Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

714-537-5700

How to do Halloween the Tooth-Friendly Way this Year

Dentist’s dread it (not really) and kids love it. You guessed it, we’re talking about Halloween.

Every year, children (and some teenagers) march forward in hordes to descend on expecting neighborhoods and extract their sweet, sugary bounty with the battle cry “Trick or treat!” and – even as dentists – we can’t disagree, it’s plenty of fun.

But when parents think about Halloween – the important thing to remember is that no fun is free, and the same is true for teeth.

That’s because sugar is basically cavity fuel, or if we’re keeping with the Halloween theme: nightmare fuel. To put it simply, cavities are nightmares. They are deep dark holes that form in the teeth of you and your kids. While many people think sugar is the root cause of these nightmares, they’re actually wrong. Sugar’s just the fuel for harmful bacteria that needs fuel to produce acid, which lets that nightmare dig deeper and deeper into the meaty insides of your teeth to continue its spread.

That is why parents need to be extra careful about what kind of candy they let their kids collect on halloween, and how they enjoy it.

Hard and sticky (kind of icky)

Remember this saying: “Hard and sticky, kind of icky (for teeth)” because it’s true. Hard candy and candy that sticks to your teeth do the most damage because the nature of the candy extends how long the sugar stays in contact with your teeth. It’s almost like holding a mosquito in place to give her a better opportunity to feast on your blood – not ideal. So, if you can’t completely stay away from sticky candies, the next best approach is to simply make sure you’re rinsing and brushing shortly after enjoying your forbidden candy.

Get rid of it!

Just because your family managed to collect 300 pieces of candy doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every single one of them. Your waistline and your teeth will thank you if you try your best to limit your stash. Have the family pick their favorites and simpy donate the rest. OR, hide it away for a rainy day (if you must)

Try another kind of candy, gum!

By chewing sugarless gum, increased saliva flow successfully increases saliva low to help neutralize the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth. So after any candy binge, sugar-free gum is a great idea.

Have a question for our dentists in Garden Grove? We’re here to help. We hope that Halloween doesn’t have a negative impact on your teeth – but if it does, we have the answers you’re looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

Why it’s not “just another cleaning”: Why your regular cleaning is imperative

“I don’t need to go to this appointment, it’s just a cleaning.”

Have you ever thought this thought? If so, read carefully.

While some people are blessed with mouths that seem almost immune to cavities, dental cleanings are important for a very simple reason: to eliminate places for bacteria to hide.

That’s right. Your mouth is full of hiding places for bacteria – and they get bigger and better every day. That’s what our dentists in Garden Grove (and everywhere in the world!) call plaque.

Plaque can be colorless or yellowish, but it’s a sticky film that slowly forms on your teeth when you combine food debris and fluid with saliva. In most cases, plaque forms on the surface of your teeth and all along the gum line. It’s also fast. Plaque forms on your teeth as early as 4 hours before you brush – this is why it’s important to brush and floss thoroughly multiple times a day (but twice should do).

Plaque is at the root of many dental health problems, that’s because the bacteria lives in plaque and uses it to produce the acids that slowly eat away at your enamel. On top of this, plaque also contributes to bad breath and the gradually changing color of your teeth. The thing about plaque is, if it’s not cleaned away by brushing, rinsing, and flossing – it begins to contribute to the formation of tartar – a hardened, mineralized compound that forms on your teeth.

So when you go to your dental cleaning – your dentist isn’t just poking and prodding your teeth. At your cleaning, your entire dental team is carefully taking care of the plaque and tartar that have formed on your teeth to eliminate hiding places for bacteria and get rid of dangerous tartar.

Are you putting off a dental visit or considering canceling a cleaning? Think twice! The longer you wait to clear away plaque and tartar – the more damage it can do. If you’ve been waiting for too long, get in touch with our dentists in Garden Grove.

 

 

 

 

Have kids? Looking for good tooth fairy ideas? Look no further!

Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove work with families of all kinds. From old families – with children who have long since left home, to new families – still learning, growing, and losing baby teeth!

That’s where we’d like to help. Every day our dentists in Garden Grove work with young children who are either starting to lose their baby teeth or already well on their way. But sometimes – parents wonder how they can help support their children when it comes to getting excited about good dental health.

Well, many times – that’s where the tooth fairy can come in (seriously!).

The sheer magic that children will believe in is nothing short of amazing to behold. One way that many parents promote this creativity and get kids excited about their teeth is with the tooth fairy.  But the tooth fairy doesn’t just have to be depositing cold hard cash under your kids’ pillows. You can also get creative with it. Here are some suggestions:

Encourage good dental care by laying some praise on your kids, courtesy of their favorite fairy

Don’t just stop at a dollar or two, what about some praise? Sharpen a pencil really sharp so you can get the writing nice and fine, and lay some praise on your kids for taking such good care of their teeth…here’s an example.

Dear [Child]

I can’t believe how perfect your teeth are! As you may already understand, the tooth fairy collects teeth that children lose from around the world and use them to create special fairy tools in fairyland. Without your perfect teeth – our tools just wouldn’t work like they’re supposed to – and Toothville just wouldn’t be the same! So thank you for taking such good care of your teeth and for helping the Fairy Kingdom stay strong! Keep up the good work!  As a thank you – I hope you’ll enjoy the reward I’ve left for you.

Toothiest Wishes,

Your tooth fairy

To go the extra mile, add the tiny letter with its tiny handwriting to a similarly tiny envelope – with a tiny wax seal, and plenty of fairy glitter.

Leave something more than money behind

Every kid loves getting a visit from the tooth fairy, but have you ever thought about adding a little more wonder to the experience? Imagine waking up only to find that your tooth fairy FORGOT her wand under your pillow? Just google “Tooth Fairy Wand” for a multitude of options to get you thinking.

Leave some footprints on the window sill

This sort of fun isn’t left to Santa. Making the tooth fairy as fun as possible can really help give your children a greater sense of value in their teeth. So while the tooth fairy sure is fun, you can also use her mythical reputation to encourage your kids to stay on top of their teeth.

Fairy footprints left in glitter on the window-sill are just one way to make the whole thing seem more real.

Trying to prove that teeth are valuable? Give them a receipt!

How else can you prove the value of something than by providing a receipt?! The same can be done to great effect with your children. Consider this great idea from Mamacheaps.com:

The main point? Make it fun

Being the tooth fairy isn’t just some old-fashioned parental obligation – it’s a tactic to get your kids caring about their teeth.  What better way to do it than with a bit of magic?

Have questions about kids teeth? If your family is looking for a dentist in the Garden Grove area – our dentists would love to help. Contact us today to learn more!

Does Charcoal Toothpaste Work? (And other questions, answered)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to getting whiter teeth, many people won’t think twice about taking a shortcut. In fact, many people might remember dabbing baking soda on their toothbrush to get that extra bit of whiteness before a school dance or special event.  Unfortunately, the truth is that even baking soda (by itself) isn’t all that healthy – because it’s abrasive and tough on your enamel! But the superior cleaning power of baking soda isn’t the only product that’s promised results and come up short for our teeth.

What about CHARCOAL?

Charcoal has become a bit of a fad with social media stars like Kylie Jenner even pushing her own line of charcoal-infused products. But unfortunately – it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Because recently the British Dental Journal  has reported that charcoal – while popular – provides very little (if any) protection against decay, with limited evidence to show that it can even help whiten teeth.  In fact, what the dentists in charge of the study discovered was that – when used too much – the activated charcoal had a habit of working its way into peoples fillings, becoming difficult to remove.

Using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth

This one’s another common “tip” that gets passed around without much thought for the precautions that must be taken to protect your teeth if you attempt it. While hydrogen whitens just about anything it comes into contact with our dentists in Garden grove don’t recommend you try this method, because you have to do it just right, not too frequently, and with the correct dilution. The risk? Very expensive and potentially uncomfortable damage.

And crunchy foods?

Ah, nature’s whitening strip. Crunchy foods like granola won’t actually whiten your teeth as you would typically think – but they act like nature’s toothbrush by helping scrape the gunk off your teeth that contribute to staining.

Feel like getting it done the right way? In-office whitening is the easiest route. 

Whether you have sensitive teeth, severe staining, or you just want to make sure it’s done right the first time, our dentists in Garden grove provide in-office dental whitening for patients every day. In just a single visit, your teeth can be noticeably whiter. The best part? It’s really, really easy.

(Save big with a coupon for in-office whitening here)

 

Do Whitening Strips Really Work? Our Garden Grove Dental Team Weighs in…

It’s a pretty common occurrence that a patient might want to whiten their teeth. Whether a big day like your prom or a wedding is coming up – or you’ve recently stopped smoking and want to make a concerted effort to reverse the damage you’ve been doing with tobacco, you’re in luck. These days – it’s pretty easy to whiten your teeth.

But one of the most common questions people tend to have about whitening products is whether or not the whitening strips you can find in the store will do any good. Unfortunately, the answer is one of those answers everyone hates to read: it depends.

Everyone’s teeth are different and the strips you can get in stores will certainly work for some patients. The way they work is with a gel that usually contains hydrogen peroxide (or something similar) this is pressed against the teeth long enough for the peroxide substance to work its way into your enamel.

For many patients, this works okay. But sometimes, the plastic used for the strips and the adhesive chemicals used can sometimes lead to some irritation.  And that, irritation, is the big advantage of in-office whitening.

Dentists across the country will often advise patients that they should go ahead and try over the counter whitening strips if they’d like – especially when those patients have never experienced any allergies or sensitivity symptoms. But when patients have a tendency to have more sensitive teeth – in-office whitening offers the most controlled, measured, and reliable way to whiten your teeth.

For example, when we perform in-office whitening in Garden Grove – we often see more consistent results faster simply because the tools are better, the environment is right, and the product is specialized for use by a dentist.  This also means we can accommodate for patients that have dealt with sensitivity in the past.

So, should you try over the counter whitening strips? If you have healthy teeth and no history of chronic dental sensitivity – go ahead! Or, if you live in the Garden Grove area and want a more reliable (and even) whiteness – contact our team today.

 

 

 

 

 

Is it normal to have pain after a visit to the dentist’s office?

Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove see patients of all ages. Do you know what that means? That means they see teeth of every variety, with every type of sensitivity and variable that you can imagine.

So that leads us to a common question that we’ve never actually covered on the blog before:

“Is it normal to have some pain after a dental visit?”

The answer, of course – is not as simple as you’d like it to be and probably falls somewhere between sometimes and depends on what you call “pain“.

When you have a variety of dental procedures completed, there are more than a few reasons your teeth might be a bit sore afterward. And while not all dental work hurts – there are certainly some reasons you might have a bit of pain after a dental visit.

In general, when it comes to any pain after a dental visit the big thing to remember is that it should always lessen with time. If it doesn’t go away shortly after your appointment (depending on the procedure), you need to speak to your dentist. So, when it comes to pain after a dental visit – what can you expect as reasonable? 

Your jaw might be sore…

One of the most common sources of pain people experience after a dental visit is a bit of jaw soreness, purely from having your mouth open for so long. Just like any other muscle that can get tired, this is the exact same thing. Just give it a few days.

Ever heard of pulpitis? 

Pulpitis can occur from something as simple as a cavity procedure and is something that should never happen in a modern dentist’s office due to the availability of advanced, modern tools. But what it is it? Basically an inflammation of the dental pulp tissue which results in symptoms almost exactly like a toothache. While it can occur naturally (often the sign you may need a root canal) it can also happen due to heat or trauma (such as from a drill).

Or dry Socket…

You might have heard of dry socket before – especially in regards to a patient recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. That’s because dry socket is one of the most common healing complications encountered by patients who aren’t quite careful enough with the way they eat (or apply suction) to a healing tooth extraction. Dry socket is when the blod clot that’s forming gets sucked out, which can cause moderate to severe pain, an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and maybe even a fever. When this happens shortly after a procedure, your dentist will likely need to intervene.

Soft Tissue Pain…

This is as simple as it sounds – the simple soreness caused by nicks and scrapes from everyday dental tools. In almost every case – this will clear up very quickly and shouldn’t bother you too much – unless your gums are a bit sensitive (which you might have learned while your dentist was working on them anyhow!)

And the mouthful: Referred Myofascial Pain

This is a more common type of pain, that will often feel like a persistent dull pain in your teeth. But it also might feel like an earache – or a knot. The reason, however, could be as simple as nerves that are irritated by dental work – which is radiating to the nerves nearby.  Getting over this pain can sometimes require treatment.

Have questions about dental pain and looking for a dentist near Garden Grove? We’re here to help.

 

Get Your Teeth Ready for Summer

This might be the time of year where everybody is focused on unearthing their summer bodies. But what about your teeth. Are they ready for summer? Staying on top of your oral health is a surefire way to ensure your summer is a smooth one.

Where does that start? With preventative maintenance.

Whether you’re dealing with a nagging toothache, a knocked out tooth, a chip, a crap, or a broken jaw – don’t tough it out. Don’t delay treatment. In almost every case, delaying treatment is only going to make the underlying source of the problem harder to treat. The only outcome of waiting to see a dentist after a dental emergency  is more pain and more expensive treatment.

Don’t start slacking…

Summer might be a more relaxed time, but don’t relax your oral hygiene routine. Keep brushing and flossing twice a day – just like you would all year. This is especially important for kids. Make extra sure that little ones don’t view brushing and flossing as only important when school is in session.

Fit your check-ups in now

The most common reason patients tend to reschedule is because they simply can’t fit the appointment into their busy day. This is why we frequently recommend that patients – especially for family dental – schedule their appointments in the summer, when it’s easier to fit in. On top of this, it can also ensure that you don’t have a ruined vacation because one child had a terrible toothache the entire time.

Snack healthy

Summer is often a time of constant snacking. Make sure they’re healthy, and try to cut down on the sugar by making a point to stock a healthier kitchen. Instead of candy, try watermelon, fresh fruit, or vegetables and dip – and always remember to keep everyone hydrated. Water isn’t just good for keeping cool and energized in the sun, it also helps rinse away the acid, sugar, and bacteria that aim to attack your teeth all year-round.

Don’t run at the pool

It might seem silly, but preventing dental emergencies starts with following the rules. Far too many chipped and broken teeth come from carelessness (some of it, at the pool). Fun and caution can co-exist!

 

 

How to Protect Your Teeth Overseas

 

Ever feel like you leave your health to chance while on vacation? Indulge the smart way with some simple dental travel tips

Our dentists in Garden Grove  hear all the excuses when patients don’t have the best approach to oral health – but one of the funniest excuses you might be able to come up with for poor oral health is “I was on vacation.”

If you’re getting ready to travel and you’re worried about your dental hygiene or you’re already on the road and you’re looking for ways to be better about your teeth – here’s some tips:

Pack a dental emergency kit

Okay, so toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, and floss are essential. That’s just a starting point. But if you’re traveling abroad – especially for an extended period of time, you might want a few extra things in your kit, including:

  • An extra toothbrush: cheap is fine, just make sure you have a backup – because it’s easy to leave your main toothbrush behind, and you never know how far away the next pharmacy is.
  • Some dental wax: this could be in a tiny container in your travel kit, but the small amount of space and weight it requires could save you money and discomfort in the event of a chip or crack. On top of this, if you experience a loose filling or crown – dental wax can be used to keep it in place until you can find a proper solution.
  • Dental cement: if you know you have an issue with a crown or filling, it also can’t hurt to have some dental cement on hand as well.

Know what to do in an emergency

Traveling anywhere requires you to change your perspective and adapt in a different way. It’s part of the challenge, and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience – even if you run into trouble, such as with your teeth.

The best, first step is knowing what needs to be done in general.  What would you do back home? – now just adapt that to wherever you might be.

Start with the basics by understanding what a dental emergency truly is, and what might be able to wait until you get home:

Think You Need an Emergency Dentist After Hours? Here’s When to Call

The Dental Emergency You Shouldn’t Ignore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A tooth just fell out, out of nowhere: why?”

Imagine you’re sitting at your kitchen table one day, must leisurely eating a bright and juicy red-delicious apple, only to feel a little extra crunch and see a tooth stuck in your snack…

“What just happened?” you might wonder. Well, hopefully our dentists in Garden Grove can help answer that question.

Losing your tooth is often considered an almost magical occurrence for children. But as an adult, even the slightest wiggle can make you feel anxious. While children dream about the tooth fairy leaving something under their pillow – losing a tooth for an adult is more like a complete nightmare.

So, why can your adult teeth fall out? (especially without warning?)

Oral Cancer

We’re not trying to alarm you, but you should be aware that one of the most common causes of sudden dental loss can be oral cancer, and the American Cancer Society tells us that men are almost twice as likely to encounter this affliction. Oral cancer often manifests as a sore or growth in your mouth that doesn’t go away. It’s often related to smoking, and can certainly contribute to early tooth loss.

Gum Disease

This is actually the most common reason for an adult to lose a tooth – and it all comes down to poor dental care. One thing that our dentists near Anaheim frequently hear is that patients are surprised that a tooth doesn’t have to hurt to be infected. When bacteria gets beneath your gumline, it acts a lot like rust. It can separate the tooth from your gums, which essentially separates your tooth from its foundation. This makes the tooth unstable, and can very realistically lead to it falling out.

Tooth Decay

You don’t always feel tooth decay, and sometimes – you get so used to it that you don’t remember that decay doesn’t stop. Once you feel some pain, if it’s happening because of bacteria that bacteria isn’t going anywhere until you get it taken care of. Tooth decay spreads like a virus, unless you stop it.

Are you experiencing a dental emergency in Garden Grove? Our dentists can help. Contact us immediately if you’re experiencing a dental emergency.

Read more: Tips for Handling a Dental Emergency

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiter Teeth from Every Angle: Your Garden Grove Dentists’ Advice for Whiter Smiles

Yellow teeth can be a huge blow to your confidence. They can also happen for a wide variety of reasons. Fortunately, our dentists in Garden Grove have helped countless patients improve the look of their smile. So today, we’ve compiled a variety of answers and resources that attack the problem of discolored teeth from every different angle.

Many patients deal with discolored teeth. But the truth of the matter is that there are a variety of solutions available to improve their look. Like any stain – understanding the source of the underlying discoloration is half the battle in getting rid of it. So hopefully some insights from our Garden Grove dental blog will provide you with the answers you’re looking for.

In What a Discolored Tooth Means – we go over many different factors that can influence the color of your teeth, including:

  • Excess fluoride
  • Damage
  • Medication
  • Your genetics
  • (and of course) Vices like tobacco and alcohol

In 4 Foods that Will Give You a Whiter Smile – we discuss what you should be eating if you’ve been partaking in a little too many of the foods or substances that contribute to dental staining. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, those foods include things like black coffee, red wine, tea, and – of course – tobacco.

Speaking of tobacco, if you’re a smoker with complaints about discolored teeth. Stop right there. Your first step is the biggest step: stop smoking. Understanding what tobacco can do to your teeth is critical when it comes to truly improving your health.

So, what can you do for yellowing teeth?

If you’ve tried whitening foods, you’ve stopped smoking, quit black coffee, and are using a whitening toothpaste and feel your teeth aren’t white enough – you still have options. Like our dentists in Garden Grove, many dentists across the country offer in-office teeth whitening that is fast, effective, and inexpensive.

Are your teeth looking a little dull? If you’re in Southern California – our dentists can help.