Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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“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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Types of Dental Pain and How You Should Approach Them

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Yesterday, we started to scratch the surface about your teeth and the types of dental pain that you might experience throughout your life. We covered sensitivity, dull aching pain (the most common kind), and sudden stabbing pain that can often provide a signal that you could have a cracked tooth or a dental abscess – all issues that require immediate attention.

Today, we’re discussing some additional varieties of dental pain. Especially those that patients in our Garden Grove dental practice often report occurring suddenly and without warning.

Extreme pain that throbs

If you’re having pain that seems extremely painful, and hard to bear – it could be a good sign that you need to call the number for the nearest emergency dentist. If you live in Garden Grove, California, our emergency dentist can help. If you’re also experiencing swelling in your face – it could be a sign that a cavity or crack has lead to an abscess or infection. If the tooth is too damaged, you could need a root canal procedure in order to save the tooth.  If left untreated, this can lead to more serious health problems throughout your body.

Pain at the Back of Your Jaw

Pain in your jaw tends to be a pretty specific pain – especially if you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed. Pain at the back portion of your jaw (on either side), can often signal that you have an impacted wisdom tooth. Unfortunately, if you don’t get a wisdom tooth treated – it will lead to more pain and discomfort until you do.

Pain When You Eat

If you ever experience a toothache when you’re eating food (of any kind) it could be a good indicator that you’re experiencing either a dental fracture or a cavity. While this doesn’t require a call to your emergency dentist, it does require a call. Tell your dentist what’s going on, and there’s a good chance they’ll find a spot for you in the schedule. In the meantime – take some over-the-counter pain medication, and carefully eat softer foods.

If you’re a patient from Garden Grove experiencing a toothache, don’t delay! The sooner you treat the root cause of a toothache, the better. 

 

So You Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Forever….

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Admitting you need someone can often be a pretty hard thing to do. That might be one reason why it can sometimes be tough to return to the dentist after having not had an appointment for several years. More often than not, patients who haven’t been to the dentist in forever simply dread getting “the lecture” about their teeth.

Many patients will often talk to friends or family members about being upset or angry with their dentist because they might have been on the receiving end of a talk about being better about oral health. Or worse, they feel negative about their dentist because “every time” they go, they have a cavity to treat. Unfortunately, “every time” in this case means every 3 or 4 years – which means that the dentist never actually even had the opportunity to prevent the cavity in the first place.

So how do you make a dental appointment easier when you haven’t been in more than a couple years? It’s actually not that hard, and it all starts with attitude. Just be up-front with your dentist about your history and your routine. Acknowledge what you know needs changing, and you’ll just have a good, informative conversation.

Also understand this – much of what your dentist tells you is dictated by the law. In order to improve your health and prevent dental emergencies in the future, your dentist is required to make sure you understand your health. This might include the reminder that your spotty brushing routine and 5 year breaks  visits to the dentist could be having an effect. Nobody’s trying to make you feel badly.

Outside of being afraid of “the lecture” some patients are more worried about how the dentist will react to your mouth, especially if you’ve been a bit lax with your oral hygiene. Our dentists in Garden Grove remind you this: we’ve always seen worse. On top of this – our entire dental team is comprised of the industry’s top professionals, so you can always expect caring, compassionate care, no matter what.

One final tip: Tell the Dentist How You Feel

If you haven’t been to the dentist in years and you’re worried about what your dentist might find or what she might say. Let it out! Don’t worry silently. You should be able to trust your dentist, and if you’re nervous about your cleaning – saying so is the perfect start to better oral health and a better relationship with your dentist for years to come.

Our Guide: Dentistry Tips for Patients Without Dental Insurance (Part 1)

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A dental emergency is never fun. Trust us. Our dentists in Garden Grove see our fair share of dental emergencies that happen at the most inconvenient times.

However, one of the reasons a dental emergency can be so shocking for some families isn’t because of the pain, or the blood, or the worry (but of course, those are still important). But because of the fact that a lack of dental insurance can make dental emergencies particularly troublesome.

With this in mind, we’ll be focusing on how you can save money, have good oral health, and avoid costly dental emergencies.

Step 1: Practice GREAT Hygiene 

If you’re not brushing carefully, cautiously, and thoughtfully – you’re not brushing right. When you don’t have dental insurance, you have to practice incredibly good hygiene. This means brushing gently at least twice a day, for two minutes — with fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss at least once a day using a gentle up and down motion. Don’t saw at your teeth, just guide the floss up and then down.

Think about it this way. A couple packs of floss, 2-3 tubes of ADA accepted toothpaste, and 2-3 toothbrushes are really all you need — and all it takes is 10 to 15 dollars at most grocery stores.

Step 2: See Your Dentist Twice a Year.

We know the drill. Schedule a dentist appointment and then reschedule, reschedule, reschedule. Sure – going to the dentist isn’t always fun, but the only thing worse than going to the dentist (for many) is not going to the dentist. Because not going to the dentist is how you end up with problems that multiply in severity…like cavities that become infections, cracks that become fractures, and toothaches that become future root canal procedures.

While you might sometimes change the recommended number of cleanings a year to 1 instead of 2 because you don’t have dental insurance, the fact is that a lack of dental insurance makes these appointments much more important.

Preventative care and early treatment are always less expensive than the big bills that come with big fixes that were put off for too long. Think about it this way: A regular cleaning might cost between $100 and $200 dollars (depending on things like X-rays).  Even a small filling for a tiny cavity won’t be much different.

When compared to the cost of fixes like crowns, root canals, or dental implants – we imagine you’d choose the hundreds of early care and preventative maintenance every time.

Live Near Garden Grove, looking for a dentist, and burning with questions about your teeth? We’ve got answers. Get in touch with our team today. 

 

What You Should Be Telling Your Dentist

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Our dental practice in Garden Grove serves patients of all ages and backgrounds. And like every doctor-patient relationship, each one begins with questions. Answer them correctly, and you set yourself on a path to great dental health and a bright, healthy smile for a lifetime.  But how do you answer these questions “correctly”?

Well, it’s kind of a trick question. You don’t answer them correctly. You just answer them honestly.

So, what should you be telling your dentist?

Start with your worries

The first thing you should be sure to talk to your dentist about is your fear. Don’t be afraid of the dentist. From the treatments he or she might suggest, to what they could cost. The first thing you should understand is that the sooner you speak to your dentist about your concerns, the sooner you get an answer. And when it comes to dental treatments – sooner is always better. Otherwise – small problems have the opportunity to turn into bigger (and more expensive) problems.

Or maybe you’re concerned about the dentist’s office for a different reason. You might be concerned about the pain or discomfort you think will arise from the treatments that you need. Rest assured – modern dentistry has come a long way. Chances are, your fears are unfounded.

Tell Your Dentist about Your Health, In General

While your dentist is largely concerned with your dental health. Your overall health is incredibly important as well – and it can have a major impact on your dental health as well.  For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with any health problem or disease – it could have consequences for your teeth, gums, and mouth. On top of this, any of the medications that you may be taking can undermine your teeth. For these reasons, it’s important to be open with your dentist about the same things you’re open with your family doctor about.

And of course, tell your dentist about your dental health

Naturally, your dentist can’t know everything. Despite the fact that every one of your dental visits will involve a thorough exam, we can’t always see everything. So sometimes, we rely on you to guide us. Just because we don’t find a cavity – doesn’t mean you don’t have one. So, if you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity here or there, and we don’t mention the presence of a cavity – you shouldn’t jump for joy and assume you dodged a bullet. Otherwise, it could come back to haunt you when that very small problem your dentist didn’t catch becomes a bigger problem — all because you didn’t report a minor issue, like sensitivity, pain, or an abnormality in your mouth.

Think about your relationship with your dentist as a partnership. The more we communicate – the better we both do the job of keeping your teeth healthy for life. 

Have questions? Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help. Get in touch today to learn how we can help. 

 

Easy Ways to Help Keep Your Teeth White

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s true that appearances can make a difference in our personal and professional lives. On top of that, external stresses from your dating life or even social media can often make any little imperfection seem absolutely horrendous.

As dentists near Anaheim, we see this all the time. Fortunately, there are many occasions where the problem is not as glaringly obvious as patients may think.

Even still, those patients often wonder what sort of natural teeth whitening remedies there are to try before you consider in-office teeth whitening or simply to preserve the whiteness of your teeth.

Use a Whitening Toothpaste

These days, even people with sensitive teeth can find a whitening toothpaste proven to help keep teeth whiter and reverse the progress of stains. It’s always best to choose an ADA approved whitening toothpaste, which ensures the product you use has been tested and given the thumbs up by a panel of dentists.

Buy Some Straws

No, you don’t need to drink wine through a straw. But – if you enjoy drinks like dark fruit juices, or even highly acidic juices (like oranges) it’s best to drink them through a straw. Not only does this help prevent staining from dark juices, it also tends to contribute to the breakdown of enamel.

Continue to Take Care of Your Teeth

To keep your teeth white, part of what you have to do is continue taking care of them. Brush shortly after eating, and your teeth will have a much greater chance of retaining their whiteness.

For some more tips on keeping your teeth white, and preventing yellowing – see the below infographic put together by the great health blog, Draxe.com

 

From Draxe.com, a handy infographic explaining some reasons your teeth could turn yellow.

From Draxe.com, a handy infographic explaining some reasons your teeth could turn yellow.

Surprising Ways to Help Your Teeth Fight back

Our bodies are strange and complicated things. They react in many interesting ways to how we help them and what we put them through. Your teeth aren’t a whole lot different. Just like there are plenty of ways to try and help out your overall health, there are just as many methods to improve your teeth – some of them tried and true, some of them mumbo jumbo, and some of them simply waiting to be verified by the American Dental Association (it’s always good to look to them when it comes to these judgements)

But it’s not just brushing, flossing, and properly supporting your teeth with fluoride that will ensure your teeth are healthy for years to come.

In order to prevent problems with your teeth, it’s essential that you understand how they’re attacked. Cavities and gum disease all have microscopic colonies of bacteria to thank. To keep both decay and gum disease at bay you need to do everything you can to brush, wash, and rinse this bacteria away. If this doesn’t happen, the bacteria eventually breaks down into starches and sugars – which ultimately produce acids that eat away at enamel and contribute to the decay.

So, what else can you do to prevent problems with your teeth? Our Anaheim dentists have some hints.

Cheese and Tea

Calcium helps both your teeth and your jaw stay strong and healthy. You can find it in many dairy products, including cheese. Along with tea – which happens to be a great source of natural fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by giving your enamel an extra shield against the damage of acid and bacteria.

Together, responsibly consuming both helps give your teeth an additional boost against damage and decay over time.

Avoid Drinking Acid at All Costs

It may sound silly. But you may be drinking far more acid than you thought you were.

Acid – it’s something we cover a lot. Because whenever our dentists or dental hygienists in the Anaheim area see cavities and other problems – it often started with acid damage. But what can you do to avoid it? Don’t drink acid! Or, at the very least -try to avoid it. This includes drinks like sodas, lemonade, and even water with lemon juice in it. If there’s extra acid added – you aren’t doing your teeth any favors. At the very least, use a straw – or try to remember to drink some water shortly after.

Chew Some Gum

As long as you make it sugar-free, chewing gum can be one of the best things you do for your teeth. While you might consider it candy – sugar-free gum can actually be a very powerful tool when it comes to clearing your teeth of sugars, bacteria, and debris.

Hoping for a quick way to give your dental hygiene a boost between meals? Chew some gum. It’s a great option.

Can Flushing the Toilet Contaminate My Toothbrush?

When it comes to your teeth and your mouth, there’s actually quite a few factors that can ultimately decide on whether or not you have a good dental checkup.  Fortunately, it’s not too hard to adopt a good oral hygiene routine. But with so much going on in your mouth, it’s not exactly surprising that some interesting myths can develop about your mouth and your teeth.

Today, our dentists from around Anaheim, California want to clear up one particular myth that people like to share online. Usually, it starts something like this: “Did you know, Flushing Your Toilet Infects Your Toothbrush with Feces”

Since it pertains to your toothbrush, this is myth our dentists in Garden Grove have heard a number of times. It goes kind of like this: when you flush your toilet, it launches fecal germs out of the toilet and – if your toothbrush is nearby, it just so happens to get caught in the crossfire.

However, this myth is based on one serious misconception: that your toilet is dirty to begin with. There’s a good chance that your toothbrush is actually already dirtier than your toilet.  Many of studies have shown that your toilet happens to be one of the least germ-ridden places in your house. On the other hand, since your toothbrush’s job is to scrape away bacteria – it usually end sup covered in it. Fortunately, your immune system can handle the bacteria.

With all of this in mind though, you might still be wondering – “do I need to keep my toothbrush away from the toilet, or the bathroom, altogether?” No. Keeping your toothbrush away from your toilet isn’t a good way to keep it clean. The best way to keep it clean is to ensure that it stays dry. 

That’s right – safe toothbrush is a dry toothbrush. Bacteria relies on moisture to survive. Without it, it will have a much harder time. To make sure your toothbrush stays clenaer, Our Garden Grove dentists simply recommend making sure you store your toothbrush with plenty of airflow so it can dry out.

 

How Your Diet Could Be Affecting Your Teeth

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Every time a new year rolls around, people across the country (and likely, around the world) try to change their habits – or adopt new ones, all with the end goal of hopefully losing a few pounds or more.

In fact, according to NBC News, New Years’ resolutions related to getting healthier dominated yet again, with over 62 million searches (a 13% increase over 2016) and a clear front-runner for most popular New Years Resolution, yet again.

But more often than not, people tend to forget about their teeth. The truth is, changing your diet can potentially change your teeth as well. Our dentists near Anaheim recommend: If you’re dieting as part of a New Years resolution, or for any reason at all, do remember to stay on top of your teeth just as well as you’re staying on top of your diet.

Dental Side Effects From Ketogenic / Paleo Diets

When it comes to paleo diets that are very low carb, it’s not uncommon for your breath to begin to smell pretty bad. This is often one of the most sure-fire signs of ketosis, which is what happens when your body begins to burn its fat stores for fuel instead of carbs. To avoid this, you can simply a) brush your teeth more b) drink more water or c) eat more, natural breath fresheners or chew gum. However, it can also help to actually eat a carb or two – because too much ketosis can lead to some pretty dangerous side effects.

Juice Diets / Fruit Detox Dental Side Effects

Generally, juice and fruit detoxes  tend to introduce a higher amount of sugars and acids into your mouth. This can lead to accelerated damage to your teeth, as the sugars and acids work away at your enamel and contribute to the formation of cavities.

While a short juice cleanse might seem tempting due to the “promise” of a quick couple pounds to be shed – they are not entirely harmless and should only be considered with both the knowledge of your doctor – and a careful eye on your teeth.

How Low Fat Diets Impact Teeth

When it comes to your diet having an impact on your teeth – low fat diets are no easier than other popular diets. There are still some side effects you should be aware of to ensure your body gets what it needs, everwhere it needs it.

A low-fat diet can sometimes inhibit your body’s absorption of vitamins that are fat-soluble, such as vitamins A, E, D, and K. Vitamin D, in particular, is a big one because your body takes it from the sun and converts it to help your body absorb and use calcium. When this doesn’t happen, bones don’t get the support they need and begin to break down – which can include the loss of your teeth.

Have questions about your dental health?

Our dentists in orange County are the experts. From the youngest mouths to the oldest, our advanced treatment techniques and friendly staff have made healthy (and happy) smiles a priority for Anaheim and beyond. To learn more about how we might be able to help – please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today.

How Your Nutrients Benefit Your Teeth

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Keeping your teeth white, strong, and healthy doesn’t actually take much. On top of trying to see your dentist twice a year and maintaining a strong oral hygiene routine (brushing and flossing, twice a day), the one other truly helpful thing you can do is eat a healthy, balanced diet. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest tips our family dentists in the Anaheim area can recommend. But it’s up to you to take the steps necessary to make it possible.

But what does that mean in terms of what you need to be getting out of your food, and what kind of food it is that’s going to get it to you.

How probiotics improve your teeth

It’s true that the leading source of decay is the wrong kind of bacteria in your mouth. However, there are also plenty of good bacterias that are designed to help keep bad bacteria at bay. This is where probiotics can help – with foods like, yogurt, kombucha, and miso.

How vitamins Improve Your Teeth

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for your teeth because of the way it enables your body to absorb calcium – which supports both your bones and your teeth. While the best source of Vitamin D is generally the sun – you can also find vitamin D in egg yolk, cod liver oil, and fish.

In addition to vitamin D, vitamin C is also incredibly important. Not only does it help strengthen blood vessels to help fight against inflammation for healthier gums, but it also actively helps produce collagen. Collagen helps support your mouth in the fight against gum disease. If you don’t get enough Vitamin C, your gums are much more susceptible to inflammation and gum disease. It’s generally not a secret where you can find Vitamin C, in fruits and vegetables like oranges, bell peppers, kiwis, strawberries, kale, and more.

How antioxidants improve your teeth

Antioxidants are celebrated pretty much everywhere for their ability to help systems throughout your mouth. Our dentists in the Anaheim area also recommend antioxidants for healthier teeth. By fighting bacteria that contributes to inflammation an periodontal disease – antioxidants are an easy to find weapon in the fight against cavities. Where can you find them? Apples, grapes, nuts, raisins, and beans.