Navigating the Dental Insurance Landscape: An Insightful Interview with Dr. Ionescu of Dentistry by Design, Elk Grove CA

March 8th, 2024

In a candid interview with Dr. Ionescu of Dentistry by Design in Elk Grove, California, we delve into the reasons behind the recent trend of dentists dropping dental insurance. Dr. Ionescu, with over 35 years of experience, provides valuable insights into this shift while emphasizing his commitment to patient care. Read on to discover why he continues to be a Delta provider despite the challenges faced by many in the industry.

Question 1: Dr. Ionescu, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your practice philosophy?
Dr. Ionescu introduces himself as a seasoned general and cosmetic dentist with a global background, dedicating the last 25 years to serving the Elk Grove community. His practice philosophy centers around preventative and minimally invasive dentistry, aiming to preserve patients' smiles for a lifetime. He proudly views his patients as an extended family, treating them with the utmost care and dedication.

Question 2: Recently, a lot of dentists have been dropping dental insurance benefits. Can you tell us why you think they took that decision?
Dr. Ionescu clarifies the distinction between dental benefits and health insurance, highlighting the annual stipends provided by insurance companies. He outlines the challenges, such as discounted fees and restrictive procedures imposed by insurance companies, leading some dentists to reconsider their association. He specifically mentions the significant fee reductions initiated by Delta dental in 2023 as a key factor in this decision-making process.

Question 3: Dr. Ionescu, you are considered one of the best dentists in Elk Grove, with over 300 five-star Google reviews. Can you tell us why you are still a Delta provider?
Acknowledging the benefits of dropping insurance, Dr. Ionescu candidly admits contemplating the decision but ultimately chose to remain a Delta provider. Despite the allure of less administrative work and potentially higher income, he stays true to his patient-centric values. Dr. Ionescu's commitment to prioritizing patient care over financial considerations shines through, emphasizing the importance of maintaining accessibility for patients to seek dental treatment.

Question 4: Any last thoughts you would like to share for patients concerned about changes in their dentists' insurance affiliation?
Dr. Ionescu reassures patients that they can continue to access dental benefits even if their dentist is out of network. He encourages patients to stay loyal to their dentists if they believe in the quality of care provided. While acknowledging potential inconveniences, he suggests that dental offices have found ways to manage the process. Dr. Ionescu expresses understanding for those dentists who have chosen to drop insurance while affirming his current commitment to remain in network with Delta and other dental benefits providers.

Dr. Ionescu's insights shed light on the complex decisions dentists face regarding dental insurance. His dedication to patient well-being and commitment to providing exceptional care serve as a testament to the values upheld at Dentistry by Design. As patients navigate the evolving landscape of dental insurance, this interview offers valuable perspectives for those seeking dental professionals who prioritize their oral health.

Winter Dental Care: Protecting Your Smile During Cold Weather

January 3rd, 2024

As the winter chill sets in, it's not just your skin that needs extra care – your teeth also require attention to brave the season's harsh effects. Cold weather can pose unique challenges to your dental health, from temperature-related sensitivity to the impact of seasonal beverages on your teeth. Let's explore some essential tips to ensure your smile stays bright and healthy throughout the winter months.

Safeguarding Teeth in Cold Weather
1. Avoid Hot/Cold Food Swaps: Rapidly shifting from hot to cold foods or beverages can stress teeth, potentially causing microfractures. Try allowing hot foods or drinks to cool slightly before consuming or using a straw to minimize direct contact with teeth.

2. Use a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Cold air can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Consider using a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth to alleviate discomfort.

3. Stay Hydrated: While it's tempting to consume warmer beverages in the cold, ensure you're staying hydrated with water. Proper hydration supports overall oral health and helps wash away food particles that could lead to decay.

Hot Beverages and Dental Health
Winter often calls for cozying up with hot drinks, but their impact on dental health shouldn't be overlooked. Here's how these beverages can affect your teeth and some alternatives to consider:

1. Impact on Teeth: Hot beverages like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate can contribute to staining and enamel erosion over time. They can also cause sensitivity due to their temperature.

2. Alternatives: Opt for herbal teas or lukewarm versions of your favorite beverages. Herbal teas not only offer warmth but also provide various health benefits without the staining effects of traditional teas.

3. Rinse After Consumption: If you do indulge in hot drinks, consider rinsing your mouth with water afterward to help mitigate their effects on teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate saliva production, aiding in neutralizing acids.

Winter is a beautiful season, but it does demand extra care for your oral health. By being mindful of your food choices, consuming beverages in moderation, and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can ensure your smile remains healthy and radiant throughout the colder months.

Remember, regular dental check-ups are crucial. Schedule an appointment with us at Dentistry by Design to ensure your smile is winter-ready and well-protected against the seasonal elements.

Stay warm, stay healthy, and keep smiling!
The Dentistry by Design Team

Defeating Bad Breath: Your Comprehensive Guide to Fresh, Healthy Mouths

December 5th, 2023

Ever wondered why your oral hygiene routine isn't winning the battle against bad breath? Is it real, or is it just a nagging worry? It's time to find out!

Sure, brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash (especially a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution) are your first line of defense. But there's a sneaky culprit lurking beyond these habits that causes persistent bad breath – enter the realm of bacteria.

These tiny troublemakers camp out in your mouth, cozying up on your gums and tongue. They might even hitch a ride from your gut. Nasty gum diseases like gingivitis or the more menacing periodontitis? They're prime suspects for unleashing the dragon that is halitosis.

But here's the kicker: bad breath is just the tip of the iceberg. If left unchecked, these issues can lead to serious consequences like tooth loss or even more concerning health problems like heart issues or immune diseases. It's not a scare tactic; it's a call to action!

Dry mouth? Yep, that's another sneaky culprit. But fear not! Simple tweaks like staying hydrated, ditching caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can work wonders in tackling this oral nemesis.

However, the saga of bad breath doesn't end there. Tonsil infections, sinus troubles, bronchitis, a tongue that's basically a bacteria party zone – they can all join the bad breath bandwagon. Even your diet and lifestyle choices might have a say in this smelly affair.

The road to fresher breath begins with your primary doctor. They'll dive into the investigation, uncovering the root causes and devising a treatment plan. And if gum disease seems to be the villain, guess who's next on your to-see list? Your friendly dentist!

Meanwhile, keep up the good fight:

  • Stick to your hygiene rituals: brush after meals, floss daily.
  • Don't skip the tongue-scraping! It's like an eviction notice for bacteria.
  • Swish and gargle with that hydrogen peroxide solution – mornings and nights.
  • Let go of tobacco in all its forms.
  • Guzzle unsweetened fluids, especially good ol' water.
  • And please, mark those dentist appointments on your calendar – twice a year sounds about right. They're your ultimate shield against oral issues!

Bad breath may be a stinky topic, but with the right strategies and a bit of professional guidance, you'll soon be breathing easy again!

Unlocking the Mystery of Teeth: Why They're Your Digestive Heroes and Confidence Champions

November 21st, 2023

Ever wondered why we humans need those trusty teeth of ours? Buckle up because it's more than just about flashing a winning smile. These chewy champs serve a boatload of functions, and losing them? Well, that can set off a whole chain reaction of consequences that aren't so fun.

First things first, these dental superheroes are MVPs when it comes to chewing food. Think of them as the first line of defense for your digestion. Skip the proper chewing routine, and you're heading straight for a digestive disaster. Imagine big food chunks causing traffic jams in your throat or setting up camp in your gut. That's a one-way ticket to discomfort city with a bonus side of nutrient loss.

And hey, saliva gets in on the action too! It’s like the unsung hero activated by chewing, swooping in to help break down food and let those nutrients do their thing. But wait, there’s more! Your taste buds aren't just there for kicks—they signal your stomach and pancreas to join the party and start prepping the digestive party downstairs.

Sure, you can go soft with foods like purees, yogurt, or soups, but come on, life on a puree diet? Not exactly a culinary adventure, right? For the full shebang of nutrition, you need those pearly whites to tackle the whole menu.

But hold up, it’s not just about digestion. Missing teeth throw a whole wrench into the works. Your poor gums and jaws start pulling overtime, trying to do the heavy lifting meant for teeth. Hello soreness, bleeding, and irritated gums! Worst case? Loose teeth and infected gums. Ouch.

Now, let's talk about appearance and confidence. Ever heard of a smile being worth a thousand words? It's not just a phrase. A full set of healthy teeth? That's confidence in a nutshell, my friend.

And guess what? Your teeth are the unsung heroes behind your speech too. Tongue, lips, palate—team effort! Mess with that alignment, and suddenly, words don't roll off the tongue as smoothly.

But hey, if you're missing some teeth, don't sweat it. There's a whole arsenal of dental wizardry out there—crowns, bridges, dentures (both full and partial), you name it! They're like the Avengers, but for your smile.

So, if your teeth are playing hide and seek or you're just curious about your options, we've got your back! Give us a shout, and let's craft a plan to get those teeth and that smile back in action. We're here to make your grin a winning one!

Why Do Your Teeth Hurt? Exploring Common Causes and Prevention

November 10th, 2023

Hey there, friends of Dentistry by Design! We know how important your smiles are, and we're here to help you keep them happy and healthy. Have you ever wondered why your teeth suddenly start hurting when everything was going just fine? In this blog post, we're going to explore the most common reasons your teeth hurt and share some upbeat tips on how to prevent tooth pain. So, let's get started!

1. Tooth Decay:
If you've been indulging in sugary treats, those sneaky bacteria in your mouth are having a party! They love sugar and can produce acid that damages your tooth's enamel. Inadequate at-home care and missing dental cleanings can lead to cavities, which might cause pain and sensitivity to hot or cold foods.

2. Acidic Foods and Drinks:
Citrus fruits, carbonated sodas, and excessive alcohol consumption can erode your tooth enamel. If you suffer from GERD (acid reflux), it can also contribute to teeth erosion.

3. Bacterial Infections:
Sometimes, a bacterial infection can cause an abscess, which is pus that forms inside a tooth, gums, or the bones that hold your teeth in place. This infection can lead to throbbing pain and requires immediate medical attention.

4. Pulpitis:
When bacteria invade the pulp of your tooth due to deep cavities, it can lead to pulpitis. This condition can cause severe pain that might not go away without emergency dental treatment.

5. Cracked Teeth:
A cracked tooth can be incredibly painful and can result from various factors, including unexpected injuries and teeth grinding. Large fillings that don't stabilize the tooth properly can also increase the risk of a cracked tooth.

6. Gum Disease:
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can lead to gum recession. When your gums recede and expose the sensitive root of your tooth, it can cause soreness and pain.

It's essential to note that some toothaches are more severe than others, and some may be a sign of more serious issues. So, what can you do to prevent tooth pain? We've got some simple advice:

Prevention First:
- Maintain a wholesome diet and reduce acidic and sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.
- Practice proper oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing after each meal.
- Visit your dental professional for regular teeth cleanings and check-ups. This will help prevent issues from escalating.

Remember, even a mild toothache should be addressed before it becomes a more significant problem. Taking care of your oral health now can save you from more extensive and costly treatments in the future. So, keep smiling, and if you ever have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to Dentistry by Design. We're here to keep your smiles shining bright!

Rescuing a Smile: Dr. Ionescu's Touch of Compassion

October 24th, 2023

We'd like to share a story about Dr. Ionescu that goes beyond his professional abilities. A young teenage patient had broken one of his front teeth in half. Understandably, he didn't want to face school with a missing tooth, becoming the subject of his peers' amusement. To explore his options, he visited Dr. Ionescu with his older brother and mother. The older brother, a wise young man, asked numerous questions and carefully considered all the available choices.

Dr. Ionescu performed an in-office chair-side crown procedure, which is primarily used for cosmetic purposes to repair chipped front teeth, close gaps, or enhance the aesthetics of one's smile. After matching the composite to the patient's natural teeth, the dentist prepared the tooth, and applied adhesive material, and composite resin to shape it into the desired form of a tooth. This approach, although more challenging and time-consuming, was chosen over a pricier and quicker crown because it best served the patient's needs.

The young man's tooth had suffered trauma and required a conservative approach due to a previous root canal. The older brother observed the entire procedure and was delighted with the results. The next morning, the entire family gathered outside Dentistry by Design to express their gratitude to Dr. Ionescu. This story showcases not only Dr. Ionescu's technical expertise but also his honesty, passion for his work, patience, kindness, and thoughtfulness in putting his patients' interests first. We are immensely proud of him and wanted to share this with everyone.

How to Stay Calm During Your Dental Visit: Dentistry by Design's Guide

October 18th, 2023

Dentistry by Design's Guide to Dental Anxiety

At Dentistry by Design, we understand that for many of our patients, visiting the dentist can be a source of anxiety and stress. We are committed to creating a warm, welcoming environment where you can receive the care you need while feeling relaxed and at ease. In this blog post, we'll discuss strategies to help you stay calm and comfortable during your dental visit, ensuring that your experience is as pleasant as possible.

Understanding Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a common concern that affects many people. The fear of the unknown, concerns about potential pain, and past traumatic experiences can contribute to dental anxiety. However, there are practical steps you can take to stay calm during your visit.

Strategies for Staying Calm
1. **Open Communication:** Start by discussing your concerns with your dentist. Our team at Dentistry by Design encourages open communication, and we will take the time to address your worries and explain the procedures thoroughly. Knowing what to expect can significantly reduce anxiety.

2. **Deep Breathing:** Practice deep breathing techniques to help you stay relaxed. Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. This simple technique can calm your nervous system.

3. **Mindfulness and Relaxation:** Engage in mindfulness or relaxation exercises to keep your mind focused and calm. Techniques such as visualization and progressive muscle relaxation can be beneficial.

4. **Distraction:** Bring your own headphones and listen to calming music or an audiobook during your appointment. Focusing on something other than the dental procedure can help reduce anxiety.

5. **Positive Self-Talk:** Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Remind yourself that you are taking a proactive step to maintain your oral health, and that the discomfort will be minimal.

Dentistry by Design's Approach
Our team at Dentistry by Design is dedicated to making your dental experience as stress-free as possible. Here's how we can help you stay calm:

1. **Compassionate Team:** Our staff is not only highly skilled but also compassionate and understanding. We genuinely care about your well-being and will do our best to create a comfortable atmosphere.

2. **Personalized Care:** We recognize that every patient is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your specific needs. Your concerns and preferences are our priority.

3. **Relaxing Atmosphere:** Our office is designed to be calming and inviting, helping you feel at ease from the moment you walk through the door. We want your visit to be a peaceful and soothing experience.

At Dentistry by Design, your comfort is our top priority. We understand that staying calm during a dental visit can be challenging, but with open communication, relaxation techniques, and the support of our compassionate team, you can make your dental experience a positive one. Don't let anxiety prevent you from receiving the essential dental care you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us show you how we can make your visit a calm and comfortable experience. Your smile and well-being are our focus, and we're here to support you every step of the way!

The Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups at Dentistry by Design in Elk Grove

October 12th, 2023

Your smile is a reflection of your well-being, and it's vital to maintain it. At Dentistry by Design in Elk Grove, Dr. Ionescu's expertise ensures your smile remains healthy and radiant. In this blog post, we'll explore the significance of regular dental check-ups at Dentistry by Design and why Dr. Ionescu is your go-to choice for dental care.

Prevention is Better than Cure
Dentistry by Design emphasizes the importance of prevention. Regular dental check-ups allow Dr. Ionescu and his team to identify potential issues early. This proactive approach not only spares you pain and discomfort but also reduces the financial burden of extensive treatments.

Early Detection of Dental Issues
Dr. Ionescu conducts comprehensive examinations during your dental check-ups, carefully assessing your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Early detection of dental issues, such as cavities or gum disease, is a priority. Dr. Ionescu's attention to detail ensures that problems are addressed in their early stages.

Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is common but preventable. Regular dental check-ups at Dentistry by Design help manage and prevent it. Dr. Ionescu provides guidance on oral hygiene practices and ensures your gums remain healthy.

Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer can be subtle in its early stages, but it's a condition where early detection can be truly lifesaving. At Dentistry by Design in Elk Grove, under the expert care of Dr. Ionescu, oral cancer screening is not just a routine procedure—it's a lifesaving measure.

In the last month, Dr. Ionescu discovered cancerous lesions in two patients during their regular check-ups. These discoveries potentially saved their lives. It underscores the critical importance of regular dental check-ups and the meticulous attention to detail that Dr. Ionescu and his team bring to every appointment. Early detection improves the chances of successful treatment and ensures that your oral health is in the best hands.

Professional Teeth Cleaning
Your check-up includes professional teeth cleaning, and removing plaque and tartar for healthier teeth and fresher breath.

Your oral health is essential, and regular dental check-ups at Dentistry by Design are the key to a healthy smile. Our commitment to prevention and early detection ensures top-notch dental care. Prioritize your oral health and schedule your next visit today to enjoy a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles under the expert care of Dr. Ionescu and his dedicated team. Don't wait—take that proactive step now!

Quick Tips for Fall and Halloween Gum and Oral Health

September 28th, 2023

Elk Grove Dentist

As the leaves change color and the air gets crisp, it's undeniable that fall is here, and Halloween is just around the corner. While this season brings a lot of joy and fun, it can also present some challenges for your oral health. At Dentistry by Design, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy smile year-round. That's why we're here to provide you with quick tips to ensure your gum and oral health remains in excellent condition during the fall season and Halloween festivities.

1. Choose Sugar-Free Treats:
Halloween is synonymous with sweets and candies, but sugary treats can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Opt for sugar-free alternatives like sugar-free gum or candies. Chewing sugar-free gum can actually stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids and wash away harmful bacteria in your mouth.

2. Limit Sticky and Hard Candies:
Sticky and hard candies can be especially damaging to your teeth. They tend to stick to your teeth and can lead to tooth decay and even dental emergencies like broken teeth. If you can't resist these treats, be sure to brush and floss diligently afterward to remove any lingering residue.

3. Stay Hydrated:
Fall weather can sometimes make us forget to stay hydrated. However, maintaining good oral health requires adequate moisture in your mouth. Dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities and gum disease. Drink plenty of water, especially if you consume sugary snacks or alcoholic beverages during fall festivities.

4. Be Cautious with Pumpkin Spice Everything:
While pumpkin spice lattes and treats are delicious, they often contain high amounts of sugar and can stain your teeth. Enjoy them in moderation and rinse your mouth with water afterward to minimize the impact on your enamel.

5. Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine:
Don't let the fall festivities disrupt your oral hygiene routine. Continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. This consistent routine is your first line of defense against dental issues.

6. Schedule a Dental Checkup:
Fall is a great time to schedule a dental checkup. Regular dental visits allow us to catch and address any oral health issues early on. Plus, a professional cleaning can help you start the season with a fresh, clean smile.

7. Protect Your Teeth During Fall Sports:
Many people enjoy outdoor activities like football or soccer during the fall season. If you or your children are involved in sports, don't forget to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from unexpected impacts.

8. Avoid Overindulging in Caramel Apples:
Caramel apples are a popular treat during the fall, but they're loaded with sugar and can be tough on your teeth. If you do indulge, slice the apple into smaller pieces to reduce the risk of damaging your teeth and gums.

Fall and Halloween can be a fantastic time of year, filled with cozy moments and tasty treats. However, it's essential to remain mindful of your oral health during this season. Following these quick tips from Dentistry by Design can help you enjoy the festivities while keeping your gums and teeth in great shape. Remember, prevention is key, and we're here to support you in maintaining your beautiful smile year-round. If you have any concerns or need a dental checkup, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with our dedicated team. Happy fall and Halloween!

Smiles Ready for School: A Back-to-School Dental Checklist.

August 18th, 2023

As summer comes to an end and the excitement of a new school year begins, it's crucial to ensure that your child's oral health is in its best shape. At Dentistry by Design in Elk Grove, California, we understand the significance of a healthy smile, especially as kids head back to school. In this blog post, we'll provide you with a comprehensive back-to-school dental checklist to ensure your child's oral hygiene is top-notch for the upcoming academic year.

1. Schedule a Back-to-School Dental Checkup:
Starting the school year with a clean bill of oral health is essential. Schedule a visit to Dentistry by Design for a thorough dental checkup and cleaning. This will not only help catch any potential issues early on but also give your child a confident smile as they return to the classroom.

2. Reevaluate Oral Hygiene Routine:
The busy school routine can sometimes disrupt established oral hygiene habits. Take the time to reassess your child's brushing and flossing routine. Ensure they brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss daily. A healthy oral care regimen is the foundation of a dazzling smile.

3. Choose Teeth-Friendly Snacks:
With lunchtime at school comes the temptation to indulge in sugary snacks and beverages. Opt for teeth-friendly snacks like crunchy vegetables, cheese, yogurt, and nuts. These options help promote saliva production, which aids in cleaning teeth naturally.

4. Stay Hydrated with Water:
Encourage your child to choose water over sugary drinks, even when they're at school. Water not only keeps them hydrated but also helps rinse away food particles that can lead to cavities.

5. Protect Their Teeth During Physical Activities:
If your child is involved in sports or physical activities at school, consider providing them with a mouthguard. A custom-fit mouthguard from Dentistry by Design can help prevent dental injuries while they have fun and stay active.

6. Replace Old Toothbrushes:
Make sure your child starts the school year with a fresh toothbrush. Old toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and be less effective at cleaning teeth. Stock up on extra toothbrushes so they can replace them every three to four months.

7. Limit Sugary and Acidic Beverages:
Educate your child about the harmful effects of excessive sugary and acidic beverages on their teeth. Encourage them to opt for milk or water instead of soda or energy drinks, which can contribute to enamel erosion and cavities.

8. Incorporate Good Oral Habits in the Morning Routine:
As the morning rush begins, ensure that your child's oral care doesn't get neglected. Make brushing and flossing a non-negotiable part of their morning routine, along with breakfast and getting dressed.

9. Emphasize Regular Hand Washing:
Good oral health goes hand in hand with overall hygiene. Teach your child the importance of regular handwashing to prevent the spread of germs that can affect their oral health and overall well-being.

10. Lead by Example:
Children often learn best by observing their parents. Showcase your commitment to oral health by maintaining your own dental hygiene routine. Brush and floss together to make it a fun and bonding experience.

At Dentistry by Design in Elk Grove, California, we believe that a healthy smile contributes to a successful start to the school year. By following this back-to-school dental checklist, you can ensure that your child's oral health remains a priority as they embark on their academic journey. Schedule a visit with us today to give your child the confidence of a bright and healthy smile throughout the school year and beyond.

Smiling Brightly: The Happy Connection Between Oral Health & Brain Health

July 20th, 2023

Hey there, health enthusiasts! Turns out, taking care of your pearly whites isn't just about dazzling smiles; it's also a marvelous way to boost your brain health!

Get ready to beam with happiness because recent research has unveiled an exciting link between oral health and brain health! That's right – your gum health and oral hygiene habits can have a profound impact on your cognitive well-being.

Picture this: older adults who show signs of gum disease and mouth infections might be more likely to develop Alzheimer's. But don't worry, there's a bright side to all of this! By taking good care of your oral health, you can potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia – now, isn't that something to grin about?

But that's not all! Brace yourself for another nugget of wisdom: the state of your teeth can also play a role in your brain's well-being. If you've lost a few teeth along the way, don't worry, it happens! But studies suggest that individuals with partial tooth loss might experience cognitive decline more frequently. On the flip side, those who have lost all their teeth face an increased risk of developing dementia. So, let's make it a mission to keep those chompers happy and healthy!

So, you might be wondering – how does oral health impact the brain? While the science is still unfolding, here's one theory: gum disease and mouth infections might trigger inflammation in the brain, leading to potential cognitive problems. But fear not, there's a simple solution – keep those teeth and gums in tip-top shape with regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. Your brain will thank you later!

Oh, and here's an extra dose of brain-boosting goodness – puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! Yes, you heard that right – challenging your brain with brain-teasing games and mental exercises can do wonders for your cognitive function. So, while you're maintaining your oral health, why not have some fun and exercise that brain of yours too? It's a win-win situation!

In a nutshell, keeping our smiles bright and our minds sharper than ever is within our reach. Let's make dental hygiene a joyful part of our daily routine, knowing that it's not just about appearances – it's a fantastic way to safeguard our precious brains! So, shine those teeth, floss with flair, and take on those brain-teasing challenges – your smile and your brain will thank you for it! Stay positive, keep smiling, and embrace the happy connection between oral health and brain health! ?

Pamper your SMILE!

June 22nd, 2023

When it comes to oral care, many of us tend to view it as a necessary chore rather than an opportunity for self-care and pampering. However, your dental hygiene routine doesn't have to be mundane and monotonous. With the right mindset and a few simple adjustments, you can turn your stroll through the dental hygiene aisle into a luxurious and indulgent experience. In this blog post, we will explore ways to elevate your dental hygiene routine, making it a self-care ritual that you can look forward to.

Choose High-Quality Dental Products:
One of the easiest ways to pamper yourself is by selecting high-quality dental products. Instead of settling for the basics, explore the aisle for premium toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothbrushes that offer additional benefits. Look for toothpaste with whitening properties, enamel protection, or natural ingredients that nourish your teeth and gums. Invest in a toothbrush with soft bristles and a comfortable grip, ensuring a gentle and enjoyable brushing experience.

Upgrade Your Toothbrush:
If you're still using a manual toothbrush, consider treating yourself to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes offer superior cleaning power and often come with advanced features like timers, pressure sensors, and various brushing modes. These features not only enhance your oral hygiene but also add a touch of luxury to your daily routine.

Explore Mouthwatering Flavors:
Traditional dental products tend to have a minty flavor, but the dental hygiene aisle now offers a range of tantalizing flavors. Branch out from the standard mint and try toothpaste or mouthwash with fruity, herbal, or exotic flavors. The pleasant taste will make your oral care routine more enjoyable and provide a refreshing sensation.

Incorporate Aromatherapy:
Aromatherapy can play a significant role in enhancing your dental hygiene experience. Look for oral care products infused with essential oils like lavender, tea tree, or eucalyptus. These oils not only add a delightful scent but also provide additional benefits such as soothing properties, antimicrobial effects, or breath-freshening qualities. Incorporating aromatherapy into your dental routine will help create a relaxing and indulgent atmosphere.

Treat Yourself to Oral Care Accessories:
Beyond the essentials, the dental hygiene aisle often offers a wide range of oral care accessories that can take your routine to the next level. Consider investing in a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and improve your breath, or try out a water flosser for a more thorough and enjoyable flossing experience. These accessories can make your routine feel like a spa-like treatment for your mouth.

Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups:
While strolling through the dental hygiene aisle can be exciting, it's important not to forget the most crucial aspect of oral care—professional dental check-ups. Regular visits to your dentist ensure that your teeth and gums are in optimal health and can address any concerns or potential issues promptly. The peace of mind that comes with a clean bill of oral health is a true pampering experience.

Elevating your dental hygiene routine doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. By simply exploring the dental hygiene aisle with a discerning eye, you can find products and accessories that transform your oral care routine into a luxurious and pampering experience. From high-quality dental products to indulgent flavors and aromas, there are numerous ways to treat yourself and make dental hygiene an enjoyable self-care ritual. So, next time you stroll through the dental hygiene aisle, remember to take the opportunity to pamper yourself and prioritize your oral health and well-being!

Best Foods for a healthy SMILE.

May 25th, 2023

Maintaining good oral health is important, and the food we eat can have a significant impact on our teeth. A balanced and healthy diet can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. In this blog, we'll discuss the best foods for your teeth.

Dairy products
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. They also contain phosphorus, which helps to protect and rebuild tooth enamel.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery are high in fiber, which helps to scrub away plaque and debris on the teeth. They also increase saliva production, which neutralizes acid in the mouth and helps to prevent cavities.

Leafy greens
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy teeth and gums. They are high in calcium, folic acid, and vitamin B, which help to prevent gum disease and promote strong teeth.

Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are great sources of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which help to strengthen tooth enamel. They also contain protein and healthy fats, which are beneficial for overall health.

Sugar-free gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help to increase saliva production, which neutralizes acid in the mouth and helps to prevent cavities. It also helps to dislodge food particles from between the teeth and freshen the breath.

In conclusion, a balanced and healthy diet is essential for maintaining good oral health. Incorporating dairy products, crunchy fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and sugar-free gum into your diet can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Don't forget to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Do you experience anxiety when visiting the Dentist?

March 30th, 2023

You are not alone if you fear dentistry! Many people do, actually it’s a very common problem people don’t schedule their dental treatment, finding excuses like: I cannot take time out of work, I do not have any pain or discomfort, so making an appointment right now it’s not a priority or treatment is expensive, I can’t afford it. But if you take a look inside your heart you might admit to yourself that you will be able to overcome all the difficulties if the fear and anxiety of the dentist would not eat at you. From my experience, nobody is born with the fear of the dentist, usually the fear is the result of a poor dental experience, maybe going as far back as childhood. Overcoming the fear, it’s a matter of trusting your dentist and the other dental professionals in the dental office. Over the years we had been able to gain the confidence of many anxious patients.

So, how do you even start to trust a dentist and make sure you make a good decision choosing him or her for your dental needs?

  1. Do your research thoroughly, talk to your friends and family or go online and look for a dental office with hundreds of five, or close to five stars reviews. Read as many as you can and look for reviewers who talk about overcoming their fears of the dentist, bragging about that dentist as being gentle, patient, caring and kind. Make sure the dental office has a slower pace of doing business, that they give their patients undivided attention at all times. You can ask over the phone how many patients they see on a regular basis.
  2. Ask for a free consultation. You will have the chance to meet the staff and the Dentist, ask questions before committing to any treatment. You want to know and feel convinced that’s the best dental office to keep you comfortable. You will have the chance to look around and get a feeling for the place, get a positive or negative vibe about the office and the staff. Be honest about your fears. Ask questions about how they handle your greatest fears like injections and drilling. It’s no shame to be afraid. Your fear is not irrational. Every thoughtful dental professional will go the extra mile to accommodate you and overcome your fears. You will mostly be assisted by the most compassionate and gentlest professionals in the practice.
  3. Schedule a comprehensive exam. This is absolutely painless. It’s quite entertaining and interesting. You can think about it as a camera tour of your mouth with a skilled dental specialist. The dentist will tell you all you need to know about your oral health, its beauty and its pitfalls, how to fix teeth and what are the priorities. It’s just observing, talking and building trust!

  1. Think about the benefits of taking care of all your dental issues, once and for all, then just visit your dentist regularly for continuing dental care. Each potential problem will be detected before escalating and likely it will be a painless quick fix.
  2. Try not to start agonizing about your dental treatment before it has even started. I promise you, if you do go to the right dental office and you build trust you are going to have a big laugh about your reluctance to take care of your smile, restore your confidence and gain a better quality of life.

Yours in good dental health,

Horia T. Ionescu DDS

Teeth Whitening!

February 28th, 2023

Since you are reading this blog, I assume you have that desire and you would like to know more about teeth whitening. Your teeth might be stained due to wine, tobacco, spices, coffee, tea, soda or antibiotics consumption or simply your teeth are a couple of shades off white or have a yellowish hue. No matter if the stains are outside your teeth enamel or inside your enamel, you most likely would be able to attain whiter teeth through professional teeth whitening. Over the counter teeth whitening will never turn out the same results in such a short period of time, like one hour in a dental office. And if you are a busy person or have an urge to have a brighter smile due to a specific drive (like being single again and eager to impress…just kidding) professional teeth whitening done in a dental office by a skilled dental professional might be the solution.

Key takeaways:

-          In a nutshell, whitening your teeth in a dental office means bleaching your teeth with a professional tooth whitening gel applied to your teeth for a limited period of times under the supervision of a dental professional. If you are interested in more information, please check this advanced whitening method Philips ZOOM! | Elk Grove, CA - Dentistry by Design


Horia T. Ionescu , DDS

Why do we have to floss?

January 26th, 2023

You might think that if you brush your teeth thoroughly and have no food trapped between your teeth you don’t need to floss. Actually, flossing is imperative because it helps you get rid of plaque from between the teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach.  Taking care of your teeth and gums is important in avoiding tooth decay and periodontal disease, which may lead to bone loss. One way you can lose teeth is by not brushing and flossing regularly.

Take care of your teeth during the holidays

December 13th, 2022

Take care of your teeth during the Holidays!


Holidays are knocking at the door! Myriads of appealing baking sweets and chocolatery products are decorating the stores shelfs. It’s a feast for the eyes and the palate and almost compulsory to have desert at our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Probably our teeth are not going to be very happy to soak in sugar for the entire holiday season and I would like to urge you not to ignore their cry for help.

Definitely you can have desert and also minimizing the impact of sugar on your teeth. Protect your teeth by taking these basic measures:


  • After eating your sweets make sure you brush and floss to minimize the period of time sugar stays in contact with your teeth. If possible, minimize the number of sweets intake to once or twice a day. Do not snack on sweets all day long.
  • If possible, opt for fruits instead of sweets with added sugar. Exotic fruits like mango, papaya, jackfruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, guava, are amazingly healthy, tasty and colorful. It will make a platter or a salad that will delight your eyes and make your buds explode with pleasure. Not to speak about the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes that are  very beneficial to your overall health
  • Keep a disciplined home care schedule with brushing and flossing after meals. Your teeth shall Thank You!

Yours in good dental health,


Dr. Horia Ionescu

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Teeth Sensitivity

November 16th, 2022

Baby bottle decay!

October 12th, 2022

Did you know that milk sugar (the naturally occurring one that come from lactose) might create tooth decay in babies?

It is true, we’ve seen it many times. If a baby falls asleep with a bottle of milk his/her teeth will stay soaked in milk for an extended period of time creating tooth decay. We know it’s frustrating and the baby will not fall asleep without the bottle. But you should try hard, for your baby own good, to make him/her finish the bottle before falling asleep then wipe his gums with a soft, damp washcloth. If the teeth are erupted, brush his/her teeth with a soft, children size toothbrush and a small amount of non-fluoride toothpaste. Take your child to the dentist as soon as their first birthday. It’s really sad to have to put your baby to sleep to be able to fix his/her cavities as such a young age. But as sad as it is it is not the only issue. Premature loss of baby teeth may upset the correct position of permanent teeth and therefore increase need for braces treatment to correct. prevention is the key.

Avoid added sugars as much as you can!

September 19th, 2022

Can you entirely avoid sugars? The short answer is NO. Should you avoid all sugars? Definitely NO But…you should .

Sugars occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and dairy products and most of them are healthy for you since they contain fiber, vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to stay healthy, strong and fight many diseases. However, the added sugars, manufacturers add in almost everything you can find on the shelf of a grocery store, are unhealthy and can contribute to weight gain, tooth decay, and a whole array of inflammatory diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There is a lot of naturally occurring sugar in some fruits and some sugar in vegetables (one should consume fruits with high sugar content in moderation if watching their weight, regardless of their other benefits). Some common vegetables with higher sugar content are sweet potatoes, beets, onions, green peas, and sweet corn. Some vegetables with low and very low sugar content are mushrooms, spinach, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, radishes and asparagus.

Fruits are also healthy for you; they contain antioxidants that counteract free radicals and fight diseases. But some fruits contain a significant amount of sugar. Some examples are mangoes. One mango contains 46 grams of sugar (11 teaspoons of granulated sugar). A cup of grapes has 23 grams of sugar (5 teaspoons), a cup of cherries has 18 grams of sugar (4 teaspoons). Eat them in moderation. Some fruits like lemons, strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, watermelon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches have lower sugar content. Enjoy them as you like. Avocado is my favorite fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit). Is very low in sugar (one gram in one fruit) and has a lot of very beneficial fats, that will keep you satiated.

Added sugar comes under many names. Do yourself a favor and check the food label for added sugar like: cane sugar, raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup (the most detrimental), agave nectar, brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, honey, syrup and more. Very important to keep in mind that the quantity of total sugar or added sugar is listed per serving, not for the entire bag or container. Be aware of dried fruits!  For example, a bag of 2.5 lb. of Organic dried mango, unsweetened, has 28 servings (1/2 cup) and each serving contains 24 g of sugar. That means the bag holds 672 g of sugar or 134 teaspoons of sugar.

Pay special attention to sodas. A 20 once bottle contains 70 grams of sugar and that’s 14 teaspoons of sugar of empty calories, no nutritional benefits once so ever. Plus reduces the PH that demineralizes teeth!

In one cup of milk there is 17 grams of naturally occurring sugar but in a cup of chocolate milk there is 23 grams or more due to added sugars.

Plain yogurt might be beneficial to you if you choose the right one, with probiotics and no sugar added; has about 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar(lactose) per 6 oz container. Flavored yogurt has 24 grams of sugar per container. They also might contain nasty additives and harmful sweeteners.

Alcohol contains sugar too. If you like sweet wine, you can get 24 grams of sugar in one glass. Thanksgiving is coming! Be aware there are 22 plus grams of sugar in a cup of eggnog.

Bottom line, read food labels carefully and pay increased attention to total sugar content and added sugar content. You can make better choices if you are aware of how much sugar a serving contains. Choices that will serve you well in maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy heart, staying diabetes free, cavities free and avoid aggravating your whole-body health.


Sugar is used by bacteria in the mouth as fuel and create acid that is damaging to tooth enamel!


Yours in good dental health,


Dr Horia T. Ionescu

The importance of radiology in dentistry

July 13th, 2022

Why does Dr. Ionescu recommend x-rays?

X-rays help us see what we can not physically see through a clinical examination. People naturally don’t have x-ray vision and can’t see through bones, muscles, ligaments or teeth tissue. With the aid of x-rays, also known as dental radiographs, we are able to diagnose any issues beginning to develop in between the teeth, the start of infections, or even problems in the bone, ligament or surrounding supporting tissue and structures.  Radiographs are a necessity in making an accurate diagnosis and recommendation on needed treatment. Without x-rays, we can only guess what is happening between the teeth or under the gum – and guessing is not ethical and is well below the standard of healthcare in our office.


Should dental x-rays be a concern?

No. We have modern digital radiology in our Elk Grove dental office and with the use of lead aprons and regular testing of our machines we can confidently say that the dose of radiation received is minimal and much less than the radiation you are exposed to by flying on a plane. No patient or employee of ours is exposed to high levels of radiation; we assure that exposure is well below the safe dose, and as low as reasonably achievable. Actually, the radiation we all are exposed on a regular basis during our existence is significantly more concerning than the digital x-rays received every six to twelve months in our dental office.

 Is the x-ray mandatory?

No, here at Dentistry by Design, we will never force our patients into doing something that they are not comfortable with.  However, our recommendation in most cases will include x-rays in order to provide the best possible treatment. Without x-rays, we could potentially miss diseased bone, infections, or even cavities. Our Dental professionals’ goal is to properly diagnose and treatment plan your dental needs at all times and avoid misdiagnosing that might occur without the information provided by dental radiography. Dr. Ionescu is a very conservative dentist, and if a patient is at very low risk for all potential issues caught by radiography, he may recommend an extended x-ray interval to avoid unnecessary radiation.

Therefore, modern dentistry can’t exist without radiography.

Yours in good health,

DBD Team

Dangers of Poor Oral Health

May 12th, 2022


You ever wondered what would happen if you don’t take care of your oral health? Except if you are one of those lucky ones who are fortunate enough to enjoy a good oral health with minimal effort, you might get sick and unhappy. Please read on what Dr Ionescu of Dentistry by Design, a dentist in Elk Grove CA has to say:

Genetics and lifestyle play an important role in oral health as it plays in overall health as well. My grandfather had all his teeth in his mid-eighties and I am not sure he visited the dentist many times. But at the time he was enjoying a fresh, healthy, chemical free and mostly sugar free diet, an active life in a clean environment and a content life, consequently he had great immunity. Not the case anymore for numerous people. Sugar is hidden in almost every food you can imagine and some you never thought about. Sugar is not good for your teeth and for your body, as you already know. There are a few actions one can take to protect himself from getting ill so his or her immunity will not be a challenge. Proper hygiene, will prevent the pathogens (that are all over the place) to attack our body, multiply and infect us. Thus, it is so important to stay clean. Washing your hands often, (mandatory before meals and after using the bathroom), disinfecting your mouth with a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution every evening, is the minimum one can do. Also, improve your eating habits, eat enough vitamins and nutrients (you can find them in whole foods like fruits and vegetables), avoid sugar in all its forms (read food labels), manage stress, get enough sleep, quit smoking, drink in moderation, live an active life.

Now, taking all these in consideration, I have to say that oral health plays a major role in your overall health. Think about it, your mouth is an entry portal. Viruses and bacteria go in your mouth via different channels (eating with dirty hands, consuming an infected food item). Infections can start in your mouth and spread to your whole body. Unhealthy gums (we call it periodontal disease) are a bucket full of bad bugs ready to spill. No wonder you get some nasty health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory infections and more that seems to not heal well in spite of taking a lot of medication. The reason is you did not eliminate your source of infection first, that is in your mouth. You have to eradicate the flow of germs primarily than focus on restoring the problems they created throughout the body. And that is not all! Until I forget, it is mandatory to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 6 months on a regular basis and if you get sick with any respiratory disease immediately after you feel better. You don’t want the nasty bugs to re-enter your system via that contaminated toothbrush. There are other issues an unhealthy mouth creates. Think about the loss of sleep due to tooth ache, missing school or work and increased costs related to dental care due to aggravating problems that might occur if you wait too long to fix them (instead of a small or moderate therapy you might need a root canal and a crown; instead of a deep professional cleaning you might need gum surgery). Long story short, your poor oral health can wreak havoc to your whole-body health. Visit your dentist regularly, make preventive visits, to see your dentist and your hygienist, a priority, it’s safer and cheaper than visiting your dental office only on a need basis. Make sure your mouth is free of disease, (gums and teeth); eat healthy, be active and be thankful for what you have. You might end up as my grandfather, with all teeth, and a happy camper in his mid-eighties.

Yours in good Dental Health,

Dr. Horia Ionescu

Allergy Season

April 21st, 2022


That time of the year again, beautiful, warmer weather, blossoming trees, green grass, and…Allergies

Allergy season and dental symptoms. Really!?

Allergies have really unpleasant symptoms: red, itchy and watery eyes and the endless sneezing and congestion. Well, sometimes may impact your oral health! Here are some dental symptoms to watch for when seasonal allergies strike.

Tooth Pain

Allergies might give you congested sinuses. Sinus pressure in the maxillary can sometimes cause the upper molars to ache.  Tooth pain should go away when you are treating your allergies. However, if the pain persists, make an appointment with your dentist. Just to make sure the aching teeth aren’t the result of tooth decay.

Bad Breath

All that mucus your body is creating can also be bad news for your breath. When you’re congested, mucus from the sinuses leaks into the back of the throat–we call this “post-nasal drip.” Not only can post-nasal drip lead to a sore throat, it can also be the cause of persistent bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Antihistamines are often used to keep your allergies under control. They are helpful but they can often lead to an unpleasant side effect: dry mouth. Saliva is our number one protection against cavity-causing bacteria, so when your mouth is dry, you have a higher risk of developing tooth decay.

Protect Your Mouth This Spring

We, at Dentistry by Design of Elk Grove, CA want your mouth to stay healthy, even during allergy season. Here are some helpful tips from Dr. Ionescu to help you protect your mouth this spring:

  • Exercise good oral hygiene. Brush after meals, and floss on a daily basis!
  • Drink plenty of water to compensate for dry mouth.
  • Try rinsing with salt water to help with congestion. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water and gargle for a few seconds before spitting it out.

Don’t Let Allergies Get the Best of You

Spring can be difficult for some of our patients because of allergies. Doctor Ionescu and our team of dental professionals at Dentistry by Design are here to help. Call us if you need anything! We’re here to get you through allergy season with a smile on your face.


April 8th, 2022

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month – 2022

Check your mouth

Oral cancer kills! Avoid this disease by learning to recognize early symptoms, talk to your dentist about any suspicions and have your dentist perform an oral cancer exam twice a year. Caught early, everything from treatments to final outcome, are reduced in severity.

The wise thing to do is to engage in a routine self-exam, easily done in about 5-10 minutes once a month. What you need:

  • A mirror – use a handheld mirror that lets you to get the closest look, clearly inside your mouth.
  • A light source – illumination is critical to be able to see any subtle changes in your mouth.
  • Piece of gauze –to effectively examine the tongue; top, both sides and underneath. A small package of 2X2 gauze is available at any drug store.

Start by looking at yourself in the mirror. Both sides of your face and neck should look relatively symmetrical. If you are not, and an area is swollen and it stays that way, perhaps you have a reason to seek out a professional opinion.

Examining your neck. You’ll want to look and feel your neck, under your jawline, and even in the hollow above your collarbone. You’ll want to look and feel both sides of your neck, under the jawline, along the muscle that runs down each side of your neck, then ending with feeling the hollow above your collarbone.

There are many lymph nodes in these areas that give us a lot of information about our health. They tell us about the presence of an infection in our body, and also can be related to cancer. Most often they are related to an infection and this causes swelling and tenderness. But lymph nodes that swell and enlarge, are not tender to the touch and feel firm and fixated in place are a red flag. In general, painful means infection, not cancer (which if it does not go away still needs to be evaluated), swollen and not painful nodes, a warning sign that needs to be evaluated by a professional.

Using your fingertips, use a circular motion or rolling stroke to check the lymph nodes from the corner of your jaw all the way forward to under your chin. You likely will feel nothing, and that is good. It is the hard, painless, swollen ones we are concerned with. They are usually about the size and shape of a small almond.

Next with your fingertips on the inside of the muscle that runs down each side of your neck, roll your fingertips from under the jaw down to your collarbone. Turn your head one way then the other to feel the area occupied by the deeper nodes along this muscle. It is not unusual to feel a number of different lymph nodes in this area. Healthy ones are soft and move about easily when you push against them. Next check the lymph nodes above your collarbone. To do this, you will want to raise your shoulders and round them forward. This allows you to feel inside the hollow area above your collarbone.


What am I looking for?

There are 100’s of lymph nodes in your neck. From time to time, they may enlarge. This is often related to an infection, a cold, or a sore throat for example. If infection related, they will often be tender/sore, moveable, and will feel like a pea or blueberry. In contrast, if you find a hard lump like a small stone, first compare it to the other side. If it feels different from the other side, if it doesn’t move around, if it is not tender/sore, and persists for more than two weeks, have it checked by a dental or medical professional.

Now it’s time to look inside your mouth.

The examination of your mouth should include your lips, your gums, the inside of your cheeks, your tongue, the floor of your mouth, the roof of your mouth and back of the throat including your tonsils. It is best to follow a system each month when checking your mouth so you don’t overlook an area as you will have a routine. Here’s what you’ll need; a tongue depressor, light source, mirror, and a piece of gauze. We recommend the lit tongue depressor from Throat Scope because it combines full lighting to the area while working as a tongue depressor to move your tongue around. Look for any unusual sore, thickened area or lumps on your lips, discoloration, ulceration, sore or grows on your gum, tissue of a different surface texture, inside your cheeks and around your tongue including under your tongue (With a piece of gauze get a good hold on your tongue, pull it forward and move to the right and then to the left). Examine the floor of your mouth for discolorations or ulcerations. Examine the roof of your mouth to also be free from any sores or ulcerations.

Your job is to find things, it is the job of a professional to determine that what you discover, which has met the criteria of persisting for more than 2-3 weeks is dangerous or not. Out of hundreds of things that you may come across in your mouth, we cannot teach you enough to decide that something is cancer or not. The professional community itself is more than aware that from a visual exam, many times even they cannot with certainty definitively say what something is. This means that if they, like you, find it suspect, they will take a small piece of it (biopsy), and send it to an oral pathologist who will examine it under a microscope, and that person will come up with a gold standard, black and white answer as to what it is.

Catching a change early, and referring yourself to a professional to have them decide it needs to be removed, treated, or monitored, or not. Finding a precancer will likely save your life. Finding the very earliest stage of something that is already a cancer, will mean that your treatment to remove it and have it no longer part of your life, will be a much less invasive and difficult process, accomplished with a high degree of success and ultimately long-term survival.

Doctor Ionescu, here at Dentistry by Design performs thorough oral cancer exams every six months as part of our Professional Cleaning appointment. Oral cancer is a serious disease that can affect all parts of the mouth. We are taking it very seriously! Are you going to do the same?

Next time you scorch your mouth on hot food.....

March 24th, 2022

Next Time You scorch Your Mouth on hot food…

You’ve probably burned your mouth before on pizza, coffee, soup, and other sizzling hot foods. Soon afterward, you may have noticed that the roof of your mouth, and maybe your tongue, is very tender. In some cases, you may even get blisters! Regrettably, your mouth will probably hurt for a few days. However, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and irritation.

How To Soothe Your Mouth and Help It Heal?

  1. Rub on or sucking on ice can relieve the stinging. Rinsing with cold water or eating ice cream are other options.
  2. Drinking milk can coat the burnt area.
  3. An over-the-counter pain reliever can help, if the pain is really disrupting.
  4. Avoid sour, crusty, and other burning foods, or even very salty and piquant dressings. This will stop the scorch from getting irritated further.
  5. Squeezing Vitamin E from a capsule over the wound can speed up healing. It will restore new tissue and heal the wound.
  6. Maintain good oral hygiene while your mouth is burnt, keeping it as hygienic as possible to encourage healing and stop further infection. Warm saline rinses can also be helpful.
  7. Resist touching the burned area. This may be hard, but by touching the affected area, the lesion may become irritated further.

If It’s Not Feeling Better In A Few Days, Call Us

Hot food burns tend to heal within three to seven days. If discomfort and blistering continue beyond a week, please call us! In the meantime, have fun enjoying that delicious, cheesy pizza—that is, once it’s cool!


March 9th, 2022

MOUTH-BREATHING CAN cause all kinds of short-term problems, many of which are linked to poor sleep quality from getting inadequate oxygen by breathing through the mouth.

Short-Term Consequences of a Mouth-Breathing Habit

If a child displays the following signs, it could be due to mouth-breathing:

1.    Impaired talking. When a child’s mouth is constantly open, certain sounds become more problematic to say.

2.    Halitosis (chronic bad breath). An open mouth tends to be a dry mouth, which means there isn’t enough saliva to clean out the germs.

3.    Tooth decay. Other serious consequences of dry mouth are tooth decay and cavities.

4.    Irritability, lethargy, and inattention. Less oxygen means worse sleep, which makes it much harder for kids to pay attention in school and to be their bright, happy selves.

How Mouth-Breathing Impacts Health Long-Term

While the above issues are bad enough, the complications that come from mouth-breathing don’t stop there. If left unchecked throughout childhood, mouth-breathing can cause the following:

1.    Extended orthodontic treatment. Braces will take longer and there will be a higher chance of the teeth moving back to their pre-braces position.

2.    Changed facial structure. The bones in the face can actually develop differently because of mouth-breathing, resulting in flatter features, droopy eyes, a thin jaw, and a smaller chin.

3.    Sleep apnea. Mouth-breathing can increase a person’s risk for sleep apnea, a unsafe sleep disorder that makes it hard to get a restful night’s sleep.

Dental Health: Men Vs. Women

March 3rd, 2022

MEN AND WOMEN have a lot in common, but they face significantly different challenges when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

Men’s Dental Health Issues

Here are some of the major dental health problems that affect men more than women:

  1. Being less likely to brush and floss regularly. Men are 20% less likely than women to brush twice a day, floss daily, and even replace old toothbrushes! They’re also less likely to go to the dentist for a regular preventative checkup. This is one reason it’s so important to cement good oral health habits at an early age, so parents of young boys take note!
  2. Because men are more likely to drink, smoke, and chew tobacco than women, they are at greater risk of advanced gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.
  3. Dry mouth can affect men more because it’s a common side-effect of high blood pressure and heart disease medications.

Women’s Dental Health Issues

Meanwhile, women have their own set of dental health challenges to face:

  1. TMD and Sjörgen’s syndrome both affect women more than men.
  2. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause all involve hormonal changes that can make gingivitis and gum inflammation more likely.
  3. Eating disorders disproportionately affect women, and the resulting malnutrition damages every system in the body. Bulimia also directly damages the teeth through frequent exposure to stomach acid.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Stress and Our Smiles

February 24th, 2022


MENTAL HEALTH AND physical health are tied together in ways we don’t always expect. That even extends to the relationship between oral health and stress. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools we can use to protect our smiles from the effects of stress.

Stress Could Be Behind a Teeth-Grinding Habit

Habitual teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching are called bruxism. Clenching and grinding are natural responses to frustration and stress for many people. The typical signs of bruxism include a sore jaw and, eventually, flattened chewing surfaces of the teeth. Bruxism brings with it significant oral health risks, and the people with this habit might not even notice they’re doing it — particularly for those who grind their teeth in their sleep.

Stress Can Compound the Symptoms of TMD

Another oral health condition stress can contribute to is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a disorder of the muscles, joint, and nerves in the jaw that is associated with chronic facial pain. Stress is believed to be one of the factors leading to TMD, which has symptoms like frequent headaches, pain in the jaw joint, and popping and clicking of the jaw.

Stress Weakens the Immune System

A brief period of stress is something the body can deal with pretty well, but chronic stress puts a major strain on the immune system, making it harder to fight off oral health issues like infections, canker sores, dry mouth, gum disease, and cavities.

Make Oral Health and Hygiene a Priority

Considering all the negative effects stress can have, good oral hygiene habits become particularly important. That includes brushing for two minutes twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day, and cutting back on sugar intake. Giving your teeth and gums better tools to fight off oral health problems might not be a solution to the stress in your life, but it can help you feel a little better and more in control.

The Dentist Is Your Best Ally

Dental health experts such as our team want to help our patients stress less when it comes to their oral health. We know that just the idea of going to the dentist can be stressful for a lot of people, but we’re here to help. We encourage you to keep up with your regular dental checkups and keep a prevention mindset when it comes to oral health issues rather than waiting until an issue gets much worse to finally get treatment.

We want to help our patients smile easier AND healthier!

Training a Generation of Flossing Masters

February 22nd, 2022

NEXT TO BRUSHING, the best tool we have for preventing tooth decay and gum disease is daily flossing, which is why it’s important to help our kids develop a flossing habit early on. Here are some great tips for parents with kids who are learning how to floss:

1. Explain what flossing does for their teeth. They will be more motivated to floss if they understand why it’s important.
2. Help them see flossing as one of the coveted Big Kid skills, like tying their shoes or riding a bike without training wheels. They’ll be excited to prove how grown up they are by flossing.
3. If using traditional floss, demonstrate pulling out the right amount (about eighteen inches) and loosely wrapping it around their middle fingers, with just an inch or two left in the middle to slide between teeth.
4. Help them get the hang of good flossing technique. Use a back-and-forth motion and form a C-shape around a tooth to slide the floss down to the gums without snapping. Flossing should be gentle, not painful!
5. Show them how to move the floss along so they’re using clean floss for each tooth. The point is to get rid of plaque, not just move it around!
6. If traditional floss is too challenging, use floss picks or flossers instead.




The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Eating Disorders Versus Oral Health

February 9th, 2021

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WHEN WE THINK of the damage that eating disorders can do, we probably first think of the psychological toll and life-threatening malnutrition. However, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia can also be very hard on the oral health of those who struggle with them. Healthy teeth and gums require a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in addition to regular brushing and flossing, so not eating well or enough is a serious problem.

How Malnutrition Harms Oral Tissues

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by extremely limited food intake, which may be paired with compulsive exercising, purging, or even both. The way anorexia harms oral health is through malnutrition. The bones of the jaw can develop osteoporosis without sufficient nutrients, which increases the risk of tooth loss.

Without enough fluids, the salivary glands can’t produce enough saliva, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth makes both tooth decay and gum disease more likely because we need our saliva to neutralize acids and wash away food particles. Finally, without the nutrients to keep the immune system strong, the gums become more vulnerable to bleeding.

Bulimia and Acid Erosion of the Teeth

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by first overeating, then forcibly purging food through vomiting or laxatives. This puts strong stomach acid in frequent contact with the tooth enamel. Even though enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is highly vulnerable to erosion from acid. It isn’t uncommon for someone struggling with bulimia to experience tooth discoloration, decay, and even tooth loss due to their disorder.

Protecting Your Oral Health

We all need good oral hygiene routines to keep our teeth and gums healthy, our breath minty fresh, and our smiles sparkling, but it’s especially important for those battling with or recovering from an eating disorder. Anyone whose teeth are frequently exposed to stomach acid can minimize erosion by rinsing with water initially and then waiting thirty minutes before brushing. It’s important to give the saliva time to neutralize leftover acid so that brushing doesn’t cause additional erosion.

Here are a few signs to watch for if you’re worried someone you love might be developing an eating disorder:


You Aren’t Alone in This Fight

An eating disorder is a mental illness, and recovery is often a long road that requires help and support. That could come in the form of sympathetic family members or friends or licensed psychiatrists. Another great resource is the National Eating Disorders Helpline. And, of course, dental health professionals are always here to help patients keep their teeth and gums healthy through mental and physical health challenges they face.

We’re invested in our patients’ overall health!

Sugar Versus Our Teeth

February 1st, 2021

SUGAR IS THE GREATEST nemesis of the dental profession and anyone who wants to maintain a healthy smile. Why? Because the harmful bacteria in our mouths love to eat it, then excrete acid onto our teeth as a waste product. That leads to enamel erosion, tooth decay, and gum disease. This is why we encourage our patients to cut back on sugar intake…but it’s not always as simple as it sounds.

Sugar Goes by Many Names

When you think of sugar, you probably picture candy, soda, and desserts above all, but are you also picturing fruit juice, flavored yogurt, granola bars, and barbecue sauce? So many of the foods we eat contain significant amounts of added sugar, and it isn’t always called sugar in the list of ingredients. It’s always a good idea to check the “added sugars” line in the nutritional facts, but we recommend learning to recognize the different names for sugar as well.

How to Find Sugar on Food Labels

Obviously, anything that includes the word “sugar” is something to watch for, whether that sugar is powdered or coarse, brown or coconut, but another giveaway is the word “syrup.” Every syrup, from high-fructose corn syrup to rice syrup, is a type of sugar-based sweetener. That’s not all; evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, honey, fruit juice concentrate, and even 100% fruit juice are also sugar.

Then there are the more scientific names. Don’t be fooled by the long, difficult-to-pronounce chemistry words. An easy way to identify these sugar aliases is to look for the suffix “-ose” at the end of the words, such as in fructose, dextrose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, and maltose. These are all names for types of sugar molecules.

Is There a Healthy Amount of Sugar?

Ideally, we’d all be able to avoid sugar entirely, but with it hiding in so many of the foods we buy, that can be a very difficult goal to achieve. If it isn’t possible to cut sugar out altogether, then we recommend following the American Heart Association’s guidelines. Women should try to consume no more than 25 grams (or six teaspoons) of sugar per day, and men should try to keep it under 36 grams (nine teaspoons).

It’s also important to control when and how we consume our sugar. Whole fruit is a healthier option than fruit juice because the sugar in the fruit is trapped with water and fiber, making it harder for our bodies to absorb it. Whole fruit is also more filling than juice, so we’re less likely to overdo it. (If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between natural and processed sugars, that’s it.) Finally, it’s better for our teeth to consume our sugar only during meals.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Sweeteners for a Healthier Mouth and Body

If you simply can’t go without some delicious sweet treats, there are plenty of sugar-free sweeteners to try, such as monk fruit sweetener, stevia, xylitol, and erythritol. Working with these substitutes can be tricky when baking, but many recipes work well with applesauce, mashed bananas, dates, or figs in place of sugar.

The Dentist Is Your Teeth’s Best Ally Against Sugar

Limiting sugar intake and finding healthier substitutes are great ways to promote oral health, in addition to a good daily brushing and flossing routine, but the dentist can help too! If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, make sure to schedule one!

We have the sweetest patients!

Welcome to Our Blog

January 12th, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!