Monthly Archives: September 2013

Good Habits Start Early

dentistry carton kids

The question normally asked by new parents is when should I bring my child to the dentist or when should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

Even before teething starts there are methods you should adopt to condition their little mouths such as cleaning after bottle feeds etc. There are some great products that can be used before their teeth are through such as oral wipes which clean the gums.

Shrikesh Kotecha of Smile Essential in Leicester recommends that as soon as the teeth start to come through introduce a soft baby brush on a morning and evening with just a small amount of child friendly toothpaste.

Ideally you should start taking your child to the dentist age one – take them with you when you go for your visit and it won’t cost a thing!  This is how dentist Shrikesh Kotecha has a head start on preventing problems before they happen which is better for your child than corrective action.

There are two points to look out for in your children’s first couple of teeth, not just their flashing grins!

Yellowing – Can suggest a build-up of plaque – get those baby brushes out and have your dentist take a look!

Chalky White/Patchy White – This could mean a lack of or poor enamel which means potential weakness… Again ask your dentist at Smile Essential to have a closer look.

Trust Me I’m a Parent

As a parent you may either love going to the dentist or hate it, whether it’s down to fear, inconvenience, bad experiences or how you were brought up to feel. Please, unless you love going to the dentist, don’t let those feelings rub off onto your little ones.

You should never bribe your child or threaten punishment when trying to persuade them to go if they don’t like it. You always have to think carefully about how you say things… Shrikesh Kotecha of Smile Essential in Leicester has compiled some Do’s and Don’ts below and we has also added how your child might interpret some of the statements you make.

Please do:

1) Tell your little one they are going to the dentist

Child’s interpretation – Oh OK, not been before but let’s go / Cool I’ve been there before, they have toys and a really nice lady there in that room with the comfy seats.

2) Tell them that the dentist will count their teeth

Child’s interpretation – Oooh I wonder how many teeth I have, how many do I need to make a full set?

3) Tell them the dentist will show them how to brush their teeth just like mummy and daddy do.

Child’s interpretation – I’ll be a proper grown up if I can just brush my teeth properly.

Please don’t:

1) Tell them you are taking them to the park just to get them in the car.

Child’s interpretation – There’s the park mummy, stop the car mummy, we’re here…Wait a minute, what’s this place, why is there an odd looking seat…I want to go to the park!!!

2) Tell them it’s OK to be frightened because you were too when you were little.

Child’s interpretation – That’s it, I’m definitely not going if my brave mummy/daddy were frightened because it must be bad!

3) Tell them not to be scared.

Childs interpretation- Why would you tell me not to be scared if there is nothing to be scared of…you must be scared…Nope, definitely not going!

4) Tell them it won’t hurt.

Child’s interpretation- Why would you tell me it wasn’t going to hurt, it must definitely hurt …you must have been hurt before…No! No! No! Definitely not going!!!! Cue Tantrum!

If you are nervous about coming to the dentist yourself then it may be best if you try to say nothing or perhaps see if a friend or relative can bring them in.

Have you awoken this morning with a headache?


Did you know that 40% of all “Healthy” individuals suffer from headaches, facial and neck pain. Headache sufferers can be any age, from teens to seniors. The largest group of sufferers is women.

When individuals experience headaches, facial and neck pain, dentists generally aren’t the first professionals people think about. Headaches are a big problem for many people. Many treatments and medications are available for headaches too, just look at all the ads on TV.

But to treat a headache effectively it is best to know the cause of the headache in the first place. There are dental causes for headaches too. The types of headache dentists can help with are muscle strain or tension headaches, commonly felt in the morning, possibly with neck and jaw pain. This pain is caused by intense contractions of muscles around your jaws. These muscles even extend way up on both sides of your head (called the Temporalis muscles). Many people exhibit involuntary clenching and grinding of their teeth at night that can overload these muscles. This is a reflex action – feedback from the teeth causes even more clenching and pain. Dentists have traditionally fabricated a “nightguard”- an appliance that covers all the teeth on the upper or lower arch (similar to a sports mouthguard). It has a flat biting surface that lets the teeth slide so there is no grinding damage to teeth. But this will not stop the positive feedback cycle, the teeth can sense the jaws clenching, causing more clenching – a reflex remember?

So there is another type of appliance I have used successfully for pain relief called a ‘B Splint’. In short, it’s a nightguard that fits over either the upper or lower but the back teeth don’t touch and there is much reduced chewing muscle action. So these muscles are more relaxed and won’t be painful. And so the ‘B Splint’ may help eliminate the need for pain medication and solve your headache problem.

If you suffer frequently from headaches, facial or neck pain then be sure to mention it to your dentist at your next check up, alternatively get in touch to book a free mini consultation.

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