Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


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










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

What about CHARCOAL?

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

Using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth

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

And crunchy foods?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what can you do for yellowing teeth?

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

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

Don’t drink your way to a cavity!

You might be surprised but it’s not exactly hard to drink your way to a cavity if you’re not careful. Every day our dentists in Garden Grove meet patients of all ages with cavities. Many of them go on and on about how good their diet is without realizing that they’re drinking enough sugar to bake a cake.

But it’s not just sugar that you have to watch out for when it comes to keeping your thirst quenched (or letting loose on a weekend). Acid can often be an even bigger problem because of how it eats away at the enamel, slowly but surely making it less effective in doing its job of protecting them from decay.

Unfortunately, acid and sugar can be found in quite a few drinks. Our dentists in Garden grove recommend really keeping an eye on the ingredients because the combination of the two creates a perfect storm and almost guarantees a problem if you’re not careful. So, which drinks do you need to be careful of? Let’s take a look at the prime offenders.

The one to really be careful around

Fruit Juice: this is the one you really need to be careful of. Fruit juice has both a high amount of sugar and acid – making it a perfect storm for your teeth. After you drink fruit juice – especially citrus juice (because of the citric acid), try to rinse your mouth shortly after with water.

Soda: Similar to fruit juice, soda also has a high amount of acid and sugar. Try to limit it as much as possible, and if you can – drink from a straw (on top of that, sugar free is best).

Black coffee and tea: black coffee and tea should also be something you’re wary of. While lower in acid they can easily stain your teeth. Again – just a simple rinse with some water and regular brushing will help you avoid any serious staining or damage.

Bonus: A great drink for your teeth

Would you imagine that a vodka soda could actually be good for your teeth? That’s right. Not only will a vodka soda not stain your teeth, it will also actually kill some of the bacteria. Win / win!


Natural Ways to Prevent Cavities










Everyone should want to prevent cavities – because the word “cavity” is nothing anyone wants to hear when they’re sitting in a dentist’s chair. In fact, the only thing a patient wants to hear less is the sound of a drill.

With this in mind, it only makes sense to want to prevent cavities as much as possible so that you won’t need the help of our dentists in Garden Grove to prevent any more serious dental issues.

So first, which foods should you avoid?

Naturally, it’s a smart idea to avoid processed sugar, because sugar activates plaque – which will generally eat away at the enamel of your teeth for 20 or 30 minutes after you’ve even. But it’s also important to make sure you limit phytic acid, which is an enzyme inhibitor and mineral blocker prevalent in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. It’s important to minimize this because it prevents your body from absorbing minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc – all minerals your body uses to strengthen your teeth. Unfortunately, we can hardly expect patients to cut so many staple ingredients out of their diets. Fortunately for anyone that loves beans, bread, or grain (which is pretty much everyone), you cut down on phytic acids by fermenting (such as with sour dough bread) or sprouting the ingredients.

Foods you should get a lot of

Some of the best food to focus on for healthier teeth is the very same stuff you should gravitate towards if you’re trying to lose weight and stay healthy – green leafy vegetables that help mineralize your teeth. On top of this (for non-vegans), you can eat plenty of raw dairy, eggs, bone broth, and fish for healthier teeth.

There are some supplements you can take too…

Sometimes it can be tough to get everything your body needs. That’s why supplements can be a great addition to your diet (but you should always talk to your doctor before introducing anything new). For your teeth, the following supplements can help fight decay:

  • Vitamin D
  • Cod liver oil
  • Probiotics: streptococcus salivarius can be taken to help prevent the spread of bacteria that causes stinky breath, strep throat, and tooth decay.

Could your teeth use a helping hand? Our dentists in the Anaheim area have served countless patients of all ages. Looking for a great dentist near Garden Grove? Contact our team today.


“Can I chew gum after getting my wisdom teeth out?” or How to: Avoid Drysocket

For our dentists in the Anaheim area, wisdom tooth extractions are one of the most common procedures we do. This isn’t a huge surprise, considering just about everyone has wisdom teeth and – for the most part – almost everyone has to eventually get their wisdom teeth taken care of.

But why? why do most patients need their wisdom teeth out? Can’t we just leave them in?  

While some patients can safely live their life without ever removing their wisdom teeth – these patients are the lucky ones. This is because their wisdom teeth had enough room to safely grow in. However, many times patients’ wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow. This can lead to problems like crowding, infection, and gum disease, and is typically the reason why our dentists in Garden Grove will recommend you remove one or all of your wisdom teeth.

Can I chew gum after getting my wisdom teeth removed?”

Unfortunately, no. When it comes to chewing gum after your wisdom tooth extraction the best advice is to wait for two weeks. This is to protect the blood-clots that are forming on the incisions, which could create a suction force that pulls the clots right out, preventing healing. It’s best to wait until the tissue is completely closed before chewing gum again. If not, you risk getting drysocket, which can be pretty uncomfortable.

“What’s drysocket?”

Drysocket is a more memorable name for what dentists call alveolar oseitis. It’s a painful (and pretty common) complication that can occur after getting a tooth removed. When you get a tooth removed, a blood clot forms where the tooth was to protect the tissue, bone, and nerves where it once was. This is a normal part of the healing process. When this clot doesn’t form – or when it gets dislodged (such as by a premature piece of gum), the bone and nerves in this spot are exposed. Treating this will take extra pain management and further precautions to promote the healing process.

Could your wisdom teeth need extraction? If you’re a patient in the garden grove area – our dentists are here to help.

Reasons You Might Be Grinding Your Teeth (and what to do about it)

Teeth hurt? Waking up with headaches? you might be grinding….

If you’re wondering if you grind your teeth – there’s a chance that you might not even notice because grinding typically happens at night. But, more often than not – patients in our Garden Grove dental practice often experience common symptoms like morning headaches, jaw soreness, and sensitivity from enamel erosion.

If you ever notice any of these symptoms – do follow up with your dentist. If you’re our patient here in the Anaheim area (or any dentist’s patient anywhere!) – your dentist will want to examine your mouth and jaw for the signs of bruxism, a fancy term for teeth grinding.

What causes bruxism (or teeth grinding)?

In many cases, grinding your teeth at night can be the simple result of stress or anxiety. Unfortunately, with more patients taking their work home with them with their laptops and smartphones, it doesn’t exactly help.

Think about it. Stress from work makes it hard to sleep. So you read an article on your smart phone, but the light from the screen keeps you awake – and after you finally fall asleep you wake up with a headache. Why? Because mental stress kept you up and physical stress from poor sleep made it worse. This perfect little cocktail of insomnia and stress can easily trigger bruxism.

Many times, a solution is found with meditation, calming music, or other relaxation aids. However, if this doesn’t work (it can honestly be tough!) our dentists in Garden Grove often recommend a night guard to protect your teeth and jaw from the damaging effects of grinding.

In a short visit to our office, you’ll be fitted for a custom mouthpiece that’s longlasting and comfortable to sleep in. While a nightguard can sometimes take a little getting used to (just a couple nights) – patients love the way they can eliminate the irritating symptoms of grinding.

How to Know When You Need to Get a Dental Filling

For many dental patients around the world – it can be quite the scary (or at least, nerve-wracking) realization that often goes a little something like this: “I need a filling, I think”  followed by days, weeks, or even months of waiting before actually calling the dentist and scheduling an appointment.

This is often the first mistake that patients make – waiting. If you think of your tooth according to the layers that comprise it, you only have so much time before a small problem eats its way deeper to become a big problem. Because don’t forget: teeth don’t exactly heal themselves (yet).
Many times, getting an ache or chip fixed quickly can minimize residual damage that occurs as a result of the problem in the first place.

If you do need a filling – take a deep breath. It’s not that bad – especially with all the options available for anesthesia and even sedation if you need it.

The most common signs of a cavity or decay that would typically require a filling is intense sensitivity or pain that lingers a bit after stimulation, or when exposed to food. If biting down or eating food ever causes you to feel a real jolt of pain – give your dentist a call as soon as possible (waiting until normal working hours are fine – this wouldn’t exactly be a dental emergency).

After a visual assessment and examination, if your dentist thinks there might be a problem, the next step is often x-rays. This enables us to get an inside look at exactly what’s happening inside your teeth – which allows us to determine which type of treatment (and which type of filling) is most appropriate.

Are you experiencing sensitivity or pain? If you live in the Garden Grove area and have a cavity that’s left untreated, don’t leave it to become a more serious problem – contact our dental team today.

Can I get gum recession from Invisalign?

To date, countless patients around the world have experienced the teeth-straightening benefits of the Invisalign system. For a wide variety of dental imperfections – Invisalign has helped our dentists in Garden Grove build straighter, more confident smiles for patients of all ages.

But it’s not uncommon for patients to have questions. And we’re actually surprised we haven’t answered one particular question about Invisalign, which is: Can Invisalign (or any orthodontics) for that matter cause gum recession?

And it’s a good concern because orthodontics can certainly cause some recession. But the important thing to remember is that this isn’t uncommon at all. Some irritation can be completely normal. But one thing that often happens with brand new Invisalign patients is that they can become hyper-aware of new feelings and sensations in their mouth.

The thing you should remember, though – is that your dentist will take detailed photos of your teeth and gums when you start the process. Recession can be repaired and the symptoms of it can often be treated quite easily.

While this isn’t uncommon – because the retainers do come into contact with your gums, it isn’t something you should be feeling all day every day. Some discomfort can be expected very early on, but if it seems like your Invisalign retainers are causing recession – your dentist can help. Don’t feel bad speaking up about your concerns, let your dentist know to prevent long term damage and correct the fit.

Garden Grove Dentists Q&A: Are Bad Teeth Genetic?

Many patients at our Fountain Valley area dentist office often wonder if problems like cavities or weak enamel run in the family. These people are often surprised when they learn that yes, there are aspects of your smile that can be influenced by your genes.

Genes can determine quite a lot when it comes to your body. From the way your face looks and the color of your hair – all the way down to the most minuscule aspects of your existence, like the bacteria in your mouth. It’s certainly true that genetics can have an impact on your teeth – but how much?  Today, our Fountain Valley Dentists take a look.

Cavities and Decay

While you’re not going to come away from this article with the ability to suggest that your cavities are the fault of your parents – you might win a little sympathy if you’re getting cavity after cavity despite stellar oral hygiene habits. The thing is, studies have shown that the bacteria in our mouths that influences the formation of cavities isn’t there when we’re born. Typically, we “pick it up” after birth – usually from a parent or relative. Interestingly, some bacterial make-ups have shown to be more or less resistant to the bacteria that cause tooth decay, which could ultimately work in your favor (or against it).

The bottom line: Chances are – if you get a lot of cavities you might be able to blame your parents. But it’s probably because they didn’t teach you good oral hygiene (or they helped you develop a taste for sweets) – not because of your genetic makeup.

Crooked or Misaligned Teeth 

The way your teeth come in and the directions they choose to take when they do is dependent on a number of environmental and genetic factors.  It starts with how many teeth we have, the size of our jaw, how our bite works, and how our mouths work together with our teeth. Then we sprinkle in behaviors (some of them, influenced by genetic factors)…like thumbsucking or tongue-thrusting, which can significantly alter the way your teeth line up.

The Bottom Line: in this case, yes. Your parents can most definitely contribute to your dental problems. Thanks mom!

Yellow Teeth

If your teeth are yellow and you smoke cigarettes or chew chewing tobacco, you only have yourself to blame. On the other hand, if you brush, floss, and do everything your dentist tells you to – but your teeth are still a sheen of yellow. You might have your parents to thank. This is to say that – like misalignment – the color of your teeth is largely dependent on both genetic and environmental factors.

When it’s not what you’re eating, smoking, drinking, or chewing – the color of your teeth is largely influenced by genetics. For example – people whose teeth develop with a thinner enamel generally appear to have yellower teeth – whereas patients with thicker enamel tend to have whiter looking teeth.  But then there are genetic factors that are far easier to track – like yellowing that happens as a result of exposure to medications like tetracycline while in the womb, or exposure to excess fluoride.

Fortunately for just about any, the properties of our teeth and enamel also make in-office dental whitening at our Garden Grove Dentists office a fast and straightforward process.

Have questions about your teeth? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove our Fountain Valley area – we can help! Contact us today to learn about new patient specials and more.