Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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5 Reasons to Brush Your Tongue Every Day

Did you give your tongue a thorough brushing this morning?

If not, you should have.

Because brushing your teeth might actually be more important than you think. That’s right, you might hear about brushing and flossing all the time – but you hear about the importance of brushing your tongue a lot less, which is unfortunate. That’s why our Dentists in Garden Grove are coming to you today with a tip that’s so simple it would almost be impossible not to follow: brush your tongue more. Here’s 5 reasons why.

It’s Really, Really Easy

If there was a surefire way to save money, become healthier, and get better tasting food in the process – would you do it? Of course you would! The simplest and most straightforward reason to brush your tongue is because it’s so easy to do – even easier than brushing your teeth. It’s the fastest way you can quickly take care of a large percentage of the bacteria in your mouth that can contribute to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis.

Yes! it makes your food taste better

Imagine drinking a beverage through a straw that’s covered in a thin film of bacteria. It probably wouldn’t taste as good as it could, would it? In the very same way, brushing your tongue is also an easy way to enhance the flavors of your food by scraping away the extra gunk building up on your tongue. When you scrape that layer away – your taste buds are much more exposed to your favorite flavors.

It helps you get rid of bad breath

Some studies say that the largest cause of your bad breath is the crap that’s hanging out on your tongue. Food particles, bacteria, and fungus all stick to your tongue – and if you stick it out right now, you’ll probably see a bunch of build-up already there. It could be white, yellow, or even brown. The thing is, if you don’t scrape away this build-up, it can get pretty stinky. Brush your tongue for an instant boost to your breath.

Tongue scrapers lead to fewer cavities

Cavities occur because of bacteria and toxins that contribute to plaque. When plaque builds up on your teeth – cavities happen. But by taking care of one of the largest bacteria havens in your mouth, your tongue, you’re significantly cutting back on the available fuel that plaque has to feed on.

It’s good for your immune system

By scraping your tongue, you actively prevent certain toxins from getting into your body. Think about it this way – when you’re sick, sucking on a cough drop, sneezing, coughing, and hacking up a lung, a lot of germy gunk can build up on your tongue. If you haven’t learned by now — build-up is bad. With a quick scrape, you take care of all of it and prevent any problematic germs from sticking around in your system for too long.

Brushing your tongue is just the beginning. Have you put off dental treatment for too long? Our dentists in Garden Grove work with all kinds of patients to make safe, modern, and affordable dental care a reality for patients of all ages in the Anaheim area. Check out our new patient specials and get in touch today to learn more

How to Keep Your Teeth from Getting Yellow

Picture the perfect pair of chompers. The pearliest pair of pearly whites. The brightest set of chiclets.

You didn’t picture any yellow did you? That’s because we’ve been brought up – to think of “good” teeth as “white teeth” – and there’s some truth behind it. That’s because a set of naturally white teeth is a good indicator that the teeth are healthy, have no underlying problems, and have plenty of dentin left to protect them. Which leads us to our next point.

What many patients in our Garden Grove Dentist’s office don’t fully understand is that the whiteness of your teeth can come from a couple underlying sources: your dentin and your enamel. Dentin is the innermost living tissue of your teeth, and it’s very important. Once your dentin goes away – it’s hard to get back. The other component of dental whiteness is your enamel. The enamel is the hard outer shell of the tooth, which is actually clear. So if the color inside your tooth is black – your enamel, like a window to your tooth’s soul, will show it.

The thing is, while enamel (the outer shell) is relatively simple to whiten with over the counter or in-office bleaching methods, it can be almost impossible to “whiten” the inside tissue of your tooth. While yellowing of your enamel is just a stain, yellowing of the dentin is the evidence of a long-term aging process that you really can’t reverse.

So how do you prevent the dentin from yellowing?

Staining doesn’t happen just because you’re getting older. While more exposure to staining foods like berries, wine, coffee, and tea will stain your enamel, the less-reversible staining that occurs with your dentin is related to more serious problems

  • Dental Grinding / Bruxism: grinding your teeth is one of the leading causes of premature yellowing because of the vertical stress it puts on them. The average nighttime grinder puts enough force on their teeth to really damage them. This leads to premature damage and aging – and in some cases, can even lead to irreversible dental damage. When teeth yellow prematurely – it’s often because the patient is a grinder.
  • A bad diet: a bad diet will rot a tooth from the outside in. If you’re malnourish or taking certain aggressive medications – teeth can often become more yellow because of how your diet is accelerating the aging process.
  • Injury: If you’ve ever seen someone with a single “dead” tooth you’ll know what it looks like. Many times, a tooth that has taken a hit (or more) will begin to yellow much faster. That’s because the injury it received is drastically speeding up its aging process.

To prevent these issues from contributing to rapidly yellowing teeth – get to the bottom of the problem. A night guard will prevent dental grinding, a mouth guard will prevent injuries during sport and other activities, and a better lifestyle all-around will ensure your teeth get the nourishment they need to give you a full lifetime of service.

Have questions for our dentists in Garden Grove? We’re here to help.

 

How Flossing & Brushing Help You Reduce Pneumonia Risk

A year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on a very important and troubling problem facing hospitals across the country: Pneumonia. The unfortunate truth is this: all too often, patients go into the hospital feeling sick only to get sicker because of how many different germs and illnesses tend to hang around.

But did you know that brushing and flossing can reduce your risk of getting illnesses like pneumonia?

That’s right, our dentists in Garden Grove (and dentists around the world) will be quick to remind you that brushing your teeth isn’t just good for your teeth alone. By cutting down on the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth – you also cut down on the amount of bacteria that could go on to make you ill.

Researchers behind the pneumonia study found a well-documented relationship between oral health and the occurrence of pneumonia. While the human body contains far more microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc) than it does human cells – even the dangerous microbes end up causing damage or illness in only the most specific circumstances.

That said, the bacteria that contributes to pneumonia needs to be inhaled to cause its special kind of infection. Because of this – brushing your teeth and tongue is actually a very effective way to fight against the illness.

But before you brush this aside because it only talks about pneumonia, think again – good oral healthcare can prevent much more by fighting inflammation throughout your body.

So remember, next time you’re feeling like you don’t want to go to the dentist or you’re contemplating going to bed without brushing and flossing, think again. Your good decision could be the choice that helps you dodge an illness like pneumonia.

How Winter Weather Causes Toothaches & Sensitivity

Do your teeth become incredibly uncomfortable – maybe even painful – when you attach your ice-cream at the wrong angle, or gulp down a hot beverage? You’re definitely not alone. And now that it’s winter – if you have any trips planned that will take you to a colder climate, there’s a chance your teeth might feel extra sensitive.

This is because – as your tooth enamel wears down (a natural process) or your gums recede (also somewhat natural to expect some recession) – a layer of your teeth becomes exposed. A layer that is quite sensitive to temperature changes.

Think of your dental enamel as a puffy, warm winter jacket that requires the sharpest breeze to cut through. However – if you ripped a hole in that jacket, random gusts of cold wind would be felt quickly. 

But it’s not just ice cream and hot tea that will cause you to experience these pangs. In addition to sensitivity from loss of enamel, your teeth are also affected by the weather in other ways. Like everything – your teeth contract and expand depending on the temperature. When it’s hot – they expand. When it’s cold – they contract. As this happens, tiny little cracks can form. While they don’t impact the structure of your teeth – it can be uncomfortable (especially if you have metal fillings).

So, what can you do?

If your teeth become extremely uncomfortable in cold weather (or with cold foods) – there’s a few things you can do. First, our dentists in Garden Grove might want to take some xrays to understand the underlying cause of your sensitivity. Is it related to cavities, infection, or a more serious issue? Once we’ve ruled this out – improving your sensitivity to cold (and heat) could be as simple as starting to use a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.

“But I need a remedy FAST – I’m going skiing in Tahoe!”

If you have no time to see the dentist – you can help alleviate the pain by trying to find some sensitive toothpaste, breathing through your nose, or (if you’re skiing) – wearing a buff or neckwarmer over your mouth as a barrier.

Looking for more dental answers and located in the Garden Grove Area? Dentists in our office are standing by to give you the care and assistance you need. Contact us today to learn more about our new patient specials!

How Your Resolution to Exercise More Could Mean Your Teeth Need Some Extra Care Too – from Your Dentists in Garden Grove

In an article ran by the New York Times titled Is Excercise Bad for Your Teeth , we’re reminded that vigorous, grunting, sweat-covered, and absolutely exhausting exercise can effectively transform your body into the body of your dreams (with a proper diet of course).

But we also learn something a little surprising – it can also have a decidedly opposite effect on your teeth. That’s right – the surprising new study shows that heavy training can contribute to dental problems ranging from gum disease and tooth decay to erosion.

In a study – researchers from Germany gathered a group of elite triathletes and a control group of individuals who were not athletes. They then collected their saliva at different points – including after strenuous exercise.

It wasn’t sports drinks after all…

What many of the researchers believed going into the study was that the athletes were more prone to dental problems because they were consuming more sugary sports drinks and energy bars than the average person. But this didn’t turn out to be the case.

While the researchers found no difference in the amount or chemical make-up of saliva from athletes and nonathletes at rest – once everyone got moving the story changed.

In both groups – as activity increased, saliva production went down while alkalinity went up. In english: they produced less saliva, and what saliva they did produce was more acidic.

The Moral of the Story: Support Your Spit when You Sport!

While this study was fairly small – it reminds us of a very important truth: your saliva exists in-large-part to help protect your teeth. It actively washes debris away and neutralizes harmful acids in your mouth.

If you are planning to begin a brand new exercise regimen and have sensitive teeth or teeth prone to cavities, don’t think twice about exercising – just “drink twice” to hydrate more and give your mouth an extra hand when it comes to keeping fresh and clean.

Have questions about how your evolving health can impact your teeth? It’s all connected! and our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help.

Avoid Cavities for Christmas with some Helpful Dental Hints from your Dentists in Garden Grove

You might love your family dentist. But even still, there’s a great chance that your dentist isn’t someone you want to see because of an emergency over the holidays. So with this in mind – our dentists in Garden Grove have compiled a list of suggestions on how to protect your teeth throughout the holiday season.

Say ‘No’ to Chewy Candy

Many times, holiday candies present the same risks you’d expect from Halloween candies. If it has a chance to be incredibly sticky – it has a good chance of sticking around on your teeth for long enough to be a problem. That means things like caramel, taffy, and other stickiness that can go so far as to pull out your fillings. If you can’t resist these sticky delights – eat them with something else (like a pretzel?) to prevent the stickiness from sticking to your teeth.

Watch out for Ice and Hard Candy

Hard candy like candy canes and the ice cube covered in the sweet or savory remnants of your slowly emptying drink can both seem like the perfect thing to chew on. But do try your best to resist the temptation. Crunching down too hard on a piece of hard candy or an ice cube can easily chip or crack your teeth.

Don’t even think about cracking a nut with your teeth

Just don’t. While nuts are – nutritionally – great for your teeth, cracking through with your teeth could defeat the purpose by defeating your teeth before they have a chance to do any good. You can seriously hurt your teeth and your gums by trying to crack them with your teeth.  The same goes for opening packages, bottles, and gifts. 

Try not to bite your nails over the details…

The holidays can be stressful – and one of the most common coping mechanisms for anxiety can be biting your nails. Just remember: it’s not going to help! Not only that but biting your nails can also contribute to sensitivity, teeth grinding, jaw pain, and clenching. Distract yourself and try to see if the urge subsides. If it doesn’t – you might need to go nuclear with some bittering polish to force your habit away.

As always – if you have questions about your teeth and live in the Garden Grove area, our dentist are here to help. Have you been putting off dental care? Take advantage of our new patient specials 

 

Getting Healthier in the New Year? Do it for your Teeth, too

It’s almost the time of year to start thinking about your new year’s resolution. And – let’s face it – a lot of people are probably going with the same goal they went with last year: to get fitter.

But have you ever thought that simply stating your goal as your goal might be working against you in the first place? What if you instead focused on a couple, small initiatives that pay off in multiple ways. That’s right – what if you try killing two birds with one stone with this year’s New Year’s resolution? You can get fitter and get healthier teeth (and better dental checkup). Follow these tips from our Garden Grove dentists to work your way to a healthier body and a healthier smile.

Eat and Drink Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year, people resolve to adopt a better diet. Most of them do it because they want to look better, feel better, sleep better, and function better – but that includes your teeth too. By resolving to be healthier through your food and drink you resolve to also have better teeth.

Eat fruits and vegetables with vitamins, protein, and fiber – while also getting antioxidants and iron from the good stuff like spinach, broccoli, kale, and – yes – the occasional dark chocolate serving.

Kick Your Bad Habits

Whether it’s a nervous habit like biting your nails or an addictive habit like smoking – if your habit or vice is bad for your health, chances are it’s bad for your teeth. Even if you’re a coffee addict – try to rein it in to minimize the damage. But remember this! Replacing a bad habit with a good one takes time – but there’s no better time than now.

Are you quitting smoking? Our dentists in Garden Grove have helped countless patients do the same – and we’ve helped them get rid of the stains with teeth whitening afterward. The end result? A much happier (and healthier smile).

Need some extra health on the dental side of things? Starting fresh is much easier with some professional advice. If you’re serious about getting healthier in the new year – you should consider seeing your doctor. But when it comes to your teeth – your dentists in Garden Grove can help too. Get in touch with us today to learn about new patient specials that can quickly get you back on your way to a healthy smile.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.