Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Is Thumbsucking Bad? YES! Here’s How to Get Your Toddler to Stop

Do you have a thumbsucker on your hands?

For some, it might seem like it’s not a big deal. Kids will be kids, right? For others – thumbsucking is a sign for alarm and immediate intervention, or else they will be stuck with crooked, misaligned teeth forever. Right?

Not necessarily. Our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove frequently help families deal with the problem of thumbsucking. The right answer is somewhere more in the middle.  Of course, if you have a child who has been thumbsucking for years and they already have a full mouth of teeth then yes, it is something you should be concerned with (more on the “why”  in a moment). On the other hand, if your infant or toddler is sucking their thumb (or a pacifier) and they haven’t yet had many teeth come in yet – you still have time to break the habit before any damage is done. Read on to learn the “why” and the “how” behind getting your kids to give up the habit of thumb or pacifier sucking.

Why You Should Discourage Thumbsucking

The answer for why you should discourage your children from thumbsucking is pretty simple. If this bad habit continues until the age of 5 or even 6, the pressure from sucking and the obstruction in your child’s mouth will almost act in the exact opposite way braces do – except it will push teeth out of alignment as they grow in. When permanent teeth come in, they will be influenced by this misalignment – which can lead to serious problems in the future that can impact speaking and eating.

When You Should Discourage Thumbsucking

Generally, if your child is still sucking their thumb beyond age 3 – it’s time to start making serious efforts to break the habit. If possible, you should begin a program of positive reinforcement to break the habit as soon as teeth begin coming-in for your toddler.

How You Should Discourage Thumbsucking

Discouraging thumbsucking doesn’t have to be hard. In the beginning, offer a pacifier instead – to eliminate the reliance on a thumb and for the fact that a pacifier is much easier to take away (we don’t recommend taking away your child’s thumb!)

Later, you can use positive reinforcement to reward your child for not sucking their thumb for certain periods of time. You can even try keeping a chart to track your little one’s progress towards quitting.

Having trouble? If your child is increasingly stubborn about quitting this bad habit, it could be time to see a pediatric dentist near you, who can show your child pictures and explain in their own way why they should leave this habit behind.


Could Fruit Juice Be Hurting Your Kids’ Teeth?

For many parents, fruit juices are a wonderful way to give your kids a boost of vitamins and minerals. Not only do many juices claim to be packed full of stuff like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and calcium (which is great for parents), but it isn’t too hard to get most kids to guzzle the stuff down like a soda.

Unfortunately, that’s where the bad news comes in – because many times, fruit juices aren’t a whole lot better than soda. As a pediatric dentist in Garden Grove – we frequently recommend that parents cut back on the amount of fruit juice they’re giving their kids for two primary reasons.

1.  Many fruit juices contain a lot of sugar

Did you know that a lot of juices can often contain as much sugar as soda? This can really do a number on your teeth, while feeding the bacteria that contribute to decay.

2.  Fruit juices like Orange Juice are highly acidic

To add-on to the sugar that contributes to decay, acid works away at your teeth to weaken their enamel – leaving them even more vulnerable.

So what’s the alternative?

Many parents might wonder how to protect their children’s teeth while still ensuring they get all the vitamins they need. The simple answer? Fun, tasty, and completely sugar-free gummy-vitamins. These are a great way to ensure your children get all the essential vitamins without putting their teeth at risk.

This can also be accomplished by ensuring certain foods find their way into your family’s diet, some of these include carrots, winter squash, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, and sweet potatoes.

Not so fast, though…

Don’t take this to mean you should never drink juice. With a healthy oral hygiene routine and moderation – juice can still be a part of your child’s diet. Just be aware that it’s not the best and, if left un-checked, it will lead to potential dental problems.

Have a question?

We’re here to help. If you’re looking for a good kid’s dentist or have questions about pediatric dentistry – our dentists in Garden Grove are happy to provide the answers.

3 Tips from a Pediatric Dentist in Orange County

Healthy teeth that last a lifetime are something that just about everyone wants. They look better, they feel better, and they work better than the, well….alternative. On top of that, a full set of healthy teeth also ensure that you can speak all  you want, and eat what you want without running into trouble.

So, how do we give our kids great teeth for a lifetime? Well, it starts in the beginning. Laying a foundation for healthy teeth starts in before your children have ever even seen the dentist for the first time (which, by the way, should happen around their first birthday).  

Looking for a headstart? Our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove have plenty of tips, read on to see just a few of our favorites.

3 Things You Can Do

  1. Brush with your children: children learn by example. By brushing with them, you teach by example. Brush for the appropriate amount of time and make sure you also pay attention to flossing.
  2. Check your water: Is your water fluoridated? Fluoride is a valuable compound that protects your children’s teeth against decay. If you don’t have fluoride in your water, you should discuss alternatives with your dentist and your doctor.
  3. Avoid Baby Bottle Decay: While it might seem like a hassle, don’t let your baby go to bed with a bottle that has anything but water in it. When you expose your child’s teeth to sugary fluids  – which includes breast milk and formula – the chance for decay to spread becomes much greater.

3 Things Your Kids Can Do

  1. Eat smart: eating smart means avoiding too many sugary foods and being careful not to chew hard foods (and objects) that could damage the teeth.
  2. Wear a mouth guard: every pediatric dentist recommends wearing a mouth-guard for contact sports, and even some sports that don’t involve direct, physical contact.
  3. Use the right brush: Using the right brush is critical. A small, soft brush ensures that your child can get into all the little nooks and crannies in their mouth, with bristles that gently clense their gums without scraping them away.


Finding the Best Kids Dentist for Your Family

When it comes to kids, getting the best medical and dental care available can be downright stressful. What do you look for? What do you need? Who can you trust?

The ADA recommends that parents get their children to the dentist right around the time their first tooth”erupts” (a fancier and more dramatic way to say “comes in”). Another guideline is right around the first birthday. But once that happens, what kind of dentist do you actually need to go to? Our family dental practice in Garden Grove has some simple tips to help.

Finding a Pediatric Dentist

  • Get a recommendation from your family pediatrician
  • Ask family and friends for recommendations
  • Search the internet using keywords like “best pediatric dentist nearby

What to ask your child’s future dentist

Part of finding a great dentist for your family means ensuring that he or she is one that you feel comfortable communicating with. With that in mind, be sure to do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions, like…

  • What kind of training does the dental practice‘s dentists have? Pediatric specialists are required to have an additional 2 years of training for infants, kids, teenagers, and children with special needs.
  • Do you have a relationship with local oral surgeons and other specialists should the need for one arise?
  • What kind of insurance do you accept, and will you accept payment plans?

The Right Dentist For Your Family

When it comes to finding a good caregiver for your family, you don’t want to cut any corners. You need a kids dentist that you and your children feel comfortable with. We think we can help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about new patient deals.



Dental Pain During Pregnancy: Why it Happens and What You Can Do

Sore and irritated teeth and gums are a common side effect of pregnancy. Learn what to do to make your pregnancy easier.

Sore and irritated teeth and gums are a common side effect of pregnancy. Learn what to do to make your pregnancy easier.

Generally, pregnancy tends to send you searching for a few different things. From the baby books and clothing to the “mom-to-be” focused nutrition and exercise classes.

Apart from doing all of this to ensure a better, healthier life for your baby, it also comes down to one simple all-important factor: comfort.

When it comes to being pregnant, discomfort is – unfortunately – a fact of life. Nobody ever said it was easy, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of products out there to make it just a little easier. But one of the areas of discomfort that pregnant patients frequently fail to account for is their teeth.

But don’t let sensitive teeth during pregnancy scare you into frantically working to find a dentist nearby. The condition is entirely normal, and not uncommon.

Why does pregnancy cause sensitive teeth?

Your Hormones

As anyone who’s taken a high-school science class could tell you, pregnancy causes a spike in hormones. Because of this, the hormones in your body can actually alter how your body reacts to bacteria in your body – including the bacteria inside your mouth. This can often lead to sore gums, sore teeth, and periodontal infection.

Increased Blood flow to your body’s systems

When you’re pregnant, your body goes into overdrive to support not one living-body, but two. The end result of this is an increase in blood flow throughout your entire body.  Sometimes, a result of this can be swollen and sensitive gums that will often also be tender when you touch them (or when a piece of sharp food pokes them). If you’ve never experienced this sort of sensitivity, it can be jarring at first, and will often be triggered by hot or cold foods.

Gum Disease

Many pregnant women might not realize that pregnancy makes you much more likely to fall victim to gum disease.

What You Can Do About It

Although pregnancy can limit some of the medicinal intervention often used to treat sore teeth and gums, with some extra care and attention, you can keep your smile healthy during your prenatal nine months. Maintaining all the great hygiene habits you’ve used up to this point will keep you healthy and pain-free, so don’t forget to give your mouth a little TLC, too. Here are four things you can do for your sensitive teeth during pregnancy:

Tell your dentist you’re pregnant

If you’re pregnant, don’t let it be an excuse to forego your regular dentist appointment. In fact, you should probably make a point to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant so he or she can take the precautions necessary to prevent any issues moving forward and ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.

Use a softer toothbrush

Increased sensitivity means that you need to be extra sure to baby your gums. If you’ve never experienced sensitivity before, using a soft bristled toothbrush can help.


Curb the craving for sweets

Increased sensitivity to bacteria means that the pregnancy cravings that introduce more and more sugar into your body could be doing more harm than good.  While you may be craving sweets, remember that sugar actively feeds bacteria. This contributes to sore and sensitive teeth, as well as cavities. However, we understand that it’s incredibly hard to ignore those cravings sometimes. So, if you must – be sure to brush afterwards.

Curious about what to do after your baby is born? Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove offers caring and comprehensive pediatric dental care. If you’re searching for a dentist in Garden Grove, CA experienced with infant and pediatric care, contact us today to learn more, or read some of our other blog posts about infant dental care:

7 Essential Tips for Healthy Baby Teeth

Why Your Baby Needs to See the Dentist

The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry





The Average Kid’s Tooth Tips: Advice from a Pediatric Dentist

Some simple tips for healthy, growing teeth

Some simple tips for healthy, growing teeth

When it comes to teeth – prevention is always the best cure.  In fact, good oral health begins even before a baby’s first tooth. Which goes to show that the path to a “bright” dental future begins before a child can  even see above the sink. Teeth, in the mouth of someone who cares just  a little are fully capable of lasting a lifetime — but those habits start at a young age.  For toddlers and beyond, it’s all about good habits.

Most childrens dentist point to a few simple steps to help ensure your child has a healthy, growing smile.

Some precautionary tips for baby teeth:

Care for Baby Teeth Before You can See Them!

Every baby is born with all of his or her teeth, you just can’t see them because they are completely hidden by the gums. After about 6 months the teeth begin to break through the gums — when a baby is teething — a time in which it is critical to start good oral care.

Avoid Bottle Tooth Decay

Bottle tooth decay occurs when babies drink formula, milk, or juice out of a bottle over an extended period of time. Symptoms include brown or block spots on the teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, and bad breath. A fever and irritability could be a sign of an infection.

How to avoid bottle tooth decay

  • Do not put baby to sleep with a bottle
  • Take the bottle away after your baby is done drinking

Dental Tips for Ages 0-2

  • Schedule a baby’s first dental appointment to be sometime around his or her first birthday.
  • Brush twice a day, with water and a soft toothbrush
  • Use a moist cloth to gently brush the gums after feeding to help prevent plaque buildup, which can become tooth decay.
  • Break the habit of thumb-sucking early by slowly breaking reliance on pacifier.

Dental Tips for Ages 3-5

  • Kids around 3 should start using fluoride toothpaste
  • Instruct kids to only use a small amount of tooth-paste, just the size of a pea. And always remember to spit out the toothpaste.
  • Try to visit your dentist roughly twice a year.

Dental Tips for Ages 6-12

Children between 6 and 12 face an incredibly important period of growth where a number of changes are taking place in every child’s smile. In this time especially it is important to continue stressing good habits, such as:

  • Flossing should begin when teeth are touching
  • Baby teeth should be disposed of with as much (or little) fanfare as you like
  • Pay close attention to “hard to reach” teeth
  • Brush and floss, twice a day — it’s that easy
  • Always remind children to habitually practice good oral health habits.  Brush and floss with your child regularly, to instill good daily habits
  •  Wear a mouth guard when it comes to contact sports


Good Habits Start EARLY

Let’s face it, you don’t need a pediatrics dentist to tell you that building anything “to last” takes a strong foundation. With our teeth, that starts with the beginning.

Have questions? Contact us today. We’re happy to help.