Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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How 3D Printing Has Impacted Dentistry

smile5One of the more exciting technological advancements in recent history has been the emergence of 3D printing, which has become a technology that our dentists near Anaheim and dentists around the world have had the opportunity to take advantage of. But first, a little about what 3D printing is in the first place.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a new manufacturing process that uses special printers to create three-dimensional parts in layers of material (usually plastic) from what most know as a CAD file (short for computer-aided design)

Using the 3D CAD file, a 3D printer’s software reads its data as many many 2-D layers, which are all building blocks on top of one another to eventually create a 3D object.

You might wonder, what does this have to do with dentistry? Actually – a lot. 3d Printing has helped dentists improve treatments in a number of ways.

  • Repairing or replacing a damaged tooth: One of the many amazing dental technologies coming out of 3D printing enables dentists to scan your mouth with a specially designed “wand” in order to create a detailed 3D image that empowers dentists to digitally design the required tooth repair.
  • Helping with specific procedures: While many of the applications for 3D printing are geared towards fixing or repairing teeth directly, sometimes the technology can also help your dentists get the job done in other ways. For instance, 3D printing can also help produce the drill guides needed for completing specific procedures.
  • Producing dentures, crowns, caps, and bridges: Previously, the only way for a dentist to create an orthodontic mold to replace or repair teeth – the patient had to bite down on a piece of gooey clay. Today, this isn’t exactly the case. With 3D printing, dentists can scan the teeth instead, which can make the process much easier for some patients. The only difference between this example and the previous one is that the type of material used for the tooth is slightly different.

Have questions about your teeth? If you’re in the Anaheim area, our dentists in Garden Grove can help. 

Are you flossing right?

Recently, our dentists in Garden Grove blogged about one of the most important tools known to every dentist and dental patient alike: the toothbrush. We wrote about how to make sure you’re brushing correctly and what steps you should take to improve your brushing routine.

If you’ve already worked to make improvements to the way you brush your teeth – fantastic. It will undoubtedly have an impact on your teeth and their health for years to come. But even though you’ve made considerable steps towards a healthier mouth by improving your brushing technique – there’s still more improvements you can make.

When done properly, flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from places on your teeth that your toothbrush simply can’t quite reach. This includes areas under the gumline and between your teeth. Unless you use a specialized tool (like a water pick) this can be difficult without floss. For this reason, our dentists highly recommend daily flossing that meets the following criteria:

  1. Star with around 12-18 inches of floss, with most of it wound around your middle fingers. About 2 inches should be left between your fingers.
  2. Hold the floss tight, but not too tight – slide it gently up and down between each of your teeth, while gently curving it around the base of your teeth and gently beneath your gumline.
  3. Try hard not to snap or force the floss, otherwise, you could send it with too much force into your gums – which can injure them and cause irritation (while not serious, you will still want to avoid this – as sore gums are even harder to floss).
  4. Gradually shift which bit of floss you’re using to ensure you’re using clean floss

What kind of floss should I use, waxed or unwaxed?

The type of floss you use really comes down to personal preference, experimentation, and the type of teeth you have. Unwaxed floss composed of multiple strands of nylon can often be more effective with tightly spaced teeth – but it can also fray into many strands more easily.

Waxed floss, on the other hand, holds up a bit better. But can sometimes be harder to use in tight spaces.   If you have problems with your floss falling apart and you have tightly spaced teeth – choosing a waxed monofiliament (meaning “1 strand”) floss could work better when compared to floss comprised of many strands (most nylon flosses).

A Visual Guide to Flossing, Courtesy of the American Dental Association

Courtesy of the American Dental Association  http://bit.ly/2Gq0Qj0

Courtesy of the American Dental Association http://bit.ly/2Gq0Qj0

 

 

 

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Right?

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Brushing your teeth is the absolute cornerstone of a healthy mouth. Every time our Garden Grove dentists see a patient with clean, healthy teeth – we can always be sure that the patient at the very least brushing their teeth daily.

But even if you do brush your teeth every day, are you doing it the right way? Just in case, our dentists in Garden Grove have provided a quick refresher to make sure all of your bases are covered.

Brushing should take about 2 minutes

If you’re brushing right, it should take you about 2 minutes. Think about it – or even try running a timer on your phone, two minutes can actually feel like kind of a long time. A full 120 seconds. With this in mind, you may not be surprised that most adults definitely don’t brush for the recommended amount of time.

Try to get a feel for how long two minutes is by keeping a stopwatch near your sink.

Technique is key

Technique is really important when it comes to how you brush your teeth. You need to make sure you brush with the right pressure, in the right places – with extra attention paid to carefully cleaning your gumline and any hard to reach spots around molars and fillings.

Cleaning with the right pressure is important too. Otherwise, you could run into problems with sensitivity. This can often be solved by either using an electric toothbrush or by slowing it down a bit.

For the rest of your teeth – it’s pretty simple. And it helps to go in order:

Start with the outer surfaces of your upper and lower teeth

Then, take care of the inner surfaces of your upper and lower teeth.

Move to all of your chewing surfaces

Finish by brushing your tongue for fresher breath.

Do you have questions about getting healthier, brighter, whiter teeth? Our dentists in Garden Grove are always here to help and currently accepting new patients in our dental office near Anaheim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If dogs don’t have to brush their teeth, why do humans? Another Question Answered by Your Dentist in Garden Grove

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Have you ever watched a dog blissfully chewing on a bone and licking his lips only to wonder – “Why on earth do I have to brush my teeth twice a day to prevent decay and cavities when my dog never has to brush? Don’t dogs get cavities?”

The answer is actually simpler than you think. And if you’ve made a habit of reading our Garden Grove Dental Office blog, you might think that the answer has something to do with either bacteria or the pH of your saliva.  If that were the case, you’d be partly right – there are actually a number of factors. But in order to understand why (most) animals don’t need to brush their teeth, you need to first understand why you do have to.

The answer lies mostly in what you eat. All the refined foods, sugars, and carbohydrates humans tend to eat break down into sugars that our saliva simply can’t handle on its own. In order to have a healthy mouth, it’s important to limit unhealthy food and drink. But it’s also important to brush your teeth to cut down on bacteria and plaque.

On the other hand, most animals don’t need to brush their teeth. That’s right, most. A small minority of animals have developed symbiotic relationships with other organisms in order to clean their teeth. But it mostly comes down to diet. Because most animals eat uncooked and unprocessed food that’s completely natural, they aren’t exposed to the same carbs and sugars that humans are, and the naturally higher pH of their saliva can take care of any excess bacteria. On top of this, abrasives – like bones – help scrape the teeth clean as well.

But humans are not animals…or at least not that kind of animal.

We all need to clean out teeth, otherwise – we lose them. It’s that simple. If you live near Anaheim and are worried about your teeth for any reason. Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help.

 

 

 

 

 

Answering Your Questions About Toothpaste

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Time and time again, patients in our Anaheim Area dental practice wonder what the easiest way is to maintain shiny, healthy teeth for years to come.

While we’ve covered topics like toothbrushes , fluoride, and floss – we haven’t talked about toothpaste in a while – and it’s an important topic to cover because there’s really quite a lot of toothpaste covering the shelves. That can make it really confusing for the average customer.

So today, our dentists in Garden Grove are answering questions patients might have about toothpaste.

Does an electronic toothbrush help?

Electric toothbrushes work great, and can especially help when individuals either have a hard time brushing with a normal brush – or when they don’t brush with enough discipline. Combined with the agitation of an electric toothbrush, the timers that many of them include can help make sure stubborn brushers spend enough time.

Is expensive toothpaste better? 

Sometimes, patients wonder if the fancy toothpastes – the ones with all the crazy stripes, and flecks, and additives are any better. The answer is actually yes. While these toothpastes aren’t drastically better, they can help give your teeth a boost.  The big toothpaste companies put a lot of research into their products and innovations like arginine get added to toothpaste. This, for example, is great for helping with dental sensitivity and can’t be found in many generic toothpaste brands.

Did we answer your question? Or are you a patient in the Anaheim area looking for a great dentist? Our team would be happy to help. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

 

 

How to Get Pretty, Perfect White Teeth

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If your teeth are otherwise healthy but lacking a certain sparkle that you’ve always hoped for, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that nearly a third of Americans are unhappy with their teeth. The thing worth remembering however is that there are always solutions to any problems you might have with your teeth.

If you’re happy with the shape of your teeth…

If it’s not the shape of your teeth, but rather just the shade – you have some great options available. Whitening in our Garden Grove dental office generally falls under two categories: whitening at home or whitening in the dentist’s office.  Whitening in the dentist’s chair generally takes about an hour and can whiten your teeth by more than a couple shades.

For some patients who experience dental sensitivity, this can lead to some irritation. Take-home whitening products tend to take a little more time but contain less hydrogen peroxide – which can be easier on the gums, resulting in less sensitivity. Versus an hour in the dentist’s chair, this usually involves whitening “trays” that you wear for about 2 weeks.

While there are other off-the-shelf options that are available, including whitening toothpaste, your mileage may vary. Sometimes whitening toothpaste can even contain overly abrasive materials meant to help with the whitening, but these can often hurt your teeth.

The key with any whitening product is that the whitening solution has to actually be in contact with your teeth. So whitening products like rinses won’t really help. It really takes prolonged contact with the hydrogen peroxide.

If you’re unhappy with how your teeth are shaped…

If it’s not just the color of your teeth that you want to fix, you also have options. But treatment tends to get a little more involved than simple teeth whitening. In most cases – if your teeth are otherwise healthy and don’t need repairs for any structural reason, dental veneers are the most common option for a fix.

Invented here in California, dental veneers are made of porcelain and are an incredibly effective way to completely transform your smile.

 

Word to the Wise: Almost Everything is Fixable

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When it comes to visiting the dentist, some people delay, delay, delay. Sometimes – rescheduling a dental appointment is simply unavoidable. Life happens. Kids have appointments, work gets busy, and priorities get shifted.

But if you’re putting off dental care because you’re worried for some reason about what the treatment will involve, how it will be accomplished, or whether or not it will be successful or not – know this, when it comes to your teeth almost everything is fixable.

 

But remember: every dentist in the world – including our dentists here in Garden Grove recommend never putting off dental work for too long. Even if you have a tooth that’s been completely broken, it can still be fixed. Either your dentist needs to build it up with bonding material or – if the surface of the tooth needs a more complete restoration, a crown may necessary.

In some cases – infection might require that your dentist perform a root canal procedure. This is to ensure that any pieces of infected material can’t spread infection deeper into your tooth, your gums, or deeper. Untreated dental infection can actually get pretty serious (even deadly).

So how do you know if your tooth is infected? There are actually a number of signs. First, you might experience a throbbing toothache that doesn’t really die down, combined with sensitivity to temperature, and pressure from chewing. Outside of your mouth you may experience a fever, swelling in your face, and swollen lymph nodes – which are a dead giveaway that your body is fighting something.

While a root canal isn’t painful, it’s more involved than other treatments had you simply gotten your tooth taken care of early. So next time, if you’re a patient in the Anaheim area, our dentists in Garden Grove will be happy to help.

 

Have a Hard Time Sticking to a Good Brushing Routine? Our Garden Grove Dentists Have Some Advice

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Outside of maintaining a good diet and not completely ruining your teeth with sugar and sweets (or bad habits), the most surefire way to give yourself great teeth for years to come is a solid brushing routine.

Unfortunately, some patients have a hard time getting there.

First, our dentists in Garden Grove recommend brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. While there has been some debate over fluoride outside of the dental community for years – it’s worth remembering that fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that actively helps remineralize your teeth and protect your dental enamel. Most dentists prefer fluoride toothpaste for its powerful ability to slow or even stop the progression of decay on your teeth.

Years ago, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention realized that stopping or slowing dental decay was incredibly important due to a high rate of childhood cavities. To this day, the fluoridation of public water has been one of the most successful public health initiatives in recent history.

So, if you’re not using fluoridated toothpaste – give it a shot.

With toothpaste covered, the next natural topic is toothbrushes. Some patients wonder if a manual or electronic toothbrush is best – and the real answer is: it depends. When it comes to taking care of your teeth – technique is king.  There are many studies showing the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes and their ability to help patients who either brush too hard or don’t brush enough (due to built-in timers in most electric toothbrushes).

If you don’t have the discipline to brush for a full two minutes at a 45-degree angle, while effectively cleaning your teeth and gums and moving from one tooth to the other – an electronic toothbrush can definitely help. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush – one good way to make sure you brush for long enough can be to sing a song in your head (great for kids) or simply put an egg-timer near your sink.  Making sure you’re brushing correctly and for enough time is perhaps the simplest and quickest way to ensure your teeth are healthy for many years to come.

Just a couple minutes every day makes sure you don’t have to spend a lifetime with fake, replaced, or missing teeth.

Getting Your Toddler to Brush

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At Garden Grove Dental Arts, one of our largest focuses is laying the groundwork for healthy teeth for life. More often than not – that starts at home and in the dentist’s office.

More specifically, this often starts with your child’s very first dental visit – which can happen as early as about one year of age – or, more specifically, by the time your child’s first tooth erupts through their gums.

However, the most important factor when it comes to pediatric dental care is often your child’s diet. Eliminating or at the very least – minimizing – things like sweets and excess sugar from your child’s diet (in the form of candy and juices) can significantly reduce the occurrence of childhood cavities.

But many parents say, “my kids LOVE juice!” and that’s okay. Here’s a really easy tip to keep them eating and drinking what they love without ruining their teeth in the process: water it down.  By watering down drinks like apple juice (which contain as much sugar as soda), you significantly reduce how much sugar your child’s teeth are exposed to.

On top of this, you need to remind your children that technique is king. That means brushing correctly every day, twice a day – with fluoridated toothpaste that’s designed to help protect their enamel. Worried about fluoride? Don’t be. This is why you don’t swallow toothpaste and why you only need a small dab of toothpaste.

How long should parents help their children brush?

If your child is still not getting the hang of brushing by 7 or 8 – an intervention is likely needed. Around the age of 8, brushing should be a solid habit. This could also mean that your child is overdue for a nice and calm visit to our dentist’s office in Garden Grove – where our pediatric dentists have years of experience working with children to ensure they have the foundation they need for years of healthy teeth.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Ignore Baby Teeth

Contrary to what many might think, baby teeth are actually incredibly important. Even though baby teeth may come in one tooth at a time, they can still become decayed. The worst part is if infection goes untreated on a baby tooth – it can impact the permanent tooth that’s growing below it.  So the best course of action is to never take baby teeth for granted.

 

Have questions about pediatric dentistry in Garden Grove? Our dentists can help! Schedule an appointment with our family dentists to learn how we can help make sure your children have healthy teeth for years to come.  

 

The Good bacteria in your mouth

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Generally, when the word bacteria comes up you don’t tend to think of anything good or healthy. However, not all bacteria is bad – and when it comes to the bacteria that’s in your mouth you might be surprised to learn that some of it can actually help you keep the bad bacteria in check.

As the National Institute of Health explains in its research in the National Library of Medicine, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of different kinds of bacteria in your mouth at any given time. And while some of that bacteria is responsible for problems like oral cavities, gum disease, and contagious illnesses like strep – not all of it is actually bad. Just like your white blood cells patrol your circulatory system fighting sickness – some bacteria behave in the exact same way. This is why constantly rinsing your mouth with mouthwash isn’t always a good thing – because it wipes out all bacteria, including some of the bacteria that help keep the real bad bacteria in check.

How Bacteria Helps With Digestion

While your stomach generally takes care of most of the digestion process, it all starts in your mouth. With healthy bacteria in your mouth, food begins to break down through a special enzymatic process before it even hits your esophagus. This is one of the primary roles of your saliva.

 

Fighting Oral Disease

 

As many dental journals have reported over the years, there are a number of healthy bacteria also found in probiotics – which can be found in a number of food items ranging from yogurt to kombucha. These friendly bacteria have been shown to effectively help prevent problems like periodontal disease and even cavities. This is because this type of bacteria helps create more saliva in your mouth – wish is responsible for washing away debris, food particles, sugar, and bad germs.

But….

Just because some of the bacteria in your mouth is good bacteria – it doesn’t mean you should ignore your oral hygiene habits.  The best thing you can do to help the good bacteria do its job is simple  – brush and floss. Every day, twice a day. That’s it!

Could your mouth use some help? If the good bacteria isn’t good enough to prevent problems like decay and cavities – our dentists in Garden Grove are happy to help with years of experience and attractive new patient incentives. To learn more, contact us today.