Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


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.






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 to Protect Your Teeth Overseas


Ever feel like you leave your health to chance while on vacation? Indulge the smart way with some simple dental travel tips

Our dentists in Garden Grove  hear all the excuses when patients don’t have the best approach to oral health – but one of the funniest excuses you might be able to come up with for poor oral health is “I was on vacation.”

If you’re getting ready to travel and you’re worried about your dental hygiene or you’re already on the road and you’re looking for ways to be better about your teeth – here’s some tips:

Pack a dental emergency kit

Okay, so toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, and floss are essential. That’s just a starting point. But if you’re traveling abroad – especially for an extended period of time, you might want a few extra things in your kit, including:

  • An extra toothbrush: cheap is fine, just make sure you have a backup – because it’s easy to leave your main toothbrush behind, and you never know how far away the next pharmacy is.
  • Some dental wax: this could be in a tiny container in your travel kit, but the small amount of space and weight it requires could save you money and discomfort in the event of a chip or crack. On top of this, if you experience a loose filling or crown – dental wax can be used to keep it in place until you can find a proper solution.
  • Dental cement: if you know you have an issue with a crown or filling, it also can’t hurt to have some dental cement on hand as well.

Know what to do in an emergency

Traveling anywhere requires you to change your perspective and adapt in a different way. It’s part of the challenge, and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience – even if you run into trouble, such as with your teeth.

The best, first step is knowing what needs to be done in general.  What would you do back home? – now just adapt that to wherever you might be.

Start with the basics by understanding what a dental emergency truly is, and what might be able to wait until you get home:

Think You Need an Emergency Dentist After Hours? Here’s When to Call

The Dental Emergency You Shouldn’t Ignore










“A tooth just fell out, out of nowhere: why?”

Imagine you’re sitting at your kitchen table one day, must leisurely eating a bright and juicy red-delicious apple, only to feel a little extra crunch and see a tooth stuck in your snack…

“What just happened?” you might wonder. Well, hopefully our dentists in Garden Grove can help answer that question.

Losing your tooth is often considered an almost magical occurrence for children. But as an adult, even the slightest wiggle can make you feel anxious. While children dream about the tooth fairy leaving something under their pillow – losing a tooth for an adult is more like a complete nightmare.

So, why can your adult teeth fall out? (especially without warning?)

Oral Cancer

We’re not trying to alarm you, but you should be aware that one of the most common causes of sudden dental loss can be oral cancer, and the American Cancer Society tells us that men are almost twice as likely to encounter this affliction. Oral cancer often manifests as a sore or growth in your mouth that doesn’t go away. It’s often related to smoking, and can certainly contribute to early tooth loss.

Gum Disease

This is actually the most common reason for an adult to lose a tooth – and it all comes down to poor dental care. One thing that our dentists near Anaheim frequently hear is that patients are surprised that a tooth doesn’t have to hurt to be infected. When bacteria gets beneath your gumline, it acts a lot like rust. It can separate the tooth from your gums, which essentially separates your tooth from its foundation. This makes the tooth unstable, and can very realistically lead to it falling out.

Tooth Decay

You don’t always feel tooth decay, and sometimes – you get so used to it that you don’t remember that decay doesn’t stop. Once you feel some pain, if it’s happening because of bacteria that bacteria isn’t going anywhere until you get it taken care of. Tooth decay spreads like a virus, unless you stop it.

Are you experiencing a dental emergency in Garden Grove? Our dentists can help. Contact us immediately if you’re experiencing a dental emergency.

Read more: Tips for Handling a Dental Emergency







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. 

“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.







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.