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.

With the rise of COVID-19 and the closing of businesses across the globe, getting to the dentist isn’t always an option. So, until you can visit your dentist, what can you do when an unexpected toothache hits? Turns out, you can help ease your pain with items you can find in your house already. Here are a few of them.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide: Swishing a hydrogen peroxide rince around in your mouth can relieve pain and inflammation. Hydrogen peroxide is also helpful in healing bleeding gums and can even reduce plaque and kill harmful bacteria. Do not swallow.
  2. Salt water: This is often the first one that people go to for a quick fix as salt water is a natural disinfectant. Like hydrogen peroxide, it’s also helpful in reducing inflammation and wounds. Do not swallow.
  3. Peppermint Tea Bags: You can use these when they’re either cooled down or when they’re removed from the fridge. Either method can be used to soothe gums and numb any pain you may be having.
  4. Cold Compress: Especially if there has been trauma to the mouth that is causing the toothache, a cold compress can be especially helpful. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and apply it to the outside of the affected area for no more than 20 minutes. This will reduce inflammation and pain by making the blood vessels in the area constrict.
  5. Clove Oil: Once again used to treat pain and inflammation. Apply a very small amount of clove oil to a cotton ball or pad and apply it to the tooth. You can also add a single drop of clove oil to a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash. Again, do not swallow the mixture.
  6. Thyme: Similar to the clove oil, thyme essential oil can be diluted with water, applied to a cotton ball and pressed on the affected area to effectively treat a toothache. Thyme has been known to have antibacterial properties and is also a powerful antioxidant.
  7. Garlic: To use garlic as a pain reliever, crush a garlic clove and make it into a paste before applying it to the tooth. If you like the taste of garlic, you can also chew on the clove directly.

All of these can be found at your local pharmacy and grocery store if you do not already have them in your pantry. For dental emergencies, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

They may not be that common, both to find and in their use, but silicone toothbrushes are quickly becoming the preferred tool for oral hygiene. Silicone toothbrushes replace the traditional nylon bristles with silicone which is softer and gentler on both the gums and teeth, but are still expected to perform the same as any traditional toothbrush. They also come in an electric form for those that prefer it.

Because of their recent emergence on the market, it’s difficult to truly say whether these silicone toothbrushes outperform their traditional counterparts, but preliminary testing shows that they do provide benefits that traditional toothbrushes do not, such as being softer on the gums.

In fact, silicone toothbrushes started out by being used by new parents for their infants and children as their gums are more sensitive compared to adults, and the soft massaging of the silicone also helps to lessen the discomfort of teething.

No matter what toothbrush you use, though, always follow the recommended guideline of brushing your teeth twice a day. For more information on what toothbrush best suits your oral hygiene needs, schedule a consultation with us.

Have you ever noticed that you’re seeing more of your teeth than usual, or that your gums appear higher than they normally are? If you said yes to either of those two questions, you may have gum disease and what you’re experiencing is gum recession as a result.

Before gum disease happens, there needs to be bacteria present. This bacteria forms plaque on the teeth which inflames the gums and begins to erode the tissue away, exposing more of the tooth and giving the gums a recessed look. All of this happens quite slowly and overtime, but if it is not addressed in the early stages, it can have serious consequences in the long run. The best thing that you can do to prevent gum recession is to stick to a daily oral hygiene routine to remove bacteria and food particles so that the formation of plaque is stopped before it even begins.

If you already have a receding gum line, there are treatment options available to you. Most of the treatments will focus on treating the gum diseases as that will fix the gumline as well. For more advanced cases, cosmetic options such as a tissue graft may be necessary in order to get the gums back to their original appearance.

For more information on gum recession or to set up a consultation, give us a call or visit our website to book an appointment.

Coffee should really be a food group of its own with how prevalent it is in our daily life. While the delicious drink might give you a kick start to your day and positively affect your daily function, it also affects your teeth in the following ways.


If you’re wondering why you have yellow teeth but have never touched a cigarette in your life, it’s from your coffee. The molecule in coffee which gives it it’s dark, rich color can bind to the crevices in your teeth and stain them. However, with limiting your intake or simply by rinsing your mouth out with water or mouthwash after each cup, you can reduce the amount of staining that is caused.


The caffeine in coffee and other beverages can cause dry mouth as it reduces the amount of saliva present in the mouth. Without saliva present, bad breath and cavities become much more common. So, if you can’t give up the coffee, at least have some water during the day as well to balance everything out and keep yourself hydrated.


Coffee is fairly low when it comes to acid content when compared to sodas or lemonades, but there is still enough present that someone who drinks coffee daily or multiple times a day, can overtime be susceptible to acid erosion, or the breaking down and thinning of the enamel. Again, rinsing your mouth out with water can help prevent this.

If you suffer from any of the following, please give us a call and set up a consultation and we’ll help you get to the root of the problem.

Dental photography is a practice that more and more dental offices are using in order to provide the highest quality of care to their patients. Dental photography goes beyond just the typical x-rays that are given–these are actual photos taken by a DSLR camera. If you are a dental office that does not currently provide dental photography, here are a few reasons why you should start today.

First off, it gives an HD look at the inside of the mouth, providing crystal clear images that can be examined and even shown to patients so they are able to see what their dentist’s see. For people who are skeptical of their dentist and believe that they are trying to push them into procedures that they don’t actually need, these images are incredibly helpful to show them what’s going on in their mouth and what can be done in order to fix or reverse it. A popular option for the camera in use is a Canon T6 Rebel equipped with a 100mm macro lens.

Secondly, it’s helpful for the dentists and hygienists to track slow changes processes that happen to the gums and teeth such as gum recession, tooth movement, and even the wearing down of teeth–things that aren’t always able to be memorized for each patient and taken note of with just a pen and paper. This can be helpful for early detection of these kinds of changes as well so that early treatment can begin before the problem gets worse.

Third, it builds trust between patient and dentist, and also benefits the patient in the form of education. As mentioned above, there are many people who are skeptical of dentists either by rumours, stereotypes, and personal experiences that make them wary of accepting recommended treatments. Through the use of dental photography, dentists can show their patients exactly what is going on in their mouth, such as a cavity, educate them on the problem, and then use these tools with the patient in order to come up with a solution. Just as continuing education is important for dentists, educating patients should be another priority so they feel informed and comfortable.

With these things in mind, it might be time to integrate this service in with your own practice. Many dental offices offer this service for free as they believe that everyone should have access to this kind of service to receive the best possible care, while others charge a small fee. However you decide to run your practice, dental photography provides multiple benefits that can, in turn, benefit you as well.

For patients, remember that you always have a choice on whether or not you want this service to be performed on you. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having their photos taken, but rest assured, these photos are confidential, not shared with anyone except your dental health team, and can be beneficial to your health.