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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

On-the-Go Snacks That are Fast & Tooth Friendly

 

Whether you’re between classes or between appointments – more often than not, it’s when you start rushing when your diet goes out the window. Around the same time is also when you stop treating your teeth like the valuable asset they are.

Think about it. When was the last time that you – in the midst of a rushed lunch-hour or frantic child pickup – ate something on-the-go that probably wasn’t a great choice for your teeth (or your diet in general)?

At our dental office in Garden Grove, we work with patients from all walks of life from the Anaheim area. No matter the age, almost everyone can sometimes become a victim of convenience. Hopefully, some of today’s tips will at least make eating healthier (for your teeth and body) a little more convenient.

  • Vegetable slices: easily one of the healthiest snacks you can possibly eat (easily spiced up with some greek yogurt and ranch-dressing dip) – go for carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Looking for a bonus? Choose celery – which is so good for you, you actually burn more calories chewing it than you consume eating it.
  • Vegetable chips: veggie chips – while much closer to potato chips (and starchier than fresh veggies) are a pretty decent alternative to regular potato chips. Try kale chips for a great healthy alternative.
  • Fresh fruit: do you have a sweet tooth? Whenever you can – opt for fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas all make for tooth-friendly snacks. Watch out for dried fruit, though. While dried-fruit can be great, some varieties include loads of extra sugar.
  • Nuts: Nuts are a great source of energy, and they aren’t half bad for your teeth either. As an added bonus, If you’re splurging on something with a bit of chocolate (such as a candy bar, or some trail mix) try to opt for something with nuts – they do a great job of helping to scrape the sugary leftovers away from your teeth as you chew.

Have questions about your teeth and live in the Garden Grove area? Our dentists can help! Check out our new patient specials to learn more.

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!

Can Pregnancy Lead to Dental Problems?

These days, when many couples want children they try to have them as close together as possible. It makes sense, right? Get the tough toddler years out of the way as soon as possible and never look back. Sounds like a perfect plan (until they grow up too fast).

But what many young moms don’t realize is that pregnancy demands quite a lot from your body – and that can lead to some specific dental problems.  The good news is that you’re much less likely to experience dental problems in pregnancy if you’re already taking good care of your teeth when you get pregnant. Pregnancy should never be thought of as an excuse for your teeth to go bad! Because with proper care and regular dental checkups during your pregnancy – your teeth will be just fine.

With that said, pregnancy can lead to increased gum disease and tooth decay due to changes in hormones and the way they can influence the plaque in your mouth – which directly affects cavities.

Other problems our dentists in Garden Grove encounter with pregnant patients include:

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is run of the mill gum inflammation – and one of the most common afflictions on the planet. It’s most likely to happen in your second trimester in the form of gum swelling and bleeding (especially during flossing).
  • Periodontal disease: this is next level gum disease, and occurs when gingivitis goes untreated. It can lead to tooth loss and blood infection  and should be taken care of as soon as possible. This is incredibly important – since this is where the problem moves beyond your teeth and you risk hurting your baby.

And what about when baby finally arrives? Well – then if you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area – just schedule an appointment when your brand new baby gets their first tooth.

And check out some of our previous articles on pediatric teeth.

Are you Expecting? Our Dentists in Garden Grove Remind You: Your Baby’s Teeth are Growing RIGHT NOW

What to Watch out for With Baby Teeth

Don’t Skip The Dentist When You’re Pregnant