Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


How a Pediatric Dentist Fixes Cavities

Yesterday, we talked about cavities and how you get them, and for many families – when it comes to our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove, cavities are often one of the most common concerns. Our goal is to prevent them altogether by impressing upon all of our young patients how important good brushing routines are.

ids everywhere have heard it from their friends after a dentist’s appointment, “How many cavities did you have?” with bright eyes eagerly awaiting an answer. For all of them – our dentists in Garden Grove hope the answer is always “none”. But cavities aren’t uncommon for kids and young adults everywhere. Fortunately, they’re also pretty easy to prevent.

Sure, genetics can play a small role in the formation of cavities – good oral hygiene, including rinsing and flossing also helps keep cavity causing decay to a minimum. But what happens if you do end up with a cavity?

Fillings for Cavities


One of the most common and affordable approaches to fixing a dental cavity is to fill it. By filling it with a substance that prevents bacteria and decay from entering the tooth, and then sealing the tooth shut – it fixes the cavity and sustains the tooth for the future.

In order to place a filling, first your dentist will numb the spot before removing any decay with a laser, air tool, or drill. Next, the area is cleaned so that there’s enough space for the filling to be cleanly made.

Once the tooth is filled, the dentist will then shape and polish the filling so that it’s surface closely matches the tooth’s original surface. This is done both to ensure proper chewing, mouth closure, and comfort.

The relative ease and low-cost of a filling is one of the primary reasons why it’s important to find and fix a cavity as soon as possible. If left too long to decay, cavities become bigger and require more serious treatments – such as a dental crown.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is typically used when a tooth has so much damage or decay that it’s at risk for breaking. A crown protects it from this future bu restoring the tooth from the gumline up and essentially replacing the tooth with a new external covering.


When a tooth decays badly enough, it can become broken. In this case, the tooth can only be repaired with a crown, which attempts to restore the tooth at the gum line. The crown is sometimes added after a root canal to prevent the tooth from breaking. If the tooth has already received a large filling and there isn’t a whole lot of natural tooth left, a crown will replace the remaining tooth for better aesthetics and functionality.

The crown will hold a very fragile tooth together, maximizing the chances that the patient will keep his or her teeth. The crown also can be used to restore a tooth that has already been broken. If there isn’t much of a tooth left and the tooth has received a very large filling, the crown will cover the filling and support the tooth. The crown is intended to look like an actual tooth, allowing patients to keep the dental work a secret.

Are your children complaining about dental pain? Our pediatric dentists in Garden Grove are experts at treating cavities in kids of all ages. Have a question? We have answers. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Why Some Get More Cavities Than Others

This week we’ve been focusing quite a lot on pediatric dentistry and cavities.

Outside of brushing and flossing, cavities are often one of the first concepts a child learns about when it comes to their teeth.

“Not brushing your teeth every night before bed?”

You might get cavities.

“Eating too much candy and sweets?”

You might get a cavity

Just about every parent knows that cavities come from poor oral hygiene. But what about genetics? Why does it seem like some people don’t get as many cavities as others? That’s where you might be surprised.

Did you know that some people simply have bodies better suited to fighting decay? It’s true, some people simply have the right cocktail of bacteria in the ecosystem of their mouths, making them much more resistant to decay.

But even if you weren’t born with these “super genes” you aren’t without hope. There are many patients out there who have never had a cavity simply based on good oral hygiene. The tricky part about this little fact is that there’s no real way of knowing if you’re one of the lucky few with iron-clad teeth. So all you can do is adopt a good oral hygiene routine anyway and hope for the best!

Curious about your teeth?

As a family dentist in Garden Grove – we’ve spent years developing our pratice to offer families of all sizes a dentist that can serve the whole family, from cleanings and fillings to dental implants and dentures.





Dental Dangers: 3 Fast Ways to Ruin Your Teeth

As a dentist in Garden Grove California, we see quite a few patients every day and they call come from very different walks of life. From children with perfect teeth to the occasional patient that hasn’t really done a great job of sticking to their oral healthcare routine, we’ve truly seen it all.

However, beyond factors like “not flossing” or “not using a fluoride rinse” serious damage to teeth is often caused directly by us, the humans in charge.

Many times, patients have a problem with their teeth for one simple reason: carelessness.

In fact, many of the leading ways to damage, hurt, or outright ruin your teeth begin with carelessness, which leads into our first “method” of absolutely ruining your teeth

Dental Risk #1: Using your Teeth as a Tool (for something other than chewing)

Have you ever opened a bottle, can, or bag of chips with your teeth? Take this as your warning: never do it again. While they might seem like a perfectly effective tool for opening all kinds of packages and products, your teeth are meant for chewing food. Resist the temptation to use them for anything else. Otherwise, you can risk cracking and chipping your teeth — which often occurs with the most visible teeth, and can surely land you in your dentist’s chair for repair work.  Not only can using your teeth as a tool cause visible damage, it can also open your teeth up to invisible damage by causing fractures that provide an invisible pipeline for bacteria and decay — which can lead to cavities, infection, and more.

Dental Risk #2: Playing Sports without a Mouth Guard

Of course, mouth guards were invented for a reason — and they tend to do their job quite well. If the sport you’re participating in poses any opportunity for your face to be recipient of any significant impact, you should be wearing a mouthguard. As a pediatric dentist in the fountain valley area, you can imagine that we also see plenty of children with sports related dental problems. Do yourself a favor. Spend the small amount of money on a “boil and bite” mouth guard instead of the more expensive option of repeated dental work.

Dental Risk #3: Chewing on Ice Cubes

You might not think that chewing on ice cubes can be bad for your teeth, but that’s where you’d be wrong. While it shouldn’t hurt your teeth to suck on an ice-cube to relieve a sore throat or simply cool off, try to limit the amount of time you spend actually cruuuuuuunching on ice cubes. Not only can this wear away at the enamel of your teeth, it can also cause cracking or chipping.

There’s a lot out there that can have an impact on your teeth, and it’s our job to make you aware of it. Come back later for the next installment of “Dental Risks” to learn about some more of the every-day habits, foods, and activities you might participate in that can have a very real impact on your teeth.

In the meantime, if you have questions about your teeth and live in the Garden Grove or Fountain Valley area, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

What are Dental Sealants and Do My Kids Need Them?

Think about what your children eat every day. You do everything you can to make sure they eat a healthy, balanced diet but you can’t control everything. While it’s not possible to fix damage to your teeth, it is possible to prevent damage to teeth, especially young ones.

As they always say, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of the cure. Considering the “cure” for decayed teeth is to simply replace the teeth, which can be both involved and expensive. On the other hand, preventing damage to your teeth is a much more effective course of action. For many parents, pediatric dental sealants are the best version of prevention. 

Dental sealants are a thin layer of plastic material added to a child’s teeth that looks normal, feels normal, and protects the teeth against enamel erosion.

Who needs dental sealants

Dental sealants are designed for young children, and can be applied as soon as the first teeth come through. Because the molars are often the hardest to reach and properly brush, they are also the first teeth to experience decay. For this reason, the pediatric dentists in our Garden Grove dental clinic frequently recommend getting your child dental sealants when their first molars grow in.

If you’re wondering how this impacts your child’s “dental timeline,” you can expect your child to get their first set of molars when they’re between the age of five and seven. The second set of molars come between the ages of 11 and 14. Naturally, children who show signs of tooth decay are the most common recipients of dental sealants. However, if your child doesn’t show signs of decay but you’re still concerned about the damage being done to their teeth, dental sealants are still an option.

What is the process of getting sealants?

As if often the magic question when it comes to pediatric dental care in Garden Grove and virtually anywhere else

Applying sealants is a simple, pain-free procedure that is done quickly at Pearland Pediatric Dentistry. There is absolutely no effect on the tooth structure from sealants.



How long will dental sealants last?

When dental sealants have been placed on your child’s teeth, they are designed to last roughly 10 years and will be frequently checked by your family dentist at every cleaning. Think of dental sealants as “armor” for your child’s teeth by providing valuable added protection against decay and cavities.

Do you have questions about dental sealants or any other concern about your child’s teeth? We’re here to help. If you don’t have questions, and you’re simply a patient looking to schedule an appointment for your child’s dental sealants — we can help there too!


Why Your Baby Needs to See the Dentist



Did you know that most children don’t see a dentist until they’re walking? It’s one thing that can catch many parents off guard, but it’s been recommended by dentists across the country that infants should see their family dentist much earlier than most parents think

In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your baby should have his or her first dental visit  by the time they’re 1 year old — or at least 6 months after they’ve sprouted their first tooth. In most cases, your child should grow his or her first tooth right around 6 months.

“A trip to the dentist for just ONE tooth?!”

We know, it sounds crazy — many parents wonder why a dental visit is necessary for a single tooth or a couple of teeth. But many of them are also surprised to learn how important a child’s primary teeth are. Contrary to popular opinion, just because they’re going to be whisked away by the tooth fairy some day, this doesn’t mean that they can be ignored. As the AAPD explains, the primary teeth are vital and it’s important that they remain in place until they fall out naturally. 

This is important for a number of reasons:

  • Primary teeth make-way for permanent teeth. Improperly aligned primary teeth lead to improperly aligned adult teeth.
  • Primary teeth help your child properly chew
  • Primary teeth play an important role in early speech development and pathology

What to expect at your child’s first dental appointment

So you’ve noticed your baby has finally sprouted their first tooth. You’ve taken the pictures, you’ve washed it with a washcloth, and you’ve started the very touchy “teething stage”. What next?

As you can probably expect, your baby’s first visit to the dentist is generally a short one and involves only a small amount of treatment. First of all, it gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a very friendly way. Many times, the dentist will have mom or dad sit in the chair to demonstrate to the baby what a dental examination looks like, so they understand it’s normal and nothing to be afraid of.

Next, the pediatric dental specialist will check what few teeth your child has for decay, while also inspecting the jaw, gums, and other tissues for any problems. If necessary, the dentist will also clean available teeth. After a prize for the baby, the dentist will instruct you on any special instructions that should be followed for healthy growing teeth and send you on your way.

Questions about Pediatric Dentistry?

Not only do early pediatric dental visits ensure your child has a good foundation of oral care for the future, they also establish early on that the dentist’s office is nothing to be afraid of.  Do you have questions about your baby’s first visit to the dentist  and live in the Garden Grove, Orange County, or Anaheim area? We’re here to help.



Will my Child’s Teeth Straighten Out?


It’s only natural for a parent to be concerned about their child’s smile. Growing up isn’t always easy! When kids grow up with noticeably crooked or gapped teeth, there’s always the chance for a little bit of teasing. Sure, we might often think back to when we were kids and say, “Nah! It builds character!” But if noticeable imperfections appear to be showing up now, it might be a good idea to determine if they need the attention of your pediatric dentist now.

The Transitioning Period

Many parents of young er children often come to us with questions about a common feature of being young: the ugly duckling period. You know what it looks like (it might even describe your child perfectly), upper front teeth that are flared out, with a gap in-between that’s all-to-often used as a straw holder or french fry delivery port.

The important thing to know about this “look” is that it’s perfectly normal. During the transitioning period after baby teeth fall out, it is common for the new adult teeth to look a little “wayward”. As more teeth erupt (like the canines) and your child’s jaw develops, the front teeth will straighten out and the gaps in your child’s teeth will close.

Another common “issue” parents inquire about is when newly emerged permanent teeth do not seem aligned properly with the “baby” teeth. Many times, they wonder if the baby teeth can be removed to allow for more room for the incoming adult teeth. This is generally an unnecessary procedure, because permanent teeth are bigger than baby teeth and your child’s jaw is still growing. While new teeth might not have enough space and may even look awfully crowded right now, give it a little time before worrying. Until your child’s first premolar has emerged, and their jaw development has slowed, and moved past the rapid growth spurts of early childhood.

“When should I consider braces for my child?”

If you’re wondering if your child might need braces. First, consult your dentist. As you’ve read above, many irregularities in your child’s smile can be attributed to and corrected by the fact that they’re still growing.

In most cases, it is hard to determine whether a child will need braces until their permanent teeth have completely replaced their baby teeth.



The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry

If you’re worrying about your child’s teeth, first take a moment to remember one thing: you’re already doing something right. Being actively involved in your child’s oral care is one of the single most effective ways to instill the habits that lead to healthy teeth for years to come. Take it from a pediatric dentist, scheduling a first visit for your child is incredibly important.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), it’s been proven that, “The better the mother’s oral health, the less the chance the baby will have problems” in the future. For this reason, dental cleaning for children is especially important.
As the AAPD reports, many parents can often be heard saying something along the lines of: “Why bother filling baby teeth when they fall out anyway?”
While it’s true that your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out. It’s important to remember that they’re very important to them in the meantime. Of course, they’re useful for chewing but they also serve a much more important purpose. Baby teeth (otherwise known as primary teeth) act as incredibly effective placeholders, saving space for your child’s permanent teeth to grow in properly. In the event that a baby tooth is lost, other teeth can shift into its place — which can sometimes prevent your child’s permanent tooth from “erupting” (or breaking through the surface of the gums).
When this happens, it can possibly mean a misaligned or crooked smile for your child in the future. On top of this, a decayed tooth can also lead to a fluid-filled puss sack known as an abscess. These can be incredibly painful, especially for a child. Unfortunately, they can lead to your child missing school at the very best. At their worst, an abscess can lead to pain, infection, and — in some cases — death.
If you have questions about pediatric dental care, schedule your child’s first dental cleaning to learn about the best ways to set your child’s teeth up for success in the future. Not only will their smile look better for years to come but you’ll also save a large amount of money by preventing damage to your child’s teeth and encouraging good habits early on.



Foods to Watch to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy



Many of us adults think back to childhood and think, “Ah, the simpler times!” and in most cases you would be right. It’s a heck of a lot easier being a kid. Wake up, eat, play a little bit, take a nap or two, eat some more, and do it all over again. While this is true, it’s also why it’s so important for parents to carefully monitor what we feed our children in order to give them the best possible foundation for future oral health. Healthy teeth now lead to healthy teeth later. So, without further ado. Read on to learn about some of the hidden dental dangers faced by your children and get a couple hints from us, a dental office for children in Garden Grove Ca.

To protect your child’s teeth, it is more important than ever to carefully read the packaging of the food you buy to avoid bringing foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates into your house. While the risk of sugar is obvious (we covered it in Stop Drinking Your Teeth Rotten!: A Simple Tip from Your Garden Grove Dental Practice) the risk with complex carbs is a bit more, well, complex (but not really). Essentially complex carbohydrates breakdown in your mouth and eventually become sugar. So instead of just looking at the calorie content of your food, pay attention to the sugars and complex carbs as well. Not only is it good for your teeth, it’s also good for weight control.

It Starts with Breakfast

Some of the biggest offenders of putting children’s teeth at risk make every day appearances at breakfast tables around the world. Sugary cereal, sweet juices, and flavored milk (like chocolate and strawberry), all tend to contain high levels of sugar.  While the sugar in cereal sticks to your child’s teeth and helps contribute to plaque build-up, the additional sugar in juice or chocolate milk doesn’t exactly help to wash it off.


Instead, look for alternatives that are low in sugar and complex carbs. Choose whole grains and nuts over refined carbs and sugary cereal. The fewer ingredients the better!  Instead of relying on sugar, add fruit or nuts to your cereal to get the same taste without the harmful additives.

Ketchup and other Condiments

Did you know that ketchup is probably one of the biggest sources of sugar in your child’s diet? With about 8 grams of sugar per tablespoon of ketchup, the amount of sugar ingested by condiments alone can become pretty high. To put this in context, the average soda contains between 10 and 30 grams of sugar. Now, is ketchup as healthy as you thought it was? The important thing to remember is that this is fine. Moderation is key.

Candy, Lollipops, and Chewable Vitamins

The danger of candy and lollipops is obvious — they have a lot of sugar, they stick to teeth, and they basically create the perfect conditions for plaque buildup and decay. But Chewable vitamins? Aren’t vitamins good? Well, yes and no. While chewable vitamins make it easier to convince your children to actually take their vitamins, they also tend to stick to their teeth. If chewable vitamins are already a part of your routine, that’s fine — just take them before brushing and make sure to instruct your children to brush carefully.

Spreads like Peanut Butter

While peanut butter is an important and healthy staple in many households , many people forget that it does  contain a high amount of sugar that is bound to stick to teeth. Again, moderation and good oral hygiene habits are key. There’s no need to cut these items out of your child’s diet.

Do We Need to Change Everything

Absolutely not. As a dentist for children in Garden Grove, we see a lot of patients and we tell them all the same thing: good habits make good teeth. Understanding what you’re feeding your children is the first step in ensuring their teeth are set for the future. Sometimes moderation is key. Other times, it’s just a matter of reinforcing regular rinsing, brushing, and flossing to prevent sugar from sticking to your child’s teeth.

Do you have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or ask a question.