeth”. What some new parents don’t realize is that these teeth begin forming when your baby is still in the womb. However, these teeth don’t actually even show up until your child is around six months old.

This is important for a couple reasons, and a prime reason why it’s important to find a family dentist early in your child’s life. Our dental office in Garden Grove frequently sees parents who should have brought their children in sooner. Because even if you can’t see your baby’s teeth, it doesn’t mean they’re not there – and if you’re not effectively cleaning the gums and mouth, decay can begin establishing a foothold before you even realize it.

While most parents now understand that it can be very damaging to fill a baby’s bottle with juice and other sugary drinks, one trick you might not know is that keeping your own mouth clean can impact how cavities do or don’t form in your child’s mouth. 

By practicing great oral hygiene and getting professional dental care, you reduce the chance of transmitting bad bacteria and germs that can potentially contribute and decay to your children.

Looking for more tips? Take a look at some of our other blog posts — or contact our dentists in Garden Grove to learn more.

Can Non-Sugar Sweeteners Affect Your Smile? Our Garden Grove Dentists Weigh In

drip-water-spray-liquid

For years and years, dental patients around the world have been told that “sugar is bad for your teeth”. The interesting thing is that this isn’t necessarily true.

While a diet high in sugar can hurt your teeth – it’s not actually the sugar that’s doing the damage. It’s not actually the sugar itself that’s hurting you. Instead, it’s what happens to the sugar after you eat it that can cause a problem.

Inside your mouth, there’s a constant battle between bacteria happening. To make a long story short, acids gradually leech the minerals from your teeth. It’s a process referred to be dentists known as demineralization. While this is happening though, a process called remineralization gradually replaces the minerals to help protect and strengthen your teeth.  If this tug of war falls out of balance, that’s where the dental damage happens – and unfortunately, sugar isn’t the only substance that’s to blame. When sugar (and starches) break down, they contribute to the acid that ultimately eats away at your dental enamel – which can lead to cavities. But this partly explains why those with diets high in sugar tend to experience more dental decay.

What about artificial sweeteners?

As more and more patients begin to understand how sugars can influence their dental health (and their waistlines), they also begin to make smarter substitutions for sugar. This has lead to many patients wondering if artificial sweeteners are better for them than plain old sugar.

When it comes to your teeth – this is almost definitely the case.  Why? Because there are generally four things required for cavities to form:

  1. A host (your tooth)
  2. Bacteria
  3. Fermentable sugars to feed the bacteria (from sugars, starches, and other compounds)
  4. Time (usually 12 to 14 days).

If you’re missing one of the above – decay generally can’t occur. Because artificial sweeteners do not contain fermentable sugars – they can’t be used by bacteria to thrive, grow, and create the acids that ultimately contribute to the decay of your teeth.

On top of this, some of the artificial sweeteners that people use to add to their food can even protect the teeth by aiding good bacterias in the mouth.

A word of warning

Our dentists in Garden Grove do have one important word of warning about artificial sweeteners, though. Just because a drink contains artificial sweeteners doesn’t mean it’s good for your teeth. Drinks like soft-drinks still remain high in acid.