Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Have a Hard Time Sticking to a Good Brushing Routine? Our Garden Grove Dentists Have Some Advice


Outside of maintaining a good diet and not completely ruining your teeth with sugar and sweets (or bad habits), the most surefire way to give yourself great teeth for years to come is a solid brushing routine.

Unfortunately, some patients have a hard time getting there.

First, our dentists in Garden Grove recommend brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. While there has been some debate over fluoride outside of the dental community for years – it’s worth remembering that fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that actively helps remineralize your teeth and protect your dental enamel. Most dentists prefer fluoride toothpaste for its powerful ability to slow or even stop the progression of decay on your teeth.

Years ago, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention realized that stopping or slowing dental decay was incredibly important due to a high rate of childhood cavities. To this day, the fluoridation of public water has been one of the most successful public health initiatives in recent history.

So, if you’re not using fluoridated toothpaste – give it a shot.

With toothpaste covered, the next natural topic is toothbrushes. Some patients wonder if a manual or electronic toothbrush is best – and the real answer is: it depends. When it comes to taking care of your teeth – technique is king.  There are many studies showing the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes and their ability to help patients who either brush too hard or don’t brush enough (due to built-in timers in most electric toothbrushes).

If you don’t have the discipline to brush for a full two minutes at a 45-degree angle, while effectively cleaning your teeth and gums and moving from one tooth to the other – an electronic toothbrush can definitely help. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush – one good way to make sure you brush for long enough can be to sing a song in your head (great for kids) or simply put an egg-timer near your sink.  Making sure you’re brushing correctly and for enough time is perhaps the simplest and quickest way to ensure your teeth are healthy for many years to come.

Just a couple minutes every day makes sure you don’t have to spend a lifetime with fake, replaced, or missing teeth.

Spring Means New Growth – But That Doesn’t Include Your Teeth: So Follow These Simple Steps to Keep a Dazzling Smile


Once you have your adult teeth, that’s it. You get one chance to do it right and keep them for life – otherwise (if you live near Garden Grove, California) you might have to visit our dentists for a cavity, crown, implant, or even a pair of dentures.

The thing to remember, of course, is that all of these treatments work incredibly well. But the best option is always to simply keep your original teeth – because nothing works better.

So today, our dentists in Garden Grove thought it appropriate to ring in spring with a few practical and easy to follow dental tips to help make sure you keep your teeth for life.

Don’t Smoke

Just in case you didn’t read our post from a couple days ago Learn How Smoking Impacts Your Dental Health – smoking is a great way to significantly increase the risk of losing your teeth (and a whole lot more). So don’t start! If you do smoke or simply aren’t ready to quit yet – at the very least you should be using a special toothpaste, flossing daily, and taking incredible care of your teeth.

If you haven’t made good on your New Year’s resolution to stop biting your fingernails, really try. 

Biting your finger nails might seem pretty innocent, but it can be real bad for your teeth. On top of this, because it’s a compulsive habit it can also influence other potentially harmful “habits” like nocturnal grinding – which can cause enamel damage, cracking, sensitive teeth, headaches, and poor sleepl.

Keep a “To Go” Toothbrush 

If you’ve been reading our blog for any amount of time you understand how bacteria works in your mouth. Plaque buildup containing millions of tiny bacteria slowly eat away at the enamel of your teeth to fuel their multiplication, slowly but surely making their way through your teeth. Think of the bacteria in your mouth like little termites – and your teeth are the wood. Except they’re always there, and you can’t completely get rid of them (nor would you want to, because some bacteria is good bacteria). But by brushing, flossing, and rinsing you minimize the amount of bad bacteria and prevent damage to your teeth. With that in mind, it never hurts to keep a spare toothbrush in your car or at work to get a quick brush in after meals and “slow the roll” of the bacteria in your mouth.

Could your teeth use a helping hand? 

If you’re a patient in Southern California, our dentists near Anaheim can help. Contact us today to learn about new patient specials.


A Perfect New Year’s Resolution: Be Better to Your Teeth

New Year, New You? Right – that’s what many people say at the start of the new year. They make all sorts of big and ambitious resolutions but forget about the small little victories that can change their lives.

One of the smallest victories that pretty much every person can have in the new year is healthier teeth that last longer and look brighter. In our dental office in Garden Grove, California – we frequently work with patients who have pretty healthy teeth. But in most cases, everyone can improve somewhere. So we’ve put together a list of 3 simple resolutions you can make for better teeth in 2018.

  1. Drinking soda or juice? Adopt a straw. Sweet, sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice can be delicious and can sometimes contain valuable vitamins (not Soda, though. We’re talking about juice). But all that sugar can really do a number on your teeth. One simple resolution to make can be simply using a straw. Consider a straw the easiest way to help that sugar bypass your teeth. But don’t forget – the sugar can go to work on other parts of your body (and waistline) as well.
  1. Stick to a Flossing Routine: Ever experienced problems with your teeth or gums, if you don’t floss – it’s a great time to start. Whether it requires a morning-reminder from your smartphone or a chart posted by your mirror to keep you honest – choose any method to actually create and stick to a flossing habit, and your smile will be better off.
  2. Drink More Water: Drinking more water is part of a lot of New Years resolutions, but more often than not – those resolutions are focused on fitting into that old pair of jeans you love so much. The best part is, water is alsgreat for your teeth and can be a great tool for making sure your teeth are rinsed of dangerous debris, sugar, and bacteria.

Need help sticking to your dental resolutions? If you’re a patient in southern California, our Garden Grove dentists can help. 

3 Health Problems Your Dentist Can Spot


Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove see patients of all ages. What many of these patients assume is that they’re just in the dentist’s chair for their teeth. What they might not realize is that we’re not just concerned with root canals, dental crowns, and the other “standard” dental procedures. We’re concerned with the health of the whole body.

What some patients are often surprised to learn is that your teeth can truly be a window to your overall health as well. Read on to learn about 3 surprising conditions your dentist might be able to spot before your doctor.


Do you know what the most common dental symptom of diabetics is? Gum disease. Loose teeth, bleeding gums, and gum disease are all prevalent warning signs of diabetes. On top of this, the condition of your gums can make diabetes symptoms worse. And due to the fact that diabetes patients tend to heal slower, it’s extra important to stay on top of your oral health if you’re a diabetic.


Heart Issues

When you go to the dentist for your bi-annual checkup, you probably don’t sit down in the chair anticipating getting any information about your heart-health, but it’s 100% possible. What many patients might not realize is that better oral health care can also contribute to better heart-health. The simple fact is: your gums are attached to the rest of your body, and they have a direct line to your bloodstream. If bacteria develops in your gums and makes its way into your bloodstream – it could eventually make its way to your heart, which can contribute to coronary artery disease. Bacteria can also contribute to the creation of clots – or the gradual depositing of plaque in your arteries, which can affect blood pressure.


Dementia is the medical term for when a patient gradually loses their cognitive function, which can come show in the form of confusion, memory loss, and uncharacteristic disorganization. However, it can also come with a dirty mouth. Studies have shown that one of the early signs of dementia is frequently poor oral hygiene

Do you have questions about your dental health? Our dentists near fountain valley can help! 



Is Not Brushing Your Teeth Before Bed Gross?

the-best-toothpaste-for-youShort answer: Yes.

If there’s something that our dentists try our hardest to impart upon patients of all ages it’s this: a daily oral hygiene routine is important. But the most important part is the bit about it being a routine.

For some people, that means brushing every night before bed. For others, not so much. Sometimes, we hear from patients who only sometimes brush before bed. Whether it’s just not a part of their nightly routine or they were too tired to get up and brush – it can feel like anything from a forbidden luxury to a full-blown habit.

Unfortunately – not only will not brushing at night make your teeth and breath a little grosser, it can also contribute to cavities and an increased risk for periodontal problems. The thing is, your mouth is the ideal location for bacteria to grow and thrive. When it comes to decay and cavities, an acidic environment is required. As you eat throughout the day – that precise environment is created.

The best way to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from establishing a permanent home and contributing to cavities and decay is to brush them. By brushing (at the very least) in the morning and before bed, you’re creating two valuable opportunities to break up plaque and bacteria and prevent your mouth from becoming too welcoming for cavities.

So, if you’re one of those patients who doesn’t tend to brush their teeth at night and you really want to stick with the (terrible) habit – you might be wondering, “what’s the worst that can happen?” And in this case, it’s not ideal.

For your teeth, not brushing at night can easily lead to a higher rate of decay and cavities, which inevitably leads to dental work and replaced teeth. But it’s not just your teeth you should be considered about. Like always, our dentists in Garden Grove are also careful to remind patients how important it is to also take care of your gums.

If you don’t brush at night, while your teeth are getting assaulted by more bacteria – your gums will also be having a hard time too. Too much bacteria can lead to gum disease, which can get worse and worse – ultimately affecting your overall health.

Need help with your teeth? If your oral hygiene routine’s been lacking or you’re simply looking for a new dentist near Fountain Valley or Garden Grove – our dentists are here to help!

Contact us today to learn about being a new patient with Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove!







What to do about food stuck in teeth for extended period?


So, a popcorn kernel got stuck between your teeth or lodged in your gums. It isn’t what you’d hoped for when you dug into that bowl of popcorn, it sure isn’t comfortable, and it might seem like a pretty simple and innocent situation – but it’s actually one you need to deal with for a couple different reasons.

If you have a corn husk – or any piece of food – stuck between your teeth, you’ll want to get it out safely within a reasonable time-frame.  As the food breaks down, you’re not the only one feeding on it – the bacteria in your mouth does too. That includes the bacteria that causes dental decay and cavities.

When the food gets stuck under your gums – the situation is a little different. Not only is it a problem for your gums, but it’s a problem for your teeth too. In addition to contributing to decay and cavities – a piece of food or debris (tssk tssk nailbiters) can also cause inflammation in your gums.  Unfortunately, when your gums are inflamed – it’s also often the first step on the road to other, more serious gum problems.

So no matter what – you understand it’s important to get a stuck piece of food or debris out of your teeth or gums. But you should also understand that you need to do it safely. And if you can’t do it safely, then the best option is just to wait.

So, how should you get that stuck piece of food out? You should start with floss. Rinsing or flossing should always be your first step. Always be very careful about tooth picks. If flossing doesn’t seem to work – gently running a toothpick around your gumline can sometimes do the trick.

In the rare case that you can’t get the stuck food or debris out, the next thought in your mind might be: “I may need to find a dentist near me” now. And you would be right. It’s not a terrible emergency, but if you’ve been dealing with something stuck for an extended period of time – your dentist has the skill, equipment, and expertise to get it out and assess whether there’s an infection or not.


The Pros and Cons of Mouthwash When Protecting Your Teeth

Whether you’ve been living out of a suitcase and you’re feeling gross, or a minty fresh mouth is just the perfect way to feel a bit more fresh in the morning, when it comes to your oral hygiene – it’s important to know what you’re putting in your mouth and what you’re doing to your mouth when you use products like mouthwash.

A solid oral hygiene plan keeps your teeth clean, white, and free from dental emergencies. Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove guide patients to better, safer, and more effective dental routines. Many times, mouthwash tends to become part of those dental routines. In most cases -that’s a pretty good thing, but there are some guidelines you should follow to make sure you get the maximum benefit – without running into any problems.

The Pros of Mouthwash

It freshens your breath: This is the big, obvious one. Whenever anyone feels like their mouth smells like a rotten dumpster (for whatever reason), many times the first impulse is to reach for a bottle of mouthwash. On top of that, the cool, refreshing “heat” of mouthwash can often make the mouth feel cleaner than it was before. Chances are it is. One point for mouthwash.

It helps fight cavities: Outside of freshening your breath – mouthwash boasts the even more important benefit of helping to prevent and even fight cavities that are in the process of forming. This, however, requires mouthwash that contains fluoride – which can neutralize the bacteria that goes on to cause cavities.

It protects you from gum disease: When you rinse and gargle with antibacterial mouthwash, in addition to freshening your breath and preventing cavities – it can also help prevent the development of gum disease. This is, again, a function of its ability to neutralize bacteria. For patients that are particularly susceptible to periodontal issues (like pregnant mothers), this can be especially useful.

It will help sooth canker sores: Many people experience what’s known as “canker sores” — aphthous ulcers that appear in your mouth or on your tongue for a number of reasons. While temporary, these can be quite painful. But fortunately, mouthwash can help dull that pain by reducing the bacteria that irritates them.

The Cons of Mouthwash

Fortunately, the upsides to using mouthwash far outweigh the downsides. But there are a few things you need to be careful of. Fortunately, you won’t be creating a dental emergency by using the wrong mouthwash twice – but if you’re experiencing any problems with your teeth, it could be worth double checking what you’re using and how you’re using it.

It isn’t a cure for bad breath, just a bandaid: While mouthwash will make your mouth feel clean and fresh, if it’s bad oral hygiene that’s giving you bad breath – mouthwash won’t cure it. You have to first understand the underlying cause of your breath.

Alcohol can irritate your mouth: Depending on the mouthwash you choose, some products can contain high amounts of alcohol. While this helps disinfect and kill germs and bacteria – it can also irritate the mouth, make it burn, and inhibit saliva production. While the burning makes some patients feel “like it’s working”, it’s not the best for your mouth.

It’s not a cure for bad breath: Although mouthwash does leave you with a fresh feeling, people with poor oral hygiene might find that the effect is short-lived. It is best to discuss your bad breath with your dentist to treat the underlying issue.

Alcohol irritates the mouth: Some mouthwash contains high level of alcohol and while this works to disinfect the mouth and kill bacteria, alcohol also irritates the mouth and can cause a burning sensation. Alcoholic mouthwash can also irritate canker sores rather than helping to heal them.



Our Guide: Dentistry Tips for Patients Without Dental Insurance (Part 2)


Yesterday, we published Part 1 of our 2 part series on saving money at the dentist if you don’t have dental insurance (and really – it should help even if you do!).  So if you haven’t read it yet, go back! Or you’ll miss plenty of good tips about taking better care of your teeth, without running into costly dental emergencies.

So, starting from where we left off at Step 2 (See Your Dentist Twice a Year), we begin with…

Step 3: Diet

As we’ve mentioned before, diet is an incredibly important part of a healthy set of teeth. But we’re not here to tell you that you can never drink a soda or eat carbs. “Everything in moderation” is the maxim you need to remember. The single thing you need to remember is how your diet impacts your teeth.

Every time your teeth are exposed to carbs or sugar – it will ultimately turn into acid – which increases the risk of getting a cavity. But don’t forget: it’s not just junk food. A wide variety of fruits, drinks, and other foods will break down into acids. So it’s important to stay on top of your hygiene. By brushing regularly, you ensure that you consistently wash away the acid that eating imparts on your teeth.

On top of this. It’s also important to remember how your mouth works. By snacking and drinking sugary drinks between meals, you extend the amount of time your teeth are exposed to acid. This is why it’s important to snack healthy (celery, cucumbers, carrots) and only drink water between meals. Save the sugary drinks for lunch or dinner!

Step 4: Don’t Smoke

This one should be obvious, but if you don’t have dental insurance – smoking is a huge gamble. While the most famous health risk from smoking is generally lung cancer – it’s important not to forget that smoking will also do a real number on your teeth. From encouraging periodontal disease and other gum problems, to amplifying your risk of oral cancer – it’s just not a smart move.

So, if you consider yourself a smart person and you don’t have health insurance. Work on quitting smoking to save a lot of money further down the road (and potentially, your life.)

Hopefully these tips have been helpful. If you’re a dental patient or someone who needs a dentist in the Garden Grove area, don’t wait. The sooner you get preventative treatment, the sooner you’re on the road to a healthier, more cost effective set of teeth. For answers, guidance, and support – contact us anytime. 

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


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. 


Can I Have Good Teeth If I Don’t Always Drink Water?


Just like you would expect from your family doctor, our dentists in Garden Grove frequently remind patients of one simple fact: your diet is one of the biggest influencers on every part of your body.

With that in mind,  let’s get one thing out of the way: when it comes to beverages, water is never a bad option and can easily help keep your body healthy and functioning. On top of that, our dentists always recommend our patients drink more water because it can severely reduce the number of dental emergencies and unexpected problems you encounter throughout your life. It’s just plain good for you.

That said: with all the articles, blogs, and reports out there stressing that you only drink water. Take it with a grain of salt. If you only drank water, you’d certainly be healthy – but it’s not the soda or the coffee that kills your teeth, it’s the exposure.  So rest easy – you don’t need to deny yourself all of life’s little pleasures.

When it comes to exposing your teeth to sugar, there’s a big difference between drinking an ice cold soda through a straw, followed by a water, and slowly sipping on a soda all day long.

Outside of water, there are actually plenty of drinks that are good for your body and your teeth. The vitamin C in orange juice is great for your teeth – as are even the fanciest super green smoothies, and everyone knows the calcium in milk can help make your teeth stronger. But all of these beverages in some way or another contain high amounts of acid – including milk, which is high in fermentable sugars, which encourage bacteria to grow for up to an hour after you finish drinking. Unfortunately, fermentable sugars are found in everything from fruits to bread, and plenty of things in between. So while they might have some benefits for your teeth – it’s best to keep their exposure short.

The key is to keep an eye on how much you drink and how you drink it. If the exposure is short, there’s a great chance that your saliva alone will be enough to stand up against the acid. If the exposure is longer though, that’s where you begin to see problems – and this is made even worse by fermentable sugars.

Have a question about your dental health? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area – we’re here to help.