Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


How to Cure Canker Sores – from Your Garden Grove Dentists

Have you ever experienced a canker sore?  You know, one of those shallow, red, and painful sores that occur in the lining of your mouth and never seem to go away?

While the exact cause of canker sores isn’t well known, it’s often understood that a wide variety of food and substances can bring one about. These can ranging from minor abrasions and physical trauma to certain foods – like citrus, acidic fruits and vegetables, pasta sauce, spicy foods, and more. Sometimes, patients even report experiencing a canker sore when using certain dental products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, the ingredient some products include to create that lovely (but fake) “foaming” sensation.

Then, there are the causes that come down to over-doing it. For example – one popular drink, the Mimosas, is made out of both orange juice and champagne, which are two fairly acidic components. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that patients have reported canker sores after having consumed one (or two, or three). Other possible causes include: Accidental cheek bites, sports injuries, sensitivities to foods like pineapple, mango, and strawberry, allergic reactions, hormones, dietary deficiencies, and some other (more serious) sources.

How you can prevent a canker sore:

When it comes to treating your sore, remember a few things: the pain is worst in the beginning and will get better. But your canker sore might be sticking around for up to a couple weeks. If it’s extra persistent or spreading – you may want to give your dentist a call, who will likely prescribe an ointment or rinse to speed up healing.

It is also safe to use over-the-counter remedies (like bacitracin) to minimize the pain and make eating easier.

How to make sure you don’t get one again…

From making some of your favorite foods hard to enjoy to simply being a pain in the…mouth, canker sores are no fun. The best thing you can do to prevent one from happening again is to figure out your triggers. Make a note of what you ate before experiencing a canker sore, try changing your dental care products,  and see what changes. On top of this, if you’re not using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start! Irritation from a too-hard brush could be contributing to your canker sores.

Having persistent problems with painful canker sores and live in the Anaheim area? Our dentists in Garden Grove can help. Get in touch today to learn more. 

On-the-Go Snacks That are Fast & Tooth Friendly


Whether you’re between classes or between appointments – more often than not, it’s when you start rushing when your diet goes out the window. Around the same time is also when you stop treating your teeth like the valuable asset they are.

Think about it. When was the last time that you – in the midst of a rushed lunch-hour or frantic child pickup – ate something on-the-go that probably wasn’t a great choice for your teeth (or your diet in general)?

At our dental office in Garden Grove, we work with patients from all walks of life from the Anaheim area. No matter the age, almost everyone can sometimes become a victim of convenience. Hopefully, some of today’s tips will at least make eating healthier (for your teeth and body) a little more convenient.

  • Vegetable slices: easily one of the healthiest snacks you can possibly eat (easily spiced up with some greek yogurt and ranch-dressing dip) – go for carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Looking for a bonus? Choose celery – which is so good for you, you actually burn more calories chewing it than you consume eating it.
  • Vegetable chips: veggie chips – while much closer to potato chips (and starchier than fresh veggies) are a pretty decent alternative to regular potato chips. Try kale chips for a great healthy alternative.
  • Fresh fruit: do you have a sweet tooth? Whenever you can – opt for fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas all make for tooth-friendly snacks. Watch out for dried fruit, though. While dried-fruit can be great, some varieties include loads of extra sugar.
  • Nuts: Nuts are a great source of energy, and they aren’t half bad for your teeth either. As an added bonus, If you’re splurging on something with a bit of chocolate (such as a candy bar, or some trail mix) try to opt for something with nuts – they do a great job of helping to scrape the sugary leftovers away from your teeth as you chew.

Have questions about your teeth and live in the Garden Grove area? Our dentists can help! Check out our new patient specials to learn 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.

What are the Lines on my Teeth and How Do I Get Rid of Them?


Do you have lines on your front teeth that seemed to come out of nowhere?

If this sounds like you, there’s a great chance you have what our dentists in the Anaheim area (and dentists everywhere) call craze lines. They aren’t problematic cracks. They aren’t irreversible damage. They aren’t even that big of a problem.

So go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief (There you go, isn’t that nice?).

Craze lines are simply tiny hairline cracks in the enamel of your teeth. While they might not be what you hope for from your teeth cosmetically, the good thing is that they aren’t dangerous.

What Causes Craze Lines?

Craze lines can come from a number of sources. The first and most common is everyday wear and tear. The biting, gnawing and chomping that you do on everything from your dinner to your fingernails (stop that!) can definitely contribute to craze lines. On top of this, even some dental procedures that are used to protect your teeth can contribute to craze lines by weakening the enamel.  But this isn’t a reason to not get treatment for a more serious dental issue – because craze lines are harmless, and problems like cavities and decay are most definitely not harmless.

So, what should I do?

Interestingly, you might notice that fancy glazed pottery often has these vertical “lines” as well. Guess what? In pottery – those lines are called “craze lines” too. Keep this in mind. It’s to remind you that while these lines are present in the enamel, they do not impact that structural integrity of the pottery (or your teeth).

So just like these lines technically can’t be removed from the pottery – they can be hidden by repainting it. This is where our dentists often recommend teeth whitening services for our patients in the Anaheim area. These lines become visible because stains settle into the microscopic cracks. By bleaching the stains that settle into the tiny microscopic cracks – the lines will almost be completely invisible.

Have dental questions? We have dental answers?

Whether you have craze lines, stained teeth, or a problem that calls for an emergency dentist in the Anaheim area – our team can help. Having contended with just about every dental issue for patients ranging from newborns to the elderly, our team has seen it all. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to act. We’re here to help! While you’re at it – check out our new patient specials. They may make getting timely treatment easier if you don’t have dental insurance.

Soothing Baby’s Teething Pain Without Benzocaine


When a newborn enters your life – and for the 9 months until that very fateful day – it always seems like every single person you meet has a piece of advice.

Whether your baby has a skin condition, a bad mood, a curly hair, or his first tooth – there’s always a wives tale or sage bit of advice that you absolutely need to hear.

Unfortunately, you’re always going to end up hearing it. But when it comes to the wives tales about teething – our dentists in Garden Grove really recommend taking any advice with a grain of salt. The best advice we can offer? Just ask your dentist.

The Problem With Benzocaine

Teething can be a miserable experience for babies, and it’s no surprise – pushing teeth through delicate soft-tissue doesn’t feel good! With this in mind, it’s understandable that some parents might turn to products like benzocaine, which can dull the pain from teething. Unfortunately, it’s not the best for your baby.

The problem with benzocaine – according to the Harvard Medical School is the fact that – in addition to numbing pain, it also effectively changes hemoglobin into methemoglobin – which can potentially cause a dangerous condition known as methemoglobinemia. 

What hemoglobin does is gather oxygen from the lungs so that it can help distribute oxygen to tissue throughout the body. However, when the iron in hemoglobin interacts with some chemicals (including benzocaine) it changes its structure so that it holds the oxygen instead of letting it go. Ultimately, this can prevent tissue from getting the oxygen it needs. And because babies are much smaller than adults and have less blood volume, it takes less benzocaine.

Symptoms of this problem often include pale skin, a blue-ish tint to skin, headaches, dizziness, seizures, coma, and – potentially – death. With this in mind, the FDA has been warning parents about the potential problem for years – and are finally beginning to enforce the rule that companies must stop making products that contain benzocaine for children under the age of 2.  

Alternatives to Benzocaine

Fortunately, there are remedies that work just as well as benzocaine (while often lasting longer). And they’re simple. These include small (pediatrician approved) doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen and a cool teething ring.

Do You Need a Retainer?


In the past, we’ve talked about topics like braces, bridges, crowns, and Invisalign (feel free to catch up with some links to past blog posts)

…but what about retainers?

What a Retainer Does

Put simply, a retainer is a relatively simple piece of plastic and metal that’s been custom-made for the patient (child or adult!) that needs it. No two are alike – and they fit the top teeth and hard palate.

Typically, most people that wear braces and have recently gotten them off have to wear a retainer to ensure that the teeth stay in their new position. This is because teeth continue to shift as the mouth grows. In these cases, for example, a child might only need to wear a retainer for 3 months or so. In other cases, a child might only need to wear the retainer at night (but perhaps for a year instead). A retainer might also be used in a similar way to help close a specific gap in the teeth.

In other cases, a retainer might be needed to help with a specific medical problem. Tongue thrust, a condition where your tongue pokes through your teeth when you talk, is often one of them. This trains your tongue to go towards the roof of your mouth instead – and is usually only needed for children.

Yet another reason for retainers is to help correct TMD – temporomandibular disorder. Typically this results from a bite problem or jaw disorder. In this case – a retainer might help prevent your teeth from lining up in a way that allows them to grind at night, which helps prevent other issues like cracks, erosion, sensitivity, and more.

It takes some time and effort

Fitting you for a retainer is easy. Getting used to it and caring for your retainer take a little bit of time, but they are both also very easy.

Most of all, you really don’t want to lose your retainer. Why? Remember when we talked about them being custom-made? That’s right. They’re not cheap.

Also, do make sure you follow your dentist’s recommendations for cleaning your retainer. You don’t want to be putting more bacteria in your mouth when you use a dental device designed to help your teeth instead.

Have a question? 

If you’re a patient in the Anaheim area – our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help you. All it takes is a call!









Do You Need to Brush MORE Than Twice a Day?

Lately, it’s become more and more popular for men and women around the world to eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day instead of the standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The primary claim about this diet is that eating several meals throughout the day helps keep your metabolism more active, ensures you’re not hungry, and helps keep a better handle on your blood sugar – which can have a big impact on your energy.  But what about your teeth?

What some people wonder is – “If I’m eating more meals during the day, do I need to be brushing my teeth more?” the answer might surprise you. The fact of the matter is that it is absolutely possible to overbrush your teeth. However, this often depends more on how you brush – and not how many times you brush in a day.

The thing about toothbrushes is that the bristles are effectively “rounded” at the factory. You just can’t see it because the ends are microscopic. Once these rounded edges wear away, the bristles of your toothbrush become – essentially – like tiny little knives. This smoothness is essential, and a primary reason why it’s so important to replace your toothbrush every few months.

This is the first factor you should be aware of when brushing your teeth multiple times a day. The tool.

Next, you should be focused on the technique. If you use a proper technique with a good toothbrush – our dentists in Garden Grove suggest you could eat frequently and brush after every meal without having a problem or damaging your teeth or wearing away your gums.






Is Coffee Bad for My Teeth? Our Garden Grove Dentists Weigh In.

Coffee cup top view on wooden table background

Every year you probably see stories in the news and articles online about how this food or that drink is suddenly very bad for you.

Then, months or years later you see a similar story – except now the food and drink is suddenly responsible for protecting you from cancer, the common cold, flu, bad grades, indigestion, and truancy.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to staining your teeth is that if it can stain your clothes, it can stain your teeth. The ingredient in coffee that actually stains your teeth is called tannins – which are a type of substance that gradually break down in water.  But don’t forget – they’re not just found in coffee, they’re also found in drinks like tea, wine, and grape juice.  The thing about tannins are that they cause many color compounds to more easily bind to substrates – like your teeth. But when they do this, they won’t turn your teeth purple or brown. Instead, they leave behind a somewhat yellow hue.

Did you know that it only takes about a coffee or two a day to cause stained teeth?

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid it – and you don’t even really have to give up your precious morning cup.

You can start by trying to avoid cream and sugar. According to most research these substances can accelerate the rate that bacteria builds up on your teeth – which can provide more ammo for stains to stick around. It also helps if you drink your coffee in one sitting – rather than one long cup that lasts the entire day.  Finally – if you’re able to, brushing your teeth can also go a long way to prevent the stains. But if you can’t brush your teeth during the day  – even drinking a glass of water can help wash away some of the debris and residue that can contribute to staining.

Have a question about protecting your teeth? Our dentists in Garden Grove can help. For new patient specials and all the help you need for healthier teeth – contact us today.






Do I need dental sealants?


Do you worry about cavities? Or maybe you worry about your children getting cavities? It’s understandable. They’re like the unexpected flat tire of the dental world – frequently a surprise, and always an annoyance for the patient. But fortunately, the dental world has provided a great solution that’s quite simple  and painless for our dentists near Anaheim to apply to give your teeth an extra leg-up against decay and cavities.

That solution is dental sealants.

Dental sealants are a very thin – essentially invisible – piece of plastic coating that your dentist can paint onto the chewing surface of your teeth, giving your enamel a special shield that helps prevent tooth-decay while also smoothing out any crevices or grooves in your teeth.

Sealants are an incredible solution to help make sure you prevent the unexpected hassle and expense of cavities – especially for children, when they’re between the cavity-prone ages of 6 to 13 or 14. Sealants are frequently recommended for children when their permanent molars come in. This can be helpful because they tend to be the hardest teeth for children to brush.

But sealants aren’t just for kids. If you’re an adult who’s prone to decay – sealants could be a very effective solution. They’ll generally protect the teeth for many years – but they should be inspected by your dentist during regular appointments.

How well do they work?

The ADA reports that dental sealants have demonstrated an ability to reduce the risk of dental decay by up to 80% in molars and premolars. As the CDC reported in 2016, sealants can be especially important for children, because children without dental sealants often have a much greater likelihood of cavities (up to 3 times!)

Are you frequently worrying about cavities? Or are your children prone to cavities? Dental sealants are a great way to prevent them. Get in touch with our friendly dentists in Garden Grove to learn how we can help.

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.