Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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What makes a pediatric dentist different?: By Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove

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Every parent understands how easy it is to put your children in front of your health. Fortunately, when it comes to dental care – you don’t have to. Because getting your kids to take better care of their teeth starts with making sure you take incredible care of your own. That’s where a lifetime of healthy teeth begins – at home, with family.

But outside of the home, you can always count on your pediatric dentist to help ensure your children have healthy teeth for life. But if you haven’t found a pediatric dentist – you might wonder, “what makes a pediatric dentist different?” So today, our pediatric dentist in Garden Grove have weighed in on what it means to focus on little teeth.

Like any other dentist, a pediatric dentist focuses on teeth – but they specialize in treating children. While adult teeth and “baby teeth” aren’t that much different, the patient is very different. Adults  generally don’t need the amount of reassurance or instruction that a child does. Special training ensures a quality of care that results in years of healthy dental checkups.

The dentist’s office can be a very strange and overwhelming place when you’re experiencing it for the first time. Especially when you don’t really understand what’s going on at all. A pediatric dentist will take your child’s very first X-rays, clean their teeth for the very first time, and act as much a teacher as a doctor when it comes to establishing the groundwork for a healthy mouth for years to come.

Because of this, a pediatric dentist develops a knack for speaking to kids on their level, and creating a relationship where your child is actually excited to go to the dentist. Considering the problems that dental anxiety can solve (check out our post: Get Better Teeth and a Happier Smile by Saying Goodbye to Your Dental Anxiety), an excitement for clean teeth at a young age can prevent a world of trouble in the future.

While not every dentist is a certified pediatric specialist, all dentists can care for children. Many general dentists have years of experience working with children (in addition to being parents themselves) but to be a Certified Pediatric Dentist it does require extra certification.

 

 

I haven’t been to the dentist in years, but everything feels fine. Do I still need to go?

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“I haven’t been to the dentist in 7 or 8 years, and I’m a bit nervous. But everything in my mouth feels fine. Do I really still need to go?”  – A young, male patient from Anaheim, California.

Today, we’re going to get right to it. Read the question above, and take about 30 seconds to think about what your answer would be.

Times up!

So, if you considered the question posed to our Garden Grove dentist office by one young patient, you might come to a couple conclusions. However, there’s one conclusion that’s particularly problematic. That is…

 

Well, if nothing seems to be wrong. There must be nothing wrong, right?

Wrong. Even if you don’t feel like anything’s wrong with your teeth- if you haven’t been to the dentist in years you really should schedule an appointment.  The underlying causes that lead to problems like cavities, misalignment, decay, gum disease and many other potential dental issues are things that your dentist can identify long before they manifest as obvious problems and result in pain, sensitivity, or other symptoms.

More often than not, the underlying “problems” with teeth go completely unnoticed by patients. This is why it’s essential that you actually see a dental professional.

So there you have it. If there’s one lesson to pull from the answer to this particular question it’s that you shouldn’t take anything for granted when it comes to your teeth. If they seem to be healthy and “okay” but you haven’t been to the dentist in years, you may have no idea that there’s an expensive dental problem just lurking around the corner. It could be because you grind your teeth at night without knowing it. Or there could be years of calculus (covered in a previous blog post) building up on your molars. These are things that have very real consequences, but can often take quite a while to become a problem.

So, if you have a question, worry, or concern about going to the dentist – let our friendly team of dentists in Garden Grove help solve it. Get the care your teeth need now , so you don’t need much more later.

 

How Veneers Have Changed and Gotten Better

preventing-gum-disease

Have you ever wanted more perfect teeth? Porcelain veneers have become one of the best available ways to do it. But veneers have changed quite a bit over the years after entering the scene around the 1920’s.

The funny thing is, veneers were “born” not much far from our dentists in Garden Grove, California. Another California dentist known as Dr. Charles Puncus came up with the first “veneer” – which was an acrylic cap that fit over the entirety of the patient’s existing teeth. This is, of course, why veneers quickly received the nickname “movie star” teeth for the way they used these appliances during scenes, and then removed them afterward.

While these early “veneers” were the first formulation used to perfect a patient’s smile – they are a far cry to what’s available today. After the 20’s and into the 1950’s and 1960’s, patients began to get veneers in order to better shape their smiles – especially after events like disease or tooth loss. But then, it was difficult to get the veneers to actually adhere with some reliability.

This lead to the birth of new materials, adhesives, and methods that would eventually make veneers much more secure, attractive and permanent. Ultimately however, the veneers we think of today didn’t enter the spotlight until the early 1980’s, after the technology had had a few decades worth of trial, error, and innovation. At this point, they became easier to place, better designed, and much more viable for patients hoping to cover up a wide variety of cosmetic issues.

One issue that modern dental veneers have overcome is a more negative nickname they earned over the years: chiclet teeth. Coined after the popular pieces of gum, early veneers had a tendency to look too straight or too perfect. So much so that they looked, rather unnaturally, like chiclets. As time moved on – dentists realized that looking perfect shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Instead, perfecting the teeth within the context of the rest of the mouth was more important so that teeth look remarkable better, while not standing out as “fake”.

To accomplish this, modern dentists like ours spend much more time setting the groundwork for “perfect” teeth by designing them carefully, with the whole mouth considered and applying them just as carefully.  Dentists take numerous photos and work with special laboratories that expertly design veneers to look as natural as possible – taking extra care to include details like subtle translucency near the edges of the teeth, the right shape, and a perfect natural color that matches the rest of your teeth.

This is how veneers of today make truly healthy and perfectly natural teeth a reality.

Are you looking for a permanent boost to your smile? Veneers might be right for you and can correct a wide variety of cosmetic imperfections ranging from discoloration and chips to minor alignment problems. Have questions? Get in touch with our advanced dentists in Garden Grove.  

Get Better Teeth and a Happier Smile by Saying Goodbye to Your Dental Anxiety

Trying to stay looking young? Start with your teeth!

Trying to stay looking young? Start with your teeth!

Today’s blog is written for anyone that hasn’t been to the dentist in a while. First, you should know this: if your teeth need some work, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about them! Second, understand that dental anxiety is very real – and it manifests for a number of reasons. But the thing is, dental anxiety is a problem.

It’s been estimated that as much as 15% of the American population avoids seeing a dentist due to fear or anxiety about dental procedures. That adds up to 10’s of millions of people that don’t see the dentist as often as they should because for some reason the prospect makes them worried, or a little uneasy.

The thing is, that this isn’t just an innocent choice they’re making. Because people with a dental phobia have shown a higher risk of early tooth loss and gum disease. This can get bad – some people even get to the point where they’re so embarrassed by their teeth that their professional and personal lives begin to change because of it.  And unfortunately, their treatments usually require more time and effort because of how infrequent their visits are.

Whether you’re afraid of the drill or you have an overwhelming feeling of helplessness (almost like claustrophobia) when you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair – you don’t have to be a statistic. Because having dental anxiety doesn’t mean you can’t get dental treatment.

So what can be done?

Getting over dental anxiety can be done in a few ways. Some are hard, and others are easier. The hard part is solving anxiety for good, and can be accomplished in a variety of ways ranging from mediation to medication, and therapy – or a combination of the three.

Your dentist also has quite a bit of experience (and helpful tools) to ease dental anxiety and make your visit painless and anxiety-free.  From nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to sedation dentistry, safe tools are available to make every dental patient healthier and happier with their smile.

Are you an anxious dental patient? You don’t have to be. Even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with your teeth – waiting too long to see a dentist means you’re not getting the preventative care that stops larger, more expensive problems from happening. If you haven’t been to the dentist in more than a few years  and you’re a patient in Southern California, our dentists in Garden Grove can help. Contact us today to learn more about new patient specials. 

Our Garden Grove Dentists Weigh in On the Most Popular Home Dental Remedies

Teeth hurt? If you've ever searched for a home remedy - you might have seen one on our list. Learn today which are *actually* recommended by dentists.

Teeth hurt? If you’ve ever searched for a home remedy – you might have seen one on our list. Learn today which are *actually* recommended by dentists.

 

Whether you’re looking for home remedies because you don’t want to go to the dentist, or because you’re just trying to get ahead-of-the-curve when it comes to setting your oral health of for success – it’s important to be sure that what you’re doing in the interest of health is actually good for your body.

So today, our dentists in Garden Grove have come together to weigh in on some ofthe most common “home” remedies that get shared and spread by patients hoping for a little relief from their toothache.

Rinsing/Gargling with Warm Salt Water

They say it helps for sore throats, canker sores, gum inflammation, and dental pain. But it seems silly and almost a little too simple, doesn’t it? Well sometimes simple is best. With just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water (very warm, not quite hot) you can notice reduce inflammation and pain due to the way the saltwater rinse works with nerve endings in your mouth.

Applying Asprin 

Aspring is tried and true when it comes to defeating pain, but that’s only when it’s taken as recommended. Placing aspirin on the gum of a troublesome tooth is not at all recommended by dentists. This is because aspirin is acidic, and it will actually burn your gum and harm your soft tissue.

Think about it this way, if you had a headache – would you rub the aspirin on your temple? No, you wouldn’t. Just swallow it with a nice big glass of water.

An infusion of onion, cloves, or garlic

Many holistic websites will recommend using a piece of raw onion to help a painful tooth. Funnily enough, it can actually work due to the antimicrobial qualities of onions.

Cloves are similar in that they contain a substance known as eugenol – which is actually commonly found in a number of dental products due to its pain relieving and antimicrobial properties. So, it’s safe to say this one can actually help. Just mix 2 or 3 drops of clove oil into a cotton swab and gently bite-down.

Garlic adds a third “vegetative” remedy to the mix that’s good for more than just protecting you against vampires. When you crush or finely chop garlic – two substances form together to create something called Allicin – which boasts antibiotic properties and can sometimes offer relief from pain and inflammation. It is important that garlic can and will irritate your gums though, so this one is only good for a problem tooth that’s waiting to see the dentist.

A word of caution

Finding natural relief from pain is one thing. Treating it is another. While the above suggestions are often recommended by websites and facebook groups – you still cannot ignore the underlying problem that causes your discomfort. While issues like inflammation and early gum disease can be warded away with better care, problems like cavities and decay will not be treated without actually working on the tooth.

If you’re experiencing pain that won’t go away, and you simply can’t ignore it anymore – don’t wait for it to get worse. Contact your dentist today.

 

 

 

Should I have upper wisdom teeth removed at the same time as lower wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are one of those topics that patients are always wondering about – especially young patients who know they’re quickly approaching the special time in their life when the decision to have them removed comes into play.

Many of the stories about wisdom teeth removal used to center on how painful and uncomfortable the process was – but times have changed. Today, with the advent of social media, our “viral video culture”, and the help of much more effective dental procedures and anesthesia, the most memorable part of wisdom teeth surgery is generally the silly things patients say after they’ve woken up from sedation.

The thing is, while some people are born without wisdom teeth entirely – others have extra wisdom teeth that eventually become apparent in X-rays in early adolescence (between the ages of 10 and 16). Fortunately though, even if your family dentist finds the wisdom teeth early – you generally have until the age of 17 or 18  (or even longer) before the wisdom teeth can start causing a problem.

Today, our dentists in Garden Grove will talk about one of the most common questions patients tend to have about wisdom teeth – remove all at the same time, or remove some?

What you need to understand about the relationship your wisdom teeth have with your mouth as a whole and the rest of your teeth is that a number of facgtors come into play when it comes to deciding whetehr to remove them all or not.

The position of the wisdom tooth

Generally, there are a few different rules of thumbt oc onsider when it comes to the actual position of your wisom teeth. In these cases, you can expect the following:

  • Wisdom teeth that have erupted (broken through the surface of your gums) are easier to remvoe than wisdom teeth that have not (known as being impacted).
  • The way your tooth/teeth are tilted can also impact how hard it is to remove, and whether or not all are remived at once. Wisdom teeth that are upright or leaning forwward are generally easier to remove when compared to wisdom teeth that are leaning back or oriented sideways.

Other factors your dentist will consider: Root Anatomy

In addition to the actual position of your wisdom teeth, your dentist will also take root anatomy into consideration. Your wisdom teeth have several roots – and the way they’re oriented can impact how they are removed. Sometimes, the roots will be separate and easy to separate. Other times, they can be bundled together.

 

  • Teeth with irregularly shaped roots are harde rto remove
  • Wisdom teeth with roots that aren’t completely formed generally make it easier to extract your teeth.
  • Teeth that have roots that are fused together are usually easier to remove completely

So, remove them all at once?

Generally, the most logical answer is “Yes” because it’s always better to minimize the number of treatments you’ll need. “Taking care of them all while we already have you ‘under'” is a very common, and cost-effective way of handling wisdom teeth. But there are some cases where it might not be necessary.

Have questions about wisdom teeth and live in Southern California? Our dentists and oral surgeons in Garden Grove can help. 

Never Be Ashamed to Get Quality Dental Care

You shouldn't be afraid to smile. If you've been living with severe dental issues that affect your confidence, talk to your local family dentist today.

You shouldn’t be afraid to smile. If you’ve been living with severe dental issues that affect your confidence, talk to your local family dentist today.

There’s something to be said about getting your teeth taken care of, and being “nervous” about going to the dentist.

Do you think your teeth are really bad? Or maybe you know that your teeth are in pretty rough shape.

If you have rotten teeth, abscesses, discoloration, and decay – you might feel ashamed or embarrassed about your teeth. What you need to know is that you shouldn’t be.  Because dentists have always seen worse, and the fact that a patient who hasn’t been to the dentist in years decided to finally schedule an appointment is something to be commended.

Have you been putting off dental care because you’re embarrassed about your teeth or worried about how much work needs to be done? Don’t. The longer you wait, the worse the damage gets – only increasing your reluctance to show your teeth to the dentist. On top of this, waiting longer can also increase the extensiveness of the treatment you need.

Are you putting off dental care?

What you truly need to understand is that your dentists are here to help you. our dentists in Garden Grove have helped countless patients in southern California bounce back from histories plagued by poor dental health to rediscover health, happiness, and self-confidence that they didn’t think they could have.

But what about the money? Won’t treatment cost a lot?

It’s true that dental treatment costs money, especially when you’ve been putting it off for a long time. But quality of life isn’t something you should put on hold. In addition to new-patient specials, treatment from dental schools, and financing offers – it’s never been easier to improve your teeth without going broke. All it takes is a comfortable conversation with your friendly family dentist. If you’ve been putting off dental care – the time is now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be – both for your pride and your wallet.

Talking to your dentist will yielf you with a plan for the future on how you can economically resolve all of your dental problems in a way that works for you.

Are you a patient in Southern California with questions? Our dentists on Brookhurst Street in Garden Grove can help. 

Do You Know your Calculus?

No, we’re not here to talk to you about advanced math (or even any math) for that matter. So don’t worry.

What our Garden Grove dentists are here to talk about today is a different kind of calculus – the kind that forms on your teeth.  Even when you take great care of your teeth, there are always bacteria in your mouth.

What happens all day, every day is a gradual process where bacteria mixes with food debris and proteins to gradually form a sticky film we know commonly as plaque. When plaque gets all over your teeth and works its way in under your gum-line, fillings, and other dental appliances it can do a number on your teeth in the form of decay and gum disease.

When plaque has the opportunity to stay on your teeth – it turns into something else: tartar. Tartar is also referred to as calculus and forms both above and below the gum-line. The thing that’s so dangerous about it is that it’s porous and rough – perfect for bacteria and more plaque to stick to. Think of tartar as a high-rise hotel for bacteria, which can help bacteria irritate and damage your teeth and gums on an even higher level.

 

But how are calculus and plaque different?

Plaque is a sticky film that spreads across your teeth (you can even feel it sometimes). Inside this plaque, bacteria lives – secreting acids that can and will cause both gum irritation and dental decay. Left unchecked -this irritation can lead to gum disease and gingivitis. This is why it’s so important to brush regularly so that plaque doesn’t have time to establish a foothold in your mouth. If it’s not removed – you welcome plaque’s big brother calculus into your mouth.

The thing about calculus is that – unlike plaque – it can’t be taken care of with a toothbrush alone. Only your dentist or dental hygienist can take care of it. Because unlike the “colorless film” of plaque – calculus is a hard deposit, firmly established on the surface of your teeth. The longer it stays, the more damage it can do.

 

Have questions about plaque, decay, and your dental health? If you’re a patient in Southern California, our dentists in Garden Grove can help with great new-patient deals, years of experience, and a state of the art dental office on  Brookhurst street.  

Why Our Garden Grove Dentists Want to Help You Stop Nailbiting

Habits are an interesting thing. They can super-charge your will to get things done, they can encourage you to wake up early and get a good workout in, and they can put your mouth and teeth in a world of hurt. That’s right, that last habit wasn’t a good one – and it happens to represent one of the most prevalent “oral hygiene habits” that you’d otherwise want to avoid – nailbiting.

Our dentists in Garden Grove frequently advise patients on how they can treat their teeth better and prevent long-term damage. Some of the most frequent advice that our patients hear is how to stop problem behaviors that threaten their teeth. Behaviors precisely like nailbiting and cheek chewing.

Why nailbiting is so bad for you…

The thing about nailbiting is that – while it’s pretty innocuous and can seriously reduce the amount of time your manicure lasts, but it can also have some very real implications for your dental and your general health. First of all, biting your nails requires putting your fingers in your mouth. That’s dirty. It might not seem like it, but its a good way to raise your risk of catching an illness or picking up an infection on your lips, gums, or in your mouth.

Even worse, if you have a wart on your finger – biting your fingernails helps that wart spread to new skin – because the more open skin that’s available, the more the virus can spread. And those are just the “general” health impacts of biting your nails. We haven’t even gotten to what the habit can do to your teeth and gums.

Not only can biting your nails hurt your enamel and chip your teeth (which can lead to even more serious problems), biting your nails can also do a number on your gums. Ever had a finger “slip” and catch your gum while biting your nails? That’s an easy way to give yourself recessed gums – which can increase sensitivity, the risk of gum disease, and potentially require repair.

So with all of this information, hopefully, the following become clear:

  1. Nailbiting is a bad habit
  2. Nailbiting can get you sick (from the cold or flu and much more)
  3. Nailbiting can chip your teeth and enamel, making them weaker and more susceptible to damage and infection
  4. Nailbiting can damage your gums

 

The final verdict on nailbiting by our dentists in Garden Grove? Just say no. Your brain is tricking you into a repetitive behavior you don’t even really want to do. Need help breaking the cycle? We’re here.

 

 

Can coffee with cream stain my teeth? (And other insights into staining)

Coffee cup top view on wooden table background

So it’s no surprise to have heard that your teeth can get stained by a number of sources – and you’ve already heard of the prime offenders (smoking, coffee, wine, and the other usual suspects), but what other stain sources are out there that you might not be aware of? Today, our dentists in Garden Grove are taking a look.

But first, a quick primer on how staining works. While the enamel of your teeth is incredibly hard (actually the hardest substance in your body) it isn’t flat or smooth. Even though it might not seem like it, your enamel has tiny little microscopic ridges that particles of drink and food can easily cling to. This gives pigments from dark-colored drinks and foods a handhold of sorts to stick to your teeth and contribute to yellowing.

So, does adding cream to coffee reduce the risk of staining? 

Not really…it might initially seem like lighter colored coffee has a lower likelihood of staining your teeth, but this actually isn’t the case. Coffee is coffee is coffee. So by adding cream, you’re not taking away the pigment that stains your teeth. It’s still there.

What are some other, less known “stainers” 

Some of the worst possible culprits when it comes to staining are actually combinations of liquids. For instance, while white whine may seem pretty innocent from an “I don’t want to stain my teeth” perspective – when you follow it up with something like red pasta sauce, it’s a different story. Combining the two is almost like inviting stains into your enamel.

 

A good rule of thumb: If it stains your clothes, it stains your teeth

Generally, if you’re eating or drinking something that would easily stain your clothes or your carpet – it could also easily stain your teeth. While coffee, tea, and wine are the most common culprits – you also have to be sure and watch out for things like smoothies, green juice, and berries.

The key to avoiding stained teeth is care and awareness

It’s probably impossible to avoid everything that’s going to stain your teeth – instead, just be aware of what you’re putting in your body and do everything you can to minimize the damage you encounter. This includes rinsing after meals, brushing after meals, and even using a whitening toothpaste to minimize staining – especially if you have a coffee habit.

When you need a little help, dental whitening is tried and true. If you have questions about the dental whitening process or how it can help restore many shades of whiteness to your teeth – get in touch with our friendly dentists in Garden Grove today.