As an overview, a canker sore is a small crater that can appear on your tongue or the inside of your lip or cheek. They are not contagious, therefore cannot be spread, but you can develop more than one canker sore at a time. Canker sores mainly appear in women and teens, but anyone is susceptible to them. You can get a canker sore in any of the following ways:

  • Biting your lip or cheek
  • Having braces
  • Vigorous brushing
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Food allergies
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Vitamin B12, iron, or folic acid deficiency



As mentioned above, a canker sore will appear on the soft tissue areas of your mouth. A canker sore is small and crater-shaped, typically with a red border and a white or yellow center.

Canker sores can be swollen and painful, sometimes making it hard to do things such as eating, talking, and teeth brushing, depending on where they appear in your mouth.

Although severe in the beginning, canker sores heal on their own over time with minor ones only needing a week or two to heal, and major ones up to 6 weeks.



Canker sores go away on their own so no intervention is required. However, you can lessen the pain and avoid getting any new ones by taking the following steps:

  • Eat soft foods that are easy to chew or don’t require chewing at all. If the latter is the case, try nutritious smoothies to get your nutrients or puree your meals
  • Avoid citrusy, spicy, and salty foods and drinks
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water
  • If painful, take a painkiller or numb the area with topical medicine or an ice cube



Most of the time, you may not know what caused your canker sore. If you got one because of vigorous brushing, take it easy and have your dentist show you the proper way to brush your teeth. They may also recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush instead. 

If you developed a canker sore because of biting your cheek or tongue, slow down when eating and be sure not to talk at the same time.

If you frequently get canker sores and they are not because of the previous reasons, make a food diary and try to spot some patterns in your diet. Perhaps you’re eating too many acidic foods and those are causing the flare-ups, or maybe you have an allergy you don’t know about.



Laser Dentistry was first introduced in the 1990s as a treatment for gum disease. Today, it is widely used for a variety of treatments after it was deemed safe and effective, and most importantly, a less painful way for treatments to be conducted. That being said, the laser cannot be used for all treatments, but speak with your dentist regardless to see if it is an option available to you. Most dentists will opt in for laser treatments if available and if they are well trained in that area.


Benefits of Laser Dentistry


As mentioned above, using a laser is far less invasive than going with standard tools like a drill. While a drill may cause some bleeding, inflammation, and discomfort, using a laser with significantly decrease all of these things as it causes less trauma to the affected and surrounding tissue. When a laser is used, the patient won’t have to use as much anesthetic for pain relief which in turn means a shorter healing time, and your mouth won’t have to remain numb for quite as long.


Lasers allow the dentist to be more precise and better target just the affected areas so that less damage is done to the healthy tissue that surrounds the gum. The use of lasers also comes with a reduced infection rate as lasers are able to kill the bacteria that come into contact with it.


The Use of Lasers in Dentistry


As mentioned above, not all dentist offices will have lasers available as there may not be staff trained in this area. Every situation is also unique and lasers may not be the best choice for you. Below are some of the procedures that can be done with lasers, should laser dentistry be available at your dental office.


  • Removing decayed matter from the tooth
  • Gum shaping
  • Removing plaque and tartar
  • Biopsies for oral cancer screenings
  • Gum surgery

Does Laser Dentistry Completely Replace Drills and Traditional Tools?


No, there are some things that a laser cannot achieve that a drill still can. For example, when replacing a filling, a laser cannot remove the previous filling in which case a drill will have to be used. A laser also cannot be used when undergoing a bridge procedure.


Lasers are more so used for smaller procedures or dental cases that are on the minor side of the scale. With larger cavities or cavities that are in hard to reach places, your dentist will more than likely resort to using more traditional methods as it would not be safe to use the laser in these situations.


However, it is up to the skill and experience of the dentist involved in the procedure. Dentists that have multiple years experience with a laser will be able to perform more complicated procedures with a laser, whereas someone with only a few months will probably only be able to handle simple cases where a laser can be used. Always inquire about these things before signing on for a dental procedure to ensure that your needs are being met and you get the best quality care possible.

Fillings, inlays, and onlays all have one common goal and that it to fill gaps and holes both between and on your natural tooth. By doing so, they alleviate discomfort and restore your teeth back to their former glory.


But just because they all share a common goal, doesn’t mean they all treat the same issue. There are a number of factors that determine which treatment your dentist will deem best for you.


Let’s take a look at the various options.


Fillings: You probably know at least one person who has gotten a filling done, if nt yourself. In fact, when you think of the dentist, getting a filling because of a cavity is probably the first thing that pops into your head because it is such a common procedure. In turn, fillings are usually the go-to for dentists when filling in gaps and holes in your teeth, provided that the cavity is not too large. However, if the damage is more severe, a regular filling will not work. This is where inlays and onlays come into play.


Inlays and Onlays: As mentioned above, inlays and onlays function like fillings, but are used to treat more severe cases. Inlays are used to treat the inner hollowed out sections of your teeth–the chewing area–and are typically used on molars. Onlays are used for more broad and spread out damages, often covering the entire surface of the tooth.


Both are considered to be stronger than regular fillings and also provide the tooth with a very effective barrier against bacteria, preventing infection from reaching the exposed nerve endings. Inlays and Onlays, although more expensive than your traditional filling, may be worth the investment in the long run as they last longer and are easier to maintain.


When it comes to aesthetics, inlays and onlays also come in a variety of materials including porcelain, silver, and gold. Though it is entirely up to the patient which one they choose to go with, gold and silver are typically used on the back teeth, and porcelain is used at the front to disguise the fact that you had any dental work done.


Are you still unsure which option would be best for you? Schedule a free consultation with our office where we will assess your unique situation and make recommendations based on that. See you soon!



Worrying is a normal part of life and something that may happen to us every day, but when it gets to the point when it actually disrupts your life and prevents you from doing important things such as going to the dentist, that’s when it can become a problem. Refusing to go to the dentist can cause long term health effects such rotten or infected teeth, gum disease, and many more.


There are many reasons why someone may choose not to visit the dentist and identifying the specific factor is the first step into getting over your dental phobia. Some of the most common reasons for dental phobia include:

  • A traumatizing or painful experience
  • The feeling of helplessness
  • Not being able to communicate properly during the procedure
  • Fear of the unknown or what could happen during the procedure


Some dentists offer various services to help calm and relax you during your trip to the dentist, but not everyone is comfortable with sedation or taking medication to solve this problem. These things will always be available as a last resort, but before you skip straight to sedation, try a few of these methods first:

  • Be upfront about your fears so your dentist can best accommodate your needs and make adjustments based on the information that you give them.
  • Ask your dentist to explain in detail what is going to happen during the procedure so you know exactly what is going on. It may also be useful to have your dentist talk to you throughout the procedure and explain each step as they go along.
  • Plan your dentist’s visit at a time that works best for you, particularly on a day when you don’t have much going on. That way, you won’t feel rushed or panicked. You’re also more likely to hold yourself accountable for going to your appointment, rather than rescheduling at the last minute.
  • Ask if you’re allowed to have someone in the room with you. A comforting person’s presence can make all the difference.
  • The sound of the drill can be a trigger for most people, so ask your dentist if headphones are available or if you can bring your own.
  • Agree on non-verbal communication signals to let your dentist know if you’re in pain, need a break, or are feeling any other type of discomfort.
  • If all else fails, switch your dentist! Your dentist should be caring and sympathetic to your situation and if they treat you as more of a burden, it’s time to part ways.


Here at Newbury Smiles, we take pride in making sure our patients are comfortable and their needs are met. Give us a try by phoning our office and scheduling an appointment today.


If you haven’t heard of charcoal toothpaste, it may be because you don’t have an Instagram account and aren’t bombarded 20 times a day with another pretty face promoting a product. Influencer culture has greatly, for lack of a better word, influenced our decisions when it comes to various products, and toothpaste is no exception. One of the more popular ones in recent times has been charcoal toothpaste and it’s no surprise that its popularity has been because of celebrities and popular Instagram influencers. But is it really worth the hype, or just another paid promotion gimmick?


With evidence compiled by various reviewers and dentists alike, unfortunately, it looks like charcoal toothpaste is a bust, but hey, at least you won’t have to worry about cleaning your sink every time you brush your teeth anymore.


Charcoal toothpaste companies claim many things about the product, advertising their charcoal toothpaste as having strengthening and detoxifying benefits and claiming it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.


Unfortunately, it looks like not a single one of these claims has any factual and scientific evidence to support them, and in fact, due to the digging, it looks like charcoal toothpaste is actually doing more harm than good. While the debate on whether fluoride in our toothpastes is a good or bad thing, those for having fluoride present argue that the reason that charcoal toothpaste is bad is because of the lack of fluoride, but the presence of fluoride would be useless anyway as charcoal cancels out any power that the naturally occuring substance has.


One of the more popular reasons why consumers turned to charcoal toothpaste though wasn’t because it was marketed as natural and fluoride-free. No, it was because of its claims to have superior whitening effects. However, with the charcoal toothpastes that were tested and reviewed, not a single one of them had enough whitening agents present in the formula to garner actual results. There was also the concern that charcoal is far more abrasive than other cleaning agents found in common toothpastes, and therefore has a negative effect on the enamel and your gums.


So is it worth it? Not in the slightest. With its price tag compared to more reputable toothpastes and the evidence showing that there no benefits to your health, its safe to say that charcoal toothpaste will be on its way out soon, both on Instagram and the stores that carry it.


Long gone are the days of just a single toothbrush option, but at what cost? With so many options on the market nowadays, it can be difficult choosing the toothbrush that is right for you. Electric or manual? Hard bristles or soft bristles? Rechargeable or battery powered? We’re going to take a look at one of these options today, which is the option that most affects your health and your brushing routine. So, what is the better choice? Hard bristles or soft bristles?


Extra Soft

Believe it or not, there are actually two other options besides just hard and soft bristled toothbrushes, and extra soft is one of them, though it is not easy to find in the aisles of your local drug store. These toothbrushes are specialized for people who suffer from various gum diseases since they have a softer tough and are less likely to aggravate the gum line. However, they won’t do much when it comes to the actual cleaning part, so unless you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, have a receding gum line, or are prone to bleeding gums, it’s better to skip this one.



For effective and safe cleaning, choose a soft toothbrush. Contrary to what you may think, these soft-bristled toothbrushes are what dentists recommend when looking for a new toothbrush. The bristles are firm enough that they will remove debris from your teeth (with proper brushing techniques of course), yet soft enough that they will not cause wear on your enamel or irritate your gums. Just be sure that you’re not aggressively brushing or putting too much pressure on your teeth as a soft-bristled toothbrush can cause just as much damage as a medium or hard bristled brush when used incorrectly.



Another one of the less common choices, medium bristled toothbrushes essentially produce the same results as a soft-bristled toothbrush, but cause more damage over time. Therefore, you’re much better off skipping this one and opting for the softer bristled alternative.



Finally, there are the hard bristled toothbrushes, which apparently very few of us should be using in the first place. If you haven’t already guessed why due to the explanations above, using a hard bristled toothbrush does irreversible damage to your gums as well as your enamel. Although they remove slightly more plaque than their softer-bristled counterpart, the risks that come with using a hard bristled toothbrush vastly outweigh the pros, so it is hard to justify this choice in a toothbrush.


When in doubt, speak to your dentist about which option is best for you.

More and more people are making the switch over to organic, natural products after numerous studies have come out advocating for a more natural approach. The days of chemically processed products are coming to an end, but just because something says “natural” on it, doesn’t mean that it’s free from ingredients that seek to do your body harm. These ingredients include: carcinogens, inflammatory agents, and even endocrine disruptors that can throw your body out of rhythm and cause some real damage. Some would argue that since we don’t swallow or ingest toothpaste that we are not at risk from these toxins, but the soft tissues in your mouth are able to absorb these harmful ingredients which can then enter your bloodstream.


So, without further ado, here are 4 toxic toothpaste ingredients that you should look out for when choosing your next tube.



Once popularly regarded as a must-have in toothpaste, this mineral which is naturally found in water sources, is now frowned upon. While it may help prevent cavities and tooth decay, the use of fluoride over time can lead to fluoride toxicity. Fluoride toxicity shows itself in the following ways: headaches, vomiting, rashes, and headaches.


Titanium Dioxide

This one is a big one to watch out for. It has no benefit to your teeth and simply gives toothpaste it’s bright white color. Tested in a lab, this inorganic compound has been known to cause cancer in rats, and therefore may even be carcinogenic to humans. It also attacks your brain which may cause nerve damage. Skip the aesthetically pleasing toothpaste and go for something that won’t harm your body.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This ingredient, just like titanium dioxide, does not have any cleaning agents or health benefits for your teeth. It simply makes the toothpaste foam in your mouth. While it is derived from either palm or coconut oil, it’s the manufacturing process that contaminates it with harmful byproducts that can cause mouth sores.



This ingredient has been under fire and in the spotlight for a while. Like the others before it, it’s simply another aesthetic ingredient, used to thicken the toothpaste. It is, however, the least harmful ingredient on the list as it is derived from red seaweed. However, once ingested, it can cause skin rashes and disrupt your digestive system so it’s better to avoid it altogether.


So, before you pick up your next tube of toothpaste, be sure to look at the ingredients and watch for these four big ones.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and is extremely important to talk about since the early detection of oral cancer is the key to beating it. Unfortunately, many people dismiss the signs and symptoms as something else and the cancer is caught late, decreasing the patient’s chances of survival. Every time you go to the dentist, before your cleaning, your dentist will examine your mouth and make note of anything that seems out of the ordinary.


Here are some of the places that they examine, as well as the things they are looking for when screening for oral cancer.


Head and neck

Lumps, bumps, and swelling is what the dentist is looking for here, especially if they happen to only be present on one side of the neck. Alert your dentist to any places that feel tender as they prod around the area.



Your dentist will pull down your lower lip to check for any sores or odd patches of color. They will also use their thumb and forefinger to massage around the area to check for any lumps or unusual swelling.




Here, your dentist is looking for any red, white, or dark patches of color on the inside of your cheek. Likewise, with the lips, your dentist will take their thumb and forefinger and gently squeeze and roll your cheek to check or swelling and bumps. Be sure to alert your dentist to any cheek injuries that you know the cause of, such as if you have accidentally bit your cheek recently.


Roof of the mouth

If oral cancer is present, the roof of your mouth may have lumps and be a different color. This is what the dentist is checking for here.



Your dentist will be looking for odd colors, lumps, and textures all over your tongue, including the other side. This check is easily done at home as well by standing in front of the mirror. Report any unusual finding to your dentist or health care professional as they may be signs of oral cancer.


Your dentist should perform a complete mouth exam every time you go and visit for a cleaning. This is why your bi-annual cleanings are so important–not just for maintaining a bright and healthy smile, but also to keep you safe and alert you to anything you should be concerned about.


If you haven’t already scheduled an appointment, please contact us today so we can book you in.



You’ve finally done it! The braces are gone and now you can get back to having a mouth full of worries, right? Well, you’re partially right. In the months following the removal of your braces or Invisalign, your dentist will give you a retainer–a device that keeps your teeth in place so they don’t shift around and ruin all the progress that your teeth have gone through over the years.


Like anything else though, it’s important to keep your retainer in good health so it can do its job properly and not cause any problems. While you may think that a simple rinse every once and awhile will do the trick to keep it fresh, there is a bit more work that goes into maintaining and cleaning your retainer than you may realize.


Many chemicals and cleaning agents will actually damage your retainer such as bleach and alcohol. Considering that many retainers are made of plastic, bleach will degrade the material, and boiling it in hot water will cause the retainer to lose its shape and warp. Toothpaste may seem like an obvious option, but toothpaste contains abrasives inside that are meant to remove stains and plaque from your teeth, and therefore will damage the fragile material of your retainer, creating nooks and crannies that bacteria can hide and multiply in.


The only tools that you will need to clean your retainer are a soft-bristled toothbrush and liquid soap. Special cleaning agents like those made for dentures are also available, but are much more expensive and liquid soap will get the same job done for a cheaper price.


Using clean hands, cradle your retainer in one hand while brushing it gently with the toothbrush in the other hand. Work the soap into a lather and scrub all the surfaces before rinsing it completely. The last thing you want is a soapy aftertaste on your tongue when you reinsert your retainer. Wash the case that your retainer goes in when you are not wearing it as well as bacteria can linger inside and render your cleaning useless.


Speak to your dentist for proper cleaning techniques if you have any questions about alternative cleaning products. Remember, a clean smile is a happy smile. Contact us today to schedule your next cleaning appointment if you have not already done so this year.

Fear of the dentist is more common than most people may realize, and unfortunately, it leads to many people putting off going to the dentist, if they even end up going at all. Luckily, there’s now a solution so even the most anxious of patients can have a relaxing time and get their teeth taken care of at the same time. It’s called dental sedation and most dental offices offer it, but it can vary by location so be sure to ask questions if you suffer from dental anxiety and see if they offer any options to make your appointment more comfortable for you.


What Is Dental Sedation?


There are many types of dental sedation ranging from a simple calming agent to putting the patient on a general anaesthesia so they are unconscious for the whole procedure. No matter the route that you end up taking, it is extremely important that you have someone there with you at your appointment to get you home safely, as most types of sedation will impair your motor function for a couple of hours afterwards.


Laughing Gas


Also known as nitrous oxide, laughing gas is a conscious method used to relax patients during their appointment. Not only will you be awake for the procedure, but since laughing gas’ effect wears off rather quickly once you stop breathing it in, you’ll more than likely be able to drive yourself home afterwards if laughing gas is the only type of dental sedation that you recieve. Patients with higher levels of anxiety may require oral sedation on top of laughing gas in which case will need to make prior arrangements with family or friends for a ride home afterwards.


Oral Sedation


Oral sedation is another form of conscious sedation where the patient takes an oral sedative before their procedure, usually one the night before, and then another one an hour before the procedure. This method is usually recommended for those with higher levels of dental anxiety.


Although this is a conscious form of sedation, patients often remember very little of anything. Oral sedation will have side effects though such as sleepiness so arranging a pick up and drop off is an absolute requirement.


IV Sedation


IV sedation is less common and comes in two forms. The first form is known as “twilight” and much like oral sedation, the patient will not remember much of anything, but is conscious and in a very sleepy state. However, it is very easy to rouse the pateint out of the “twilight” state should the dentist need to wake them for any reason.


The other option which is even less common is general anesthesia, which hospitals use on patients when they are undergoing surgery. Therefore, only hospitals or specialized dental clinics offer this form as an anaesthesiologist needs to be present to monitor your vital signs while you are unconscious. This is an extreme measure, used only for those with extreme anxiety or those who are immune to the other forms of sedation. General anaesthesia renders the patient totally unconscious and can have side effects as well such as disorientation, drowsiness, and even nausea. Support from a family member is required to get the patient home safely. It’s also important to note that not everyone is approved for general anaesthesia, such as those who have adverse effects to it. Your dentist will be able to determine which type of dental sedation is right for you.


Do I Need Sedation Dentistry?


Whether visiting a new dentist or an old one, it’s important to talk to them about your fears and discomforts before your appointment. More often than not, dentists will usually recommend the laughing gas or an oral sedative, but as mentioned before, it varies from person to person.


Dental sedation is a wonderful way to ensure that those with even the highest amount of anxiety can get access to dental care. Speak to your dentist about your options and book that appointment that you’ve been putting off for you long.