Our Blog

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