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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.

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

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.

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!