Preventive Care

At Dentistry by Design, our team of dental professionals is prioritizing Preventative Dentistry

Preventive dental care is essential throughout your life, no matter what your age may be. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with your dental professionals you can help keep your smile bright and healthy for many years to come.

The teeth unlike other tissues in the human body do not have the ability to heal and regenerate. Therefore, any damage to the teeth has to be carried on for the rest of the life of the individual. Preventing the loss of teeth structures as much as posible results in easier restoration and longevity of the tooth. Consequently, it is of paramount importance to detect any damage to the teeth immediately as it occurs. For example, cavities - the sooner they are detected and restored, the least loss of tooth structure, the better the result, including less pain, less time and more cost-effective dental procedures. Therefore, visiting the dentist every six months for a periodic oral examination, including the recommended x-rays, will benefit patients to minimize loss of the teeth structure and help keep a healthy smile for as long as possible.

Even more than cavities, gum disease is very deceiving and usually starts inconspicuously. If allowed to advance, gum disease will loosen teeth, and teeth will be lost. Because gum disease is not typically painful, patients do not pay specific attention to it. They do not believe it’s serious until teeth become loose and then it’s too late. Thus, swift action should be taken in the initial stages if teeth are to be saved. From a prevention standpoint, again, periodic exam every six months will go a long way to identify the disease in its early stages and allow for effective treatment.

Here are a few simple ways that help prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!
  • Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
  • Remember to schedule regular checkups with our office as suggested by our dental team.

If it’s been six months since your last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact our practice and schedule your next appointment!

Printable instructions >


Brushing instructions
  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 1

    Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 2

    Brush gently in a circular motion.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 3

    Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

  • brushing diagram

    Brushing: Step 4

    Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.


Flossing instructions
  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 1

    Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 2

    Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 3

    Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth. Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and slide it gently beneath your gums.

  • flossing diagram

    Flossing: Step 4

    Slide the floss up and down, and repeat for each tooth.


Protective Equipment

  • If you play sports, be sure to ask us about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.
  • If you grind your teeth, we offer customized night guards for our patients

Preventative applications/restorations

  • Fluoride applications are advised depending on a patient's risk for cavities and or periodontal status.  Our team can assess if this would be a beneficial treament.
  • Ask Dr. Ionescu about dental sealants or PRR's (protective resin restorations): protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth where decay often starts.


Oral Cancer Screening

We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavitylasting over 3 weeks
  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A lump, thickening, or rough spot
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue

Our team is trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole, and not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and precancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If we find an area of concern, we may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, which collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If this test comes back atypical or positive, we may recommend a biopsy.

Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.

  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.

During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.