A mouthguard is a cover that is placed on the teeth and is often used to protect the teeth from damage against bruxism (teeth grinding) and during exercise. There are different types of mouthguards:

Prefabricated and Ready To Use: They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most good sports stores and pharmacies. However, little work is done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, difficult to breathe and speak, and have little protection. Dentists do not recommend using it.

Boil & Bite Mouthguards: You can also buy Boyle & Bite mouthguards at many sporting goods stores, and they may be more convenient than ready-made bodyguards. The Boil & Bite mouthguard is made of thermoplastic material. To soften, it is placed in warm water, then placed in the mouth and formed using finger and tongue pressure around the teeth.

Custom mouthguards are designed and manufactured separately in the dentist’s office or professional laboratory according to the dentist’s instructions. First, your dentist molds your teeth, and then a mouthguard is created on the model using a special material. Due to the use of special materials and extra time and work, this custom mouthguard is more expensive than other types, but it gives you the most comfort and protection.

In general, mouthguards only cover your upper teeth, but in some cases (such as using a brace or fixed tooth device), your dentist will also provide mouth guards for the lower teeth. Your dentist can suggest the best mouthguard for you. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, tear-resistant, durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.

Mouthguards should be used by anyone (children and adults) who plays contact sports such as football, boxing, ice hockey, basketball, polo and field hockey. However, even people who use non-contact sports (eg gymnastics) and any recreational activity (eg skateboarding, mountain biking) that may pose a risk of mouth injury may use mouthguards.

Sometimes adult teeth may become slightly loose, which can be noticeable, especially when eating or brushing teeth. In many cases, this feeling of loosening of the teeth will get worse in the morning and then gradually intensify during the day. Sometimes the feeling of loose teeth disappears completely in the morning. If you feel your tooth is loose, you may want to ignore it, but permanent tooth loosening should never be underestimated. Tooth loosening may be a sign of a more serious illness. Preventing damage to teeth requires a long-term commitment to choosing healthy foods and maintaining good oral hygiene. Note that loose teeth can be a sign or cause of various complications in the future. Therefore, if you want to prevent loose or damaged teeth, it is very important to see a dentist regularly, brush your teeth and floss on a daily basis

The role of teeth in your general health goes far beyond your imagination. Tooth loss will not only affect your appearance, but can also be a sign of more serious illness in you. Identifying oral health problems, as well as other health-related problems, gives you a chance to recover faster and avoid future complications. Even if you did not have good oral hygiene habits in the past, you can have a fresh start today and prevent further damage to your teeth.

If you suspect that your tooth is loose, book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Many dentists believe that Invisilign is the best alternative for dental braces. Invisilign is popular amongst teens and adults because it is transparent and not noticeable to their peers when they are wearing them, nor does it have the potential to snag on their gums and make them bleed like the tradtional metal braces do. In fact, Invisilign has been known to progress the movement of teeth faster than the metal braces at about the same cost.

However, Invisilign is not recommended for children who still have their baby teeth, and therefore is only used on older children, teens, and most adults. Parents are advised to monitor their child’s usage of Invisalign as there is a 22 hour wear committment, and children are prone to forgetting to put the device back in once they’ve finished eating.

Your dentist will be able to determine if Invisalign is the correct method to use when it comes to straightening you or your family’s teeth. Contact your dentist today for a consultation to discuss all the options and to learn more about Invisalign.

Improper flossing, brushing too hard, infectious diseases, gum diseases, Vitamin K deficiency, hormonal changes can cause sensitive and sore gums. Gingivitis and sensitivity in the gums is usually related to how much we care about our oral hygiene. Bleeding gums while brushing, redness in gum, and inflamation are the symptoms of gum sensitivity.

Some reasons why your gums may become sensitive or inflamed include:

⦁ Smoking and chewing tobacco
⦁ Unorganized teeth
⦁ Hormonal changes during pregnancy, puberty and menopause
⦁ Cancer and cancer treatment
⦁ Alcohol
⦁ Stress
⦁ Poor nutrition
⦁ Diabetes
⦁ Some medicine
⦁ Vitamin K deficiency
⦁ Improper or lack of oral hygiene
⦁ Dry mouth or xerostomia

The following methods and symptoms are very useful in diagnosing gingivitis:

⦁ Periodontal probe
⦁ X ray
⦁ Examination of sensitive teeth
⦁ Redness, inflamation and bleeding

Contact your dentist for an appointment so they can help you figure out what has caused your gums to become sensitive.

You’ve learned about what you can do when you forget your toothbrush, but what about if you forget your toothpaste? Of course, you can always buy a new tube, but what about if you’re camping or the stores have all closed for the day? Here are some creative and helpful tips to help you out if you’ve forgotten your toothpaste at home.

Ask The Front Desk: Like with toothbrushes, toothpaste isn’t readily available to everyone who checks in at a hotel, but if you ask the right person, they can maybe direct you to where you can find some, or give you a complimentary tube if they have some on hand.

Use Mouthwash: Mouthwash can be great on its own for killing bacteria and freshing the mouth, but it can also be used as a substitute toothpaste. Not daily, of course, but in the case of forgotten toothpaste, it’ll do the trick. Dip your toothbrush into the mouthwash and brush as normal. Be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards.

Use Baking Soda: This method is particularly handy for getting food particles and plaque out from between the teeth. This is because baking soda is an abrasive material, making it a perfect substitute toothpaste. To do so, mix with a few drops of water until you have a gritty paste before applying to the teeth and scrubbing. It might not taste as great as your minty toothpaste back home, but it will get the job done and leave your mouth feeling clean.

Just Use a Wet Toothbrush: If all else fails, using a wet toothbrush is better than not brushing at all. The moist bristles, combined with proper brushing techniques will remove food and plaque from the teeth. Your mouth won’t feel as fresh by skipping on the toothpaste, but it’s nothing that a piece of chewing gum can’t remedy.

There’s nothing worse than arriving at your vacation destination, only to realize that you’ve forgotten an essential travel item–your toothbrush. Not to worry though, there are a few ways that you can remedy this without having to go out and buy a brand new toothbrush.

1. Ask The Front Desk: If you’re staying at a hotel, they often give out complimentary toiletries such as shampoo, body wash, and lotion. While toothbrushes aren’t commonly placed in hotel rooms, you can always head to the concierge and see if they keep some elsewhere, such as behind the desk or a supply closet.

2. Use a Damp Cloth: Washcloths are always readily available, with fresh ones provided daily by the housekeepers. Make the washcloth damp and add a small amount of toothpaste before rubbing it on your teeth as normal. Do all the things that you’d normally do if this were an actual toothbrush, such as getting along the gumline and behind the teeth as well. The rubbing will remove any plaque that has built up during the day.

3. Use Your Finger: Should you find yourself in a situation where there are no complimentary toothbrushes or washcloths, such as on a camping trip, your finger is a great alternative. Wash your hands beforehand before applying toothbrush to the tip of your index finger, or whatever finger you feel most comfortable with, and rub on your teeth. While not as effective as a washcloth or an actual toothbrush, the rubbing will at least be able to remove some bacteria from your mouth.

4. Use Leaves or Small Branches: For the true outdoorsy type of people, the natural resources of the world can also be used as an alternative for a toothbrush. Just make sure to couple check whether the bark or leaves that you’re planning on using do not come from a  poisonous plant or you’ll have a bigger problem on your hands than a forgotten toothbrush. Like with the other methods, apply toothpaste to the object of your choice and brush away.

Sugar is a very hard ingredient to avoid as it’s found in nearly everything from chocolate to cereal. Een naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and vegetables can cause harm to your teeth, but what kind of effects does sugar exactly have on them?

Loss of Enamel

First off is enamel. Enamel can be shaved away by bacteria, and this bacteria in particular feeds on sugar and can cause problems such as tooth decay, leading to tooth loss. In the case of tooth loss, there are implants and bridges available to restore your smile, but it’s much easier and less expensive to just limit sugar in your diet and to brush your teeth soon after having a food that contains it.

Frequent Toothaches

When sugar eats away at the teeth, nerves can become steadily exposed, making your teeth especially sensitive to hot and cold foods. Even the slightest touch may cause your jaw to begin throbbing.


Much like with how sugar works with bacteria to eat away at enamel, that same bacteria is also capable of making holes in the teeth. This leads to cavities and an immediate trip to the dentist to get them filled. Cavities that fail to get filled can grow larger until the tooth can no longer be saved and will need to be extracted by a dentist.

Gum Disease

Sugar creates a paradise for bacteria, allowing it to thrive and to grow. Although your teeth can be attacked by this bacteria, your gums can also be a target. When bacteria eats away at your gums, it can cause gum disease, and also contributes to conditions such as periodontitis and gingivitis.

The takeaway message should be to limit your sugar consumption, and if you do eat a sugary food, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible to avoid the creation of bacteria.

COVID-19 has altered the way that we approach activities and go about our day to day lives, including what services we can and cannot access. One of these services is seeing a dental professional. While most dental offices are continuing to offer care to those who need it most in emergencies, routine examinations such as dental cleanings have been brought to a halt. Why is this, and why are these restrictions in place?

COVID-19 is known to be spread through droplets, such as saliva, and not necessarily when someone sneezes either. Working in the mouth puts dentists in close contact with saliva and actively puts them at risk for contracting or picking up the virus and spreading it to another patient. Saliva droplets frequently spray when dentists do activities such as drilling, polishing, scaling, and rinsing, things that are involved with nearly every procedure. Therefore, until safety measures can be put in place, non-emergency trips to the dentist are postponed.

Non-emergency conditions and treatments that fall under this category include, but are not limited to:

  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Denture concerns
  • Clicking jaws
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Fillings (in most cases)
  • Mildly loose teeth (that aren’t at risk for coming out)

For what is considered an emergency, please reference our previous blog, and/or contact your local dentist to see what services they currently offer during this time.

For the foreseeable future, it looks as though COVID-19 will be a present part of our lives. In the meantime, while you wait for your dentist to give the “go-ahead”, please continue to maintain a healthy diet and stick to a rigorous oral hygiene routine.

While regular dental cleanings have been postponed until further notice, Newbury Smiles remains open for those who are experiencing dental emergencies. However, what you think may be an emergency many not be an emergency at all, so to help you determine whether or not you need to come in for an emergency dental appointment, here are a few things to consider.

  • Do you have severe pain that doesn’t go away with painkillers and other pain relieving methods?
  • Have you had an accident that has caused an entire tooth to be knocked out, or has caused it to become loose?
  • Is there an infection present? Signs will include: swelling, bleeding, and knots on the gum.
  • Do you have uncontrollable bleeding from the mouth?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a dental emergency on your hands. Give us a call at 310-746-5202, and we’ll do our best to make sure that your emergency is taken care as quickly as possible.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and maintain your oral hygiene routine until we can see each other again.

Children’s teeth are as important as adult teeth and therefore should be taken care of accordingly. In fact, children’s teeth are more prone to decay, particularly infants and toddlers because of what is known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay primarily affects the two front teeth, but can occur on any visible tooth. It’s most commonly caused when a baby’s teeth are frequently exposed to sugar and not cleaned afterwards. For instance, putting a baby to bed with a bottle and not brushing their teeth afterwards can lead to Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

Tooth decay can also occur from caregiver to baby transmission, such as when the caregiver of the baby puts the pacifier or baby spoon into their mouth and then to the baby’s. If there is cavity causing bacteria present in the caregiver, it can be passed on to the baby.

With these things in mind, here are ways to prevent tooth decay in infants and toddlers:

  • Wash baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or damp gauze after every meal
  • Avoid putting pacifiers, spoons, and other objects that enter a baby’s mouth in your own mouth
  • Use only milk, formula, or breast milk in baby bottles. Babies and children should not have sugar water or juice in their bottles before bed
  • Use only clean pacifiers at bedtime
  • Brush teeth with a rice grain size amount of toothpaste when the first tooth comes through

Children should pay a visit to the dentist when their first tooth comes in. Any questions and concerns about tooth decay and other common ailments affecting a child’s dental health can be directed at your dentist.