Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


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.


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 long is a temporary filling good for?” and other questions about fillings

Dental fillings are incredible things when you think of them. Every day, fillings remain one of the most common procedures our dentists perform in our Garden Grove dental office, and the funny thing is that they’re really quite simple.

Most frequently, dental filling are used to do exactly what they sound like

they’re supposed to do: fill a hole. Or more accurately for most patients, fill a cavity. More often than not, to treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion with special tools and then “fill” the empty hole left behind with a special material we now call a dental filling. But fillings are used for way more than just cavities – they’re also frequently used to help repair cracked or broken teeth that need to be fixed due to wear and tear like teeth grinding, nail biting, or straight-up abuse.  But patients tend to have a lot of questions about fillings, so today – our Anaheim area dentists want to answer some of them.

We’ll begin by answering a common question from some of our younger patients: “Do fillings actually ‘fill’ anything?” and the answer is YES! As described above, a dental filling fills a hole in your tooth. Whether it’s created by decay or damage – it’s as simple as that.

“What about temporary fillings? How long do they last for? Will I be okay for 3-4 weeks?”

Many of our patients have busy lives. We get it! So we understand the urgency when we hear a question about how long a temporary filling is good for – because everyone’s schedule is tough.

So here’s a scenario – one patient got a temporary filling but suddenly had to change his work schedule and won’t be able to have his follow-up appointment for more than a couple weeks. He wondered – will his temporary filling be okay? As always, the first answer to that question is to double check with your dentist. But in most cases – a patient like this should be fine. A temporary filling should typically last around 6 to 8 weeks. But you should always be sure to not put too much pressure on it. If possible, eat on the other side of your mouth if you can. Temporary fillings are not designed to withstand too much force.

Do you think you might have a cavity?

Even if you’ve never had a cavity before – we’re living in incredible times. Did you know your local dentists can fix a cavity more successfully than ever before? If you’re feeling the symptoms of a cavity, follow our advice in: How to Know When You Need to Get a Dental Filling. And if you live in Southern California – don’t hesitate to see us as soon as you can.







The Ingredients to Avoid for Healthier Teeth

Every day, our Anaheim area dentists encounter patients of all ages and backgrounds, with teeth ranging from baby teeth to dentures. We’ve seen it all – and we understand that it’s easy to feel self-conscious about your teeth, but out of all the patients we’ve seen – the ones that have been the happiest have been the ones that have improved their teeth and won back their confidence through careful care and good oral hygiene. You’d be surprised be how often it happens.

Are you on the journey to healthier, longer lasting teeth? One of your best allies will always be your diet. But sometimes it can be difficult to understand which ingredients you need to steer clear of.

Yesterday, we blogged about healthy snack food options you can quickly prepare (and eat) on the go. But in a day and age where many people are paying more attention to what’s on the label of their food – it’s no surprise that many patients wonder what ingredients they should avoid for healthier teeth. Hopefully, today’s information helps!

Refined carbohydrates and sugar: these are the prime offenders. Not only are they terrible for your teeth – but they’ll also make you feel lethargic, tired, and hungry (more often). The thing is, though – when you eat junk with this stuff in it, you get hungry more often and you crave more of it. So it’s never good.

Anything synthetic: ingredients like flavor enhancers, artificial colors, chemicals, and preservatives can all have a definite impact on the way your body responds. Unfortunately, this all comes down to the person.

You’re inevitably going to slip up…

Nobody’s perfect! You’re always going to encounter foods that you know aren’t good for your teeth. In these cases – when a toothbrush and some floss aren’t available, the best possible course of action is to grab a nice tall glass of water. And if you’re really trying to be good – eat a piece of celery while you’re at it. (Celery’s great for your teeth).

Have you noticed any specific foods having a noticeable impact on your teeth or gums? It could be the sign of a deeper problem (it could also be nothing!) To learn more, or to inquire about new patient specials – get in touch with our Garden Grove Dentists today.

3 Tooth Healthy Drinks to Try

Your teeth come into contact with quite a lot in your lifetime. If you think about the gallons of sheer beverage that have passed your pearly whites – some estimates have put the number to as many as 5 swimming pools (yeah, seriously)

So, it’s no surprise that many patients at our dental office in Garden Grove  often wonder which beverages are the safest to drink (hint: it’s not beer and wine because of sugar and acid).

One of those questions often centers around milk. Is milk really that good for your teeth? And the good news is – mostly yes. Milk is pretty tooth healthy in that it’s both a good source of phosphorous AND calcium. That being said, it’s important to remember that lactose (the building block of milk) is a sugar. So you really shouldn’t drink milk before bed — and you especially shouldn’t let your baby or toddler go to bed with a bottle.

Water is naturally the best thing for your teeth, especially when it’s fluoridated – which will help strengthen and clean your teeth at the same time. Water is important because – with every sip – it cleans your teeth and washes away bacteria, debris, sugars, and all of the gunk that can lead to cavities.

Low sugar vegetable juice is another great option for your teeth. As you probably know – vegetables are pretty much the best thing you can eat (or drink) because of all the vitamins. Dark green leafy vegetables are often the best for your teeth for two reasons. First, because of the calcium that protects your enamel. But also because of all the B vitamins that help your mouth in the battle against gum disease.

Have questions about your teeth and live near Anaheim? Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help!

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 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 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!)


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.