Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Garden Grove Dentists Q&A: Are Bad Teeth Genetic?

Many patients at our Fountain Valley area dentist office often wonder if problems like cavities or weak enamel run in the family. These people are often surprised when they learn that yes, there are aspects of your smile that can be influenced by your genes.

Genes can determine quite a lot when it comes to your body. From the way your face looks and the color of your hair – all the way down to the most minuscule aspects of your existence, like the bacteria in your mouth. It’s certainly true that genetics can have an impact on your teeth – but how much?  Today, our Fountain Valley Dentists take a look.

Cavities and Decay

While you’re not going to come away from this article with the ability to suggest that your cavities are the fault of your parents – you might win a little sympathy if you’re getting cavity after cavity despite stellar oral hygiene habits. The thing is, studies have shown that the bacteria in our mouths that influences the formation of cavities isn’t there when we’re born. Typically, we “pick it up” after birth – usually from a parent or relative. Interestingly, some bacterial make-ups have shown to be more or less resistant to the bacteria that cause tooth decay, which could ultimately work in your favor (or against it).

The bottom line: Chances are – if you get a lot of cavities you might be able to blame your parents. But it’s probably because they didn’t teach you good oral hygiene (or they helped you develop a taste for sweets) – not because of your genetic makeup.

Crooked or Misaligned Teeth 

The way your teeth come in and the directions they choose to take when they do is dependent on a number of environmental and genetic factors.  It starts with how many teeth we have, the size of our jaw, how our bite works, and how our mouths work together with our teeth. Then we sprinkle in behaviors (some of them, influenced by genetic factors)…like thumbsucking or tongue-thrusting, which can significantly alter the way your teeth line up.

The Bottom Line: in this case, yes. Your parents can most definitely contribute to your dental problems. Thanks mom!

Yellow Teeth

If your teeth are yellow and you smoke cigarettes or chew chewing tobacco, you only have yourself to blame. On the other hand, if you brush, floss, and do everything your dentist tells you to – but your teeth are still a sheen of yellow. You might have your parents to thank. This is to say that – like misalignment – the color of your teeth is largely dependent on both genetic and environmental factors.

When it’s not what you’re eating, smoking, drinking, or chewing – the color of your teeth is largely influenced by genetics. For example – people whose teeth develop with a thinner enamel generally appear to have yellower teeth – whereas patients with thicker enamel tend to have whiter looking teeth.  But then there are genetic factors that are far easier to track – like yellowing that happens as a result of exposure to medications like tetracycline while in the womb, or exposure to excess fluoride.

Fortunately for just about any, the properties of our teeth and enamel also make in-office dental whitening at our Garden Grove Dentists office a fast and straightforward process.

Have questions about your teeth? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove our Fountain Valley area – we can help! Contact us today to learn about new patient specials and more. 

 

5 Questions and Answers for Parents Thinking about Getting Their Children Braces in Garden Grove

At any given time, plenty of parents in the Garden Grove or Fountain Valley area are thinking about whether or not their children should get braces or not. In many cases, those parents have questions. Fortunately – our dentists in Garden Grove have answers.

Question: What makes teeth crooked in the first place?

Answer: A number of factors can influence whether or not a child’s teeth go askew at some point in their development. The technical term for crooked teeth is malocclusion. And believe it or not – it’s mostly genetic. On top of this, other factors like thumb-sucking or pacifier use can also influence how the teeth come-in.

Apart from it not exactly looking right, this should also be taken care of because crooked teeth can influence how your child speaks and chews – while also contributing to some jaw problems.

Question: When should my child get braces?

Answer: In many cases, children get braces between the ages of about 7 and 15. The important factor is to put the braces on when the face is still growing – which makes the teeth that much easier to adjust

 

 

Question: How long do braces need to be worn for?

Answer: This usually depends on the type of problem that’s being solved. For instance, an over-bite or under-bite will typically take longer to fix than a tooth that’s just crooked. This is because the jaw is being manipulated as well. In most cases, patients wear braces for between 1 and 3 years.

Question: Do braces cost a lot?

Answer: The total cost of correcting teeth may give some sticker-shock at first – since ceramic or metal braces typically range between 3,000 and 8,000 dollars.

Are you someone in the Anaheim area looking for answers about your teeth? Our dentists in the fountain valley area can help.

How Our Dentists in Fountain Valley Use Lasers

Lasers aren’t always used to create awesome light-shows at your favorite concert venue. Actually, they’re probably even used more by dentists and doctors.

Lasers entered the scene in the 1960’s, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that they entered the dental field for good. But first, what are they anyhow?

To put it simply, lasers are super-focused light that can be used to influence (and change) our lives in numerous ways. LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” – and today, lasers are being used for everything from scanning your order at the grocery store to repairing your body from head to toe. Lasers touched our world in countless amazing ways.

The first FDA approved use of lasers in dentistry didn’t occur until 1989 – when lasers were initially used on gums and other soft tissues. Today – just like in “the real world” – lasers are used by dentists to accomplish quite a lot – from repairing your gums to blasting away tartar.

Consider, for example, periodontal laser therapy.

With this particular kind of gum therapy, our Fountain Valley dentists use a small laser to gently clean the space between your gum and your tooth. This eliminates bad bacteria and cleans problematic gum tissue. The best part? It leaves healthy tissue completely unharmed. This is all because of wavelengths and the beauty of lasers. By using different wavelengths, dental lasers have emerged as a true multi-tool, capable of being a solution for a wide variety of dental conditions.

Typically, gum treatments that don’t use lasers require the use of sharp tools, stitches, and the prospect of pain. Lasers make these treatments more gentle, easier to recover from, and easier to agree to in the first place.

Would you rather your next dental procedure use a laser? Our dentists in the Anaheim area are using laser treatments in a variety of ways. Having trouble with your teeth? We can help. Contact us today to learn about new patient specials or to schedule a free consultation.

 

How Milk, Wine, and Tea Affect Your Teeth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone drinks. But some people drink healthier things than other people. And we’re not even talking about alcohol. You might not often think about it – but what you drink can have a very big impact on the overall health of your teeth. It’s not just what you eat and how often you brush and floss.

When it comes to what you drink, not only do you have to think about the ingredients of what you’re drinking (for instance, the sugar content) – you also need to think about whether they’re going to stain or not.  

Today, our dentists from Anaheim will be discussing some of the most commonly enjoyed beverages, how they affect your teeth, and if you should do anything differently.

Tea

Tea is interesting, because it has a wide variety of health benefits. On top of that, it’s one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world. Green tea and Oolong tea have been shown to actively fight cavities, for example. While other teas (like Earl Gray) have been shown to contribute to staining. So no matter what, it pays to be careful – and always remember to drink more water than anything else. Tea shouldn’t pose a problem unless you’re drinking lot of it.

Milk

Milk sometimes gets a bad reputation in healthcare and dental circles for the way it can lead to bottle decay and childhood cavities. However, with this in mind – it’s also important to remember that a glass of milk also contains a large amount of calcium – which is required for healthy teeth.

Expecting mothers, for example, should be getting around 1,000mg of calcium – which milk can help with. In addition to this, the dairy in milk and cheese also boasts properties that help it fight decay and support enamel production. Bottom line: milk is great for your teeth. But if you have little ones, just don’t let it become a problem where it’s known to become a problem (like when kids sit with a bottle for too long!)

Wine

Fortunately for wine lovers around the world – despite the fact that wine can cause stains, recent studies have also shown that red wine contains valuable antioxidants that can help fight the bacteria that cause plaque.

So drink up with the warning that this doesn’t mean that wine is good for your teeth. You still need to be concerned about sugar content and staining.

Do your teeth need help?

If your teeth need a hand, our dentists in Anaheim can help. Contact us today to learn about new patient specials and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Water flossing: Better Than “Old Fashioned” Floss or Just as Good?

 

Having good oral health isn’t just important for people who want to have healthy teeth, capable of doing their primary job….that is, eating delicious food. It’s also important for people who want to talk, speak, laugh and live happily.

But did you know that over 90% of American dental patients have had at least one cavity so far? On top of that, studies have also shown that 1 in 4 Americans also lives with tooth decay that’s going completely untreated.  But we’re not done. On top of all of this – almost half of adults in America over 30 live with some form of gum disease. These are statistics that our Anaheim area dentists strive to drive lower every day.

While brushing your teeth is sure to help accomplish this – as patients of our dentists in Fountain Valley know, you also need to floss, rinse, see your dentist a couple times a year, and keep an eye on what you’re eating. Not an easy task.

Dentists might recommend brushing and flossing twice a day, where does water flossing come in? Many dentists around the world agree that water flossing might be just as good as regular flossing as a dental health tool. Better yet, it’s even easier than flossing – which makes it all the more accessible for patients.

Water flossers are often recommended for patients with plaque and gum disease problems – but the fact that they’re effective for reversing these issues is perfect proof that they could be the perfect tool for patients eager to stay far away from needing any further dental work.

Are you suffering from dental sensitivity? Or maybe you’re consistently having dentist appointments that end in a drill? Water flossing might be the tool you need to add to your arsenal. Have questions? Get in touch with our dentists in Fountain Valley to see how we can help.

When You Need a Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants: by your Dentists in Fountain Valley

Sometimes when you have a cracked or damaged tooth – it doesn’t hurt you so much that the pain makes it unbearable to live with. Sometimes, patients find themselves in the situation where it’s certainly still uncomfortable, and they know it needs attention – but there’s still some time to do research and figure out if a dental bridge or dental implant is the more appropriate solution.

If you’re a patient with a sore tooth looking for a dentist in the Fountain Valley area – we’re here to help.

The thing about damaged teeth is that no matter how long you can put up with the pain and discomfort, the end result is only going to involve more time in the dentist’s chair.  More pain for you, more pain for your wallet – which is another way of saying, the sooner you get problems taken care of – the better. Because the longer a tooth remains damaged – the more likely it is to become a much more dangerous problem when it gets infected (when, not if).

So, do you need a bridge or an implant?

Both a dental bridge and a dental implant can be used to replace a tooth (or teeth). But the two processes are much different, with the implant adding a titanium post that is crowned with a prosthetic tooth and the bridge using the surrounding teeth for the prosthetic instead.

The thing about dental implants is that they need a fair amount of healthy bone for the implant to sink into. That means, if the tooth has has been damaged or missing for a while – the procedure could require the extra step of bone grafting. Unfortunately, this also makes the process more expensive.

In cases like this when the amount of bone available just isn’t enough, a fixed dental bridge is often recommended. The dental bridge used the adjacent teeth (healthy teeth) to support the new replacement tooth. Sometimes, the neighboring teeth need a little extra support in the form of dental crowns – but just like a dental implant – a dental bridge can offer many years of healthy and dependable service (just not quite as many years).

Timing

While rapid implants are becoming more popular, dental implants can take up to 4 or 5 months until the replacement tooth can be completely attached. This all depends on how quickly your implants attach to bone (and how quickly the bone heals, if you needed bone grafting).

With a dental bridge, the procedure can be completed almost immediately after teeth come out (or crowns go in). Sometimes, a bridge is used as a temporary solution while a patient waits for an implant – and they often find that it’s a perfectly viable solution to replace a missing tooth.

Are you missing a tooth? Our dentists in Fountain Valley can help. Inquire about new patient specials today.