Monthly Archives: July 2015

What’s your dental phobia?

Dental phobia explained

Dental phobia if you suffer from it can be terrifying, most of the time this has been caused by a real life experience most notably the visit to school dentist or perhaps a bad injection had you running away as fast as could from the ‘butcher’.

The experience we suffer stays with us and it different for all of us for some it could be the sound of the drill or the ching of the metal mouth mirror that sends terrified waves through our bodies.

There are lots of different fears that surround a trip to the dentist:

Fear of anaesthesia
Fear of choking
Fear of diagnosis
Fear of the drill
Fear of embarrassment
Fear of future dental work
Fear of needles
Fear of pain
Fear of feeling powerless
Fear of visiting the dentist

Dentistry like everything else in life is moving forward and we’re proud to be part of that change at Smile Essential. We are now a Dental Phobia certified dental practice and offer innovations in technology like ‘The Wand’ which makes dental injections practically pain free in fact it’s so easy most of our team members have tried it themselves during a team training event. They all found it to be completely painless!

At Smile Essential we treat you as an individual, we sit down with you and get to know your likes and dislikes, that way we can tailor everything around your specific needs. Sometimes being able to discuss why you’re so terrified with the dentist is the first building block in restoring your faith in dentistry.


I am writing this letter purely to thank you and your staff for the excellent treatment I received, also for the way you managed to make me relax and lose my fear of dentists. I think that happened because of my trust in your abilities. Once again many thanks and I look forward to seeing you all at my next appointment in 6 months time.

Yours Sincerely

Wigston Magna

Don’t delay joining the dentist for another day speak to a member of our friendly team on 0116 2891317.

dental phobia certified leicester


Say hello to Annamarie…

annamarie is part of our leicester dental team

Meet Annamarie one of our multiplayers at Smile Essential. We say this because Annamarie carries out a multitude of jobs at Smile Essential Dental Practice making her a strong, well rounded and valuable team member.

Annamarie loves football and when she isn’t supporting her children playing football she is helping to organise and support a number of football clubs in Leicester. The rest of the time she helps to keep us at Smile Essential organised!

Meet Annamarie

When did you join the Smile Essential team: Monday 12th August 2013

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a very outgoing confident person with a big personality, I enjoys spending time with my family. We are a very sport orientated family and we spend most weekends at a football match.

Your role: Dental nurse/ Receptionist

Favourite part of your Role: I love being a dental nurse as it’s very hands on and I enjoy getting involved with patients cases.

Least favourite part of your job: I’m not keen on reception work, I prefer to be in surgery assisting the dentist.

What do you like about being part of the Smile Essential team: working as a team as together everyone achieves more.

What do you like about working in dentistry: I enjoy cosmetic dentistry and seeing patients on their journey to looking and feeling better.

When you were little what was your dream job: Air Hostess

Do you have any pets: no

Favourite film: fifty shades of grey and dirty dancing

Favourite TV programme: TOWIE, Ex on the beach, soaps

How important do you think a good smile is? Very important as it makes you feel more confident.

Why is good dental health important? Dental health is important as it can affect general health if not maintained in the correct way.

How important are regular dental health visits: Very important as you only have one set of permanent teeth.

Extraction was an excellent experience!

shrik leicester dentist

I had to have a wisdom tooth removed today after having some trouble with it.

Shrik made the whole process an excellent experience, I felt totally at ease throughout having everything explained to me at every stage.

The extraction itself was handled beautifully and what could have been a daunting and difficult procedure turned out to be the exact opposite.

Many thanks to Shrik and all the staff at smile Essential Dental Practice.


Worried about coming to the dentist? Speak to a member of our friendly dental team about your fears and how we can help you to overcome dental phobia: 0116 2891317

6 things every teen should know about their teeth

what teenagers should know

A healthy smile is attractive and important when meeting people and making new friends. Being self conscious about your smile can shatter your confidence and seriously affect your selfie taking!

One of the big problems can be sneaking off to bed without cleaning your teeth properly or worse still skipping it completely. But what you will notice is:

  • bad breath
  • sticky yellow plaque on your teeth
  • staining will accumulate on the teeth

If you constantly miss out on cleaning it could lead to problems below fairly quickly:

  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • tooth loss

Once this happens it’s a visit to the dentist to get it all sorted out and probably a pretty mad mum and dad.

But theres more to taking care of your mouth then just cleaning your teeth. So what do you need to know? Here we’ve listed the top 6 things you need to seriously consider when you’re a teenager and what you can do to keep your breath fresh, teeth healthy and smile looking great.

healthy teeth1) Healthy Diet

Whenever you eat anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque and produces harmful acids. Plaque is a build-up of bacteria which forms on your teeth, whenever you eat anything sugary this with plaque produces an acid which causes tooth decay.

What can you do about it?

Try to stick to meal times and avoid snacking, constant snacking means your teeth are constantly under attack. Limit the amount of sugary foods you eat and how often you eat them. Chewing a sugar free gum after eating is a good habit to start and the bonus is it taste great and will keep your breath fresh (your friends will thank you!).

not good for your teeth2) Ditch the sugary drinks

Switch from drinking sugary fruit juice drinks, fizzy drinks and energy drinks as these can all cause dental erosion as well as tooth decay. Dental erosion is the gradual loss of tooth enamel caused by frequent acid attacks.

Enamel is the whiter, hard, protective coating on the tooth surface. If it’s worn away then dentine ‘the yellowish part of your tooth underneath the enamel’ is exposed then they could look discoloured and become sensitive.

What can you do about it?

Drinking water and milk is best but if you’re used to drinking a large quantity of sugary or fizzy drinks you could find it hard. It’s always best to ditch the bad drinks straight away but if you struggle don’t give up!

Perhaps try just drinking the bad drinks with your meals then water all of the rest of time, carrying a bottle of water around with you. This will make this easier to keep you hydrated and less likely to drink the sugary stuff.

mouth cancer3) Smoking, alcohol and drugs

We all know of the dangers of smoking and lung cancer but smoking seriously impacts your teeth and your breath. It can also cause tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancer. The signs of smoking on your teeth are so obvious the dentist will recognise them straight away.

Cases of mouth cancer are steeply rising, it used to be a disease associated mainly with older men but over recent years with more males and females drinking the age is getting younger. Mouth cancer is mostly associated with bad lifestyle choices, being a smoker, drinking and a poor diet significantly increases the likelihood of you suffering from this type of cancer.

Alcohol can also increase the risk of tooth decay and erosion. Some alcoholic drinks have a lot of sugar in them, and some mixed drinks may contain acids. So they can cause decay or dental erosion if you drink them often and in large amounts. Also after a heavy night of drinking you could be sick further increasing the problem with dental erosion.

Illegal drugs can lead to a range of health problems. Smoking cannabis can have the same effects as smoking tobacco. Other drugs can cause a dry mouth and increase the risk of erosion, decay, gum disease and bad breath. Drugs can also cause you to grind your teeth, which can cause headaches and other problems.

What can you do about it?

Just don’t do it! Invest your time into something else and be active in trying to get your friends to spend time doing safer activities like bowling, cinema or concentrate on sports.

tooth jewels and mouth piercings4) Blinging it up

Sparkly tooth jewels involves sticking small jewels onto the teeth using dental cement, if done by a dentist this can be done safely. However most aren’t done by a dentist and when they come away can cause the enamel to break away with it resulting in you having to have a filling.

You also need to keep the area around the jewel clean, as plaque can easily build up around it and you will be more likely to get tooth decay.

Mouth piercings can cause all sorts of problems and we see them often at the dentist. The main issue we see is that the the piercing causes the teeth to chip, this is often due to people playing around with their piercing. But the other dangers are:

swelling of the tongue
the tissues around the piercing can become inflamed
blood infections
it can be difficult to talk, eat and swallow
dental treatment could be difficult.

What can you do?

Avoid mouth piercings at all costs and if you do decide to have tooth jewellery then get a trained dentist to do the procedure.

braces on teeth leicestershire5) Seriously consider braces

If you’re unhappy with how your teeth look because they are crooked or stick out, then perhaps speak to your dentist about your options they might be able to refer you to an orthodontist (brace specialist) for treatment. There are a number of benefits to having straighter teeth the main one being that your teeth are easier to take care of and you’ll be less likely to have problems with tooth decay and gum disease in the future.

The orthodontist will assess your teeth and advise on any treatment. Not everyone qualifies for treatment under the NHS but if you do then you could have the treatment cost covered. Adults don’t qualify for brace treatments under the NHS so if you decided later to get your teeth straightened it could cost you anything from £2000-£4000.

What can you do about it?

Speak to your mum and dad about your concerns and this will help you to have a chat with your dentist at your next dental check up appointment.

mouthguards and sports mouth guards6) It’s a knockout

The most common cause of tooth loss in teenagers is from getting injured whilst playing sports. Playing any contact sport or sport involving moving objects could cause broken, damaged teeth and even a broken or dislocated jaw.

What can you do about it?

Wearing a mouthguard will help to protect the teeth. There are lots of different options available online but having one fitted by your dentist means it will fit properly around your teeth, feel better and give you peace of mind.


If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth or are concerned about your oral health then give our friendly team a call on 0116 2891317 or email your question in.

Could your teeth be giving you a headache?

Are your teeth giving you a headache?
We don’t often think about the way our teeth meet together, through this action we are able to chew and chew hundreds of time a day. The proper term for this is called dental occlusion referring to the way your teeth meet when your jaws bite together.

If your teeth don’t fit together properly it can cause you all sorts of problems and not ones just related to your teeth. Problems with your jaw is a common cause of headaches and can be exasperated if you are clenching or grinding your teeth, which often occurs with the daily stresses of life.

Up to 1 in 4 people can display symptoms related to jaw issues. Women and men are both equally affected, although women tend to ask for treatment more often than men.


The TMJ which stands for the ‘temporo-mandibular joint’, is the joint that’s responsible for connecting your lower jaw and your skull. This movement allows your joint to open and close your mouth and chew from side to side.

Headaches,clicking, grinding or pain in your jaw joints, ringing or buzzing in your ears and difficulty in opening or closing your mouth could all be due to your teeth not meeting each other properly.


If your jaw is in the wrong position, the muscles that move the jaw have to work a lot harder and can get tired. This leads to muscle spasm. The main symptoms are continual headaches or migraine, especially first thing in the morning; pain behind your eyes, sinus pain and pains in your neck and shoulders. Sometimes even back muscles can be involved.

How can I tell if I have a problem?

Lots of people don’t necessarily have the perfect bite due to imperfect occlusion and missing teeth, yet they might not display any symptoms because they adjust to their problems. Occasionally, in times of increased stress and tension, the symptoms may appear and then go away immediately.

Other things to look for when trying to establish whether you have a TMJ problem:

flattened, worn teeth
broken teeth, fillings and crowns
loose teeth
continual sensitivity of your teeth to temperature change
toothache with no apparent cause

Clenching and/or grinding your teeth can also add to the problem, although most people who do this aren’t aware of it. It can be a good idea to ask your partner if they have noticed you doing it.

Clenching and grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, however most of the time people clench their teeth because they are concentrating on a task.

do you clench your teeth?

You may wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or tenderness when you bite together. This could be due to clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. The majority of people who grind their teeth do it while they are asleep and may not know they are doing it.

If you suffer from severe headaches, or neck and shoulder pain, you may not have linked this with possible jaw problems. Or you may keep having pain or discomfort on the side of your face around your ears or jaw joints or difficulty in moving your jaw. These are all symptoms of TMJ problems.

How are occlusal problems treated?

Treating TMJ problems really depends on the symptoms you’re having, it can be possible to spot the signs of an occlusal problem.

At Smile Essential Dental Practice we review this at every dental health check carrying out an examination of your TMJ and looking for evidence of wear on the teeth. Various muscles may be sore when tested, or the broken and worn areas of your teeth will show you are grinding your teeth – a common sign of an incorrect bite.


Mouthguard: If your symptoms are due to an incorrect bite, then you may benefit from wearing a mouthguard to improve the problem. This appliance needs to be measured and fitted very accurately so that when you bite on it, all your teeth meet at exactly the same time in a position where your muscles are relaxed.

Equilibration: Tooth adjustment may be necessary on your teeth may carefully adjusted to meet evenly. Changing the direction and position of the slopes that guide your teeth together can often help to reposition the jaw.

Replacement of teeth: If you have missing teeth this may mean that your teeth and jaw aren’t balanced and could be the cause of your problem. Replacing missing teeth with either with a partial denture, bridge or implants could relieve your symptoms.

Diet: if you are experiencing symptoms it’s advisable to stick to a soft diet avoiding any heaving chewing or opening too wide such as when you bite into an apple or pizza.

Exercise: Just as physiotherapy exercises can help other joint issue in the body it can often help with TMJ issues. If we feel this would benefit you we will demonstrate some of these to you and given you a written exercise sheet to perform.

Relaxation: if you are constantly grinding or clenching your teeth due to life stresses it’s a good idea to try and resolve these and take some time out for rest and relaxation.

Teeth straightening: If your teeth are too far out of line or in a totally incorrect bite position, you may need to have an orthodontic appliance (brace) fitted to move them into a better position.

If you are concerned at all about TMJ issues or frequently suffer from unexplained headaches then please do speak to us. Your dentist will be able to carryout the necessary test and propose a treatment to help relieve your symptoms.

Meet Sophie…

dental clinic leicester

Meet Sophie one of our newest team members at Smile Essential Dental Practice. Sophie is a really happy character and although she is one of the newest team members she has become an integral part of the Smile Essential team.

Sophie is always willing to go the extra mile and recently took part in our National Smile Month campaign pictured above.

People visiting our dental clinic are met by Sophie’s warm smile (not the one in the photo!) and relaxed by her gentle nature, ensuring your trip to the dentist is smooth from start to finish.

Meet Sophie…

When did you join the Smile Essential team: Monday 13th April 2015

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am very outgoing person and love to socialize with different kinds of people. I love going to restaurants, shopping and spending time with my family and friends.

Your role: Receptionist

Favourite part of your Role: I really enjoy meeting new people and chatting to patients

Least favourite part of your job: Getting out the record cards we need for appointments!

What do you like about being part of the Smile Essential team: Working as part of a team, I love the team spirit of Smile Essential.

What do you like about working in dentistry: Seeing patients achieve something they have always wanted, seeing their confidence grow and being privilege to be involved in the journey with them.

When you were little what was your dream job: Being a police officer.

Do you have any pets: Yes, a ginger dog called Saffron.

Favourite film: A Cinderella Story.

Favourite TV programme: TOWIE, Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Ex On The Beach.

How important do you think a good smile is: Very important, it really improves your appearance and your confidence as a result.

Why is good dental health important: Dental health is very important. Not maintaining good dental care can cause you a lot of problems and could lead to you having pain. It’s also very important for your own general health to keep your teeth, mouth and gums healthy.

How important are regular dental health visits: Regular dental health visits are very important as going to the dentist regularly will make sure your teeth are kept on top of and it will prevent any problems in the future.

Overdue your dental health check? Sophie is ready to take your call 0116 2891317

A lifetime at Smile Essential Dental Practice

patients testimonial

I have been coming to this dental surgery for over sixty years! I have seen a few changes over the years. My experience with Lina has been the best. She’s so caring and always finds the time to keep up to date with not only my dental health but also my life. She is so gentle and caring. Definitely my best dentist to date.

Mrs JB. Leicester

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