Request Request Appointment Like Us Like us on Facebook Reviews Read Our Reviews Call Give us a Call Map View our Map

What To Do When Canker Sores Won’t Go Away

September 29, 2014

A canker sore is a small, painful, shallow ulcer that appears inside the mouth; they may form on the tongue, the back portion of the roof of your mouth, or inside your cheeks. The exact cause of most canker sores is still unknown, although stress or tissue injury is thought to be the cause of most simple canker sores. Highly acidic foods can also trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse. Some cases of complex canker sores are caused by an underlying health condition, such as an impaired immune system or nutritional deficiencies involving vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron. Other medical conditions like gastrointestinal tract disease, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease could also be the culprit. If you have a canker sore that has lasted more than a week or two, you should make an appointment with the dentists at Smile By Design today. Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck can help you get immediate treatment and relief. Smile By Design is conveniently located in Virginia Beach, VA and proudly serves patients throughout Norfolk, Sandbridge, Portsmouth, Fort Story and surrounding communities.

Types of Canker Sores

There are two types of canker sores. The first type is the simple canker sore. These may appear sporadically three or four times per year and last for up to a week. They typically afflict young people between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. The second type is the complex canker sore. Complex canker sores are larger than simple canker sores, extremely painful, take more than a month to heal and can possibly leave a scar. They are less common and occur more often in people who have a long history of simple canker sores. People often confuse canker sores with cold sores but they are not the same. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1, are groups of painful, fluid filled blisters. Unlike canker sores, cold sores are caused by a virus and are extremely contagious. While canker sores only appear inside the mouth, cold sores typically appear outside the mouth, under the nose, around the lips, or under the chin.

Treatment for Canker Sores in Virginia Beach, VA

Usually, the pain from a canker sore lessens in a few days, and the sores heal themselves without treatment in about a week or two. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with the experienced dentists of Smile By Design immediately as these may be signs of a more serious medical condition:

  • Unusually large sores
  • Sores that are spreading throughout your mouth
  • Sores that last three weeks or longer
  • Intense pain despite avoiding acidic foods and taking pain medication
  • Difficulty drinking enough fluids
  • High fever accompanying the canker sores

Smile By Design is located in Virginia Beach, VA,
with service to patients from the nearby communities of Norfolk, Sandbridge,
Portsmouth and Fort Story

E-Cigs and Your Smile: How Does Vaping Affect Your Teeth?

June 13, 2014

As many cigarette smokers turn to electronic cigarettes to
get their nicotine fix, the topic of how these popular products affect oral
health inevitably comes up again and again. While it is common knowledge that
smoking cigarettes can cause a variety of oral health problems – including oral
cancer, periodontal disease, and substantially stained teeth – not much is yet
known about how e-cigs impact a person’s smile. At Smile by Design in Virginia Beach, VA,
our doctors are happy to share valuable oral health information with our
patients, including how the mouth is affected by smoking vs. vaping
Being an Informed

Though research is still ongoing regarding how e-cigs affect oral health, there are a
few things that medical studies have been able to tell us so far. One of these
factors involves the manner in which vaping dehydrates the mouth. A dry mouth
is an excellent environment for bacterial imbalance and the development of periodontal
disease. Patients who experience chronic dry mouth – whether it is caused by
using electronic cigarettes or not –
should contact our office for a consultation to determine the underlying issue,
as well as to seek treatment.
Other concerns regarding e-cigs and oral health revolve around the ingredients used to
create the liquid, or “juice,” these products use to deliver nicotine. More
research is needed to determine how these ingredients, including propylene
glycol and the flavorings used, impact the teeth and soft tissues of the gums,
cheek lining, and tongue.
Schedule Your
Appointment Today

Whether you are currently a smoker, an e-cig user, or simply
someone who would like to learn more about how these behaviors affect your oral
health, we are here to help. Our doctors and caring, compassionate staff are
always happy to share vital oral health information with our patients because
we want you to have the happiest, healthiest smile possible. Contact our office
today to schedule a visit to our Virginia
office and discover the difference that our patient-centric approach
can make in your life. We also happily serve patients in Norfolk, Sandbridge, Fort Story, Portsmouth, and beyond. 

Pocket Depth and Periodontal Disease: What’s the Connection?

May 22, 2014

Many people know that gum disease can cause a wide variety
of undesirable issues, including everything from bad breath and bleeding gums
to eventual tooth loss when the condition is left untreated. However, the
majority of individuals – even those who suffer from periodontal disease – don’t
understand this condition and how it affects your health. At Smile by Design in Virginia Beach, VA, Dr. Vinita John
Folck and Dr. Stephanie L. Santos
offer a comprehensive menu of preventive
and general dentistry services, including periodontal
What is Pocket Depth?

Ideally, the tissue of your gums should fit snugly around
the base of your teeth, but periodontal
changes this. Instead, pockets form along the gum line, creating
the perfect place for bacteria to hide. Over time, this accumulation of
bacteria can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which further increases
the size of the pocket. This cycle continues as the gum recedes and the infection
spreads. Advanced periodontal disease
can lead to complications with pregnancy, coronary artery disease, diabetes,
and more.
Benefits of
Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal therapy
addresses the infection that causes inflammation and increased pocket depth, reducing the amount of
room bacteria have to thrive in your gums. As with treatment for any other type
of disease, gum disease is most
effectively treated when diagnosed early.
Schedule Your Visit

Gum disease affects
approximately three out of every four American adults; are you one of them?
Because the early stages of periodontal
don’t always present the patient with noticeable symptoms, it is
important to see our doctors twice per year for routine exams and cleanings. Contact our office
today to schedule your appointment with our experienced, caring team. Our
practice proudly serves patients from throughout Virginia Beach, Sandbridge, Fort Story, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and

The Role of Fluoride in Your Dental Health

May 6, 2014

There are a lot of misconceptions about fluoride as it relates to health, and hundreds of sites online that
offer conflicting information about its effects. At Smile by Design in Virginia Beach, VA,
our doctors want you to feel informed about all aspects of oral health,
including the ways in which fluoride can
impact your teeth.

Fluoride: Is it Good
or Bad for Teeth?

Fluoride is a
naturally occurring substance that originates from an element called fluorine.
It is found in its natural form in the water and many foods we drink and eat,
respectively. Despite much controversy regarding its effects, the amount of fluoride found in normal tap water is
not substantial enough to cause any adverse health problems. In fact, fluoride is one of the essential
factors in a healthy smile.
Fluoride treatments help
to remineralize teeth, offering improved strength and protection against common
problems like tooth decay. Adults are advised to use a toothpaste and mouthwash
that contains fluoride because of this fact, better fortifying your teeth
between visits to your dentist’s office. As with any procedure or treatment
performed at our office, we invite you to ask questions and raise any concerns
you may have regarding fluoride treatments. We’re here as a source of accurate,
up-to-date information pertaining to the overall oral health of you and your
Schedule Your Next
Visit Today

Has it been more than six months since the last time you had
your teeth and gums cleaned and examined at Smile by Design? If so, then it’s time to contact our office in
Virginia Beach, VA to schedule your
appointment. Our experienced, caring doctors and staff look forward to helping
you achieve optimal oral health through general dentistry and preventive
services, all while welcoming you into a warm, comforting atmosphere. Our
family-friendly practice happily serves patients from throughout Virginia Beach, as well as the
surrounding areas of Fort Story,
Portsmouth, Norfolk, Sandbridge,
and beyond. 

Help Your Family Achieve Optimal Oral Health In 2014

January 29, 2014

Among the questions that dentists get asked on a regular
basis, one of the most common is: How often should I have a checkup and
cleaning? For a basic medical checkup, once a year is a good rule of thumb, but
for your oral health the ideal number of visits per year is two.
Why so often? Because common oral health issues like tooth
decay and gum disease can develop easily, in children as well as adults. With regular
checkups, your local dentist can help you watch for changes and provide care
early on, when it can be less invasive.
At Smile by Design
in Virginia Beach, family dental care
is a central focus of ours. Every day, we’re helping children, parents, and
seniors enjoy better oral health through oral exams and cleanings.
What are we looking for during a checkup? The most common
oral health issues are tooth decay and gum disease. But that’s not all Dr. Santos and
Dr. Folck
will be on the lookout for. During your exam, our Virginia Beach team will also check for signs of teeth grinding
(bruxism), TMJ dysfunction, and even oral cancer, because treating any of these
early is very important.
Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck can also talk to you and your
little one about home care. Two checkups a year aren’t enough to keep your
smile in tip-top shape. Regular brushing and flossing are also important. If
you have any questions about how to brush and floss effectively, we’d be more
than happy to answer them.

Do you want to schedule your family’s first visit of 2014? Call Smile by Design today. Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck are happy to offer family dentistry to patients from Fort Story, Sandbridge, and nearby communities.

A Family Dentistry Checkup before the Holidays

October 8, 2013

At Smile by Design,
Dr. Santos
and Dr. Folck
encourage their Virginia Beach
patients to come in for checkups at least twice a year. Why so often? Because catching
common oral health conditions like gum disease and tooth decay will lead to
less invasive, more comfortable care. And with 2013 quickly coming to an end,
is there a better time for your family to come in for a checkup than before the
holidays start?
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays all come
with their own special treats—ones that are tasty but pose a threat to your
oral health. With a family dentistry
checkup at Smile by Design, our Virginia Beach dental team can assess
your current health and determine if you’ll need care before the holidays
Even though you should be careful how many sweets you
consume, we want you to enjoy the time you spend with friends and family, and
that means being able to enjoy a few goodies over the next few months. What’s
more, seeing you before the holidays begin will give us a chance to offer some
nutritional advice as well.
A natural sweetener known as xylitol can be used instead of sugar in holiday treats because it’s
sweet but won’t cause the same problems as regular sugar. In fact, xylitol is used in some toothpaste
brands to guard against cavities. That’s because sugar leads to the creation of
acid in the mouth, while xylitol creates
a neutral atmosphere that makes it difficult for harmful bacteria to cling to


Learn more about xylitol
by visiting
And to schedule a visit for yourself or someone else in your family, call Smile by Design today for an
appointment. We’re happy to serve patients from Virginia Beach and beyond.

The Benefit of Family and Children’s Dentistry

July 9, 2013

Even though regular dental care is important for adults and children, you don’t want to have one doctor for yourself and another doctor for your little one. What you want instead is a place that can help your whole family—where you might even be able to schedule back-to-back appointments, for convenience.

That’s what you’ll find at Smile by Design in Virginia Beach. With the family and children’s dentistry we offer, we’re helping patients of all ages have healthy smiles.

Visit Us Twice a Year for Better Oral Health

Every patient should see a dentist at least twice a year. Why? So Dr. Santos and Dr. Folck can look for changes in you or your child’s oral health. Catching things like gum disease and tooth decay early are important for providing care.

During a family or children’s dentistry appointment at our Virginia Beach office, we’ll thoroughly examine your smile for signs of the most common oral health issues. Then, we’ll complete a dental cleaning to get your teeth cleaner than is even possible with the best brushing and flossing routine. For children, we can also add a fluorite treatment to the appointment. Fluoride strengthens teeth against decay, which is something that all smiles—but especially young smiles—need help with. If Dr. Santos or Dr. Folck finds anything during your appointment, we can put together a treatment plan to help you or your little one reclaim optimal oral health.

Has it been more than six months since your last appointment? Call Smile by Design today for an appointment with Dr. Santos or Dr. Folck. We’re proud to serve patients from Virginia Beach, Fort Story, and Northeast Virginia Beach.

« Newer Posts