Author Archives: High Street Dental Practice

Newsletter – Making a Difference




On the 14th of June 1971, a new dental practice was opened in East Grinstead. It was, and still is, called ‘The High Street Dental Practice’.

45 years later and we are still here. Helping to serve an ever-increasing number of patients as well as our local community.Capture

For us, so much has changed. The faces, the technology, as well as the treatments that we are able to offer.

Many of you have stayed with us for so many of these years so you will have noticed these changes. We think that we’ve managed to change for the better, but what do you think?

Are we any better? Or just the same? And how could we continue to improve?

Please do let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

And, if you’re passing through town on the 14th of June, please pop in. We’ll be having a little celebration. Drinks and nibbles on us.

We do hope to see you then.

Jas Sandhu

ps We really would love to hear your comments. You can reply to this email or post directly onto our Facebook page here:

Did It Hurt?Jaspiechart

Our end of month survey for May showed the following results. Although nobody re
ported an ‘ouch’, they are still not good enough. I promise that we will continue to try to improve. In the meantime, please accept my apologies and thanks for taking the time to complete our surveys.

Jas Sandhu





Last month, we were invited to treat children in Essaouira, a port city on the west coast of Morocco. The invitation came from the local officials: the headmaster, directors, teachers and parents of children in the local schools.FullSizeRender-330

Their feedback – including that of the children – was
overwhelmingly positive. The headmaster said that, on the day following our visit, all of the children attended school – despite 562A1133-300some of them having to undergo extensive dental treatment. Most importantly though was the fact that he and the teachers noticed a marked improvement in the childrens’ ability to focus in the classrooms. Purely because they were no longer in pain.

As always, thank you for your support.

Jas Sandhu


How Powerful Is A Child’s Smile?Morocco-1-104_1024-322

New research has revealed that adults smile 13% more frequently when with children than when in
the presence of adults or being alone. This has been named the ‘Smile Back’ effect and it is particularly strong among adults who do not tend to smile much in photographs – showing even this group are powerless against the effects of a child’s smile.

The University of Cambridge, supported by The Wrigley Company, analysed the largest record of smiles and matching psychological data in history in order to explore the impact of children’s smile on others.

thumb_IMG_2073_1024-332The Smile Back Study also shows how the condition of our teeth can make a big difference to how often we smile. It found a significant correlation between healthy teeth and higher intensity of smiling; study participants who reported better oral health also reported higher levels of self- esteem and life satisfaction.


Word of the month: 



Here’s a review left today on our Facebook page:P1020237_1024-326

“Well no one can really say they love going to the dentist and for me I’m a complete wimp when it comes to going. I had to have a filling today and the staff were great especially Kate who put me at ease and reassured me and it was pain free! Thank you.”

Kate ‘Incredible’ Cash



pasted-image-338Here’s a note from Corsica‘s assessor:

“Well done Corsica, you have worked really hard to get this qualification completed.

It has been lovely to see you progress throughout the qualification, you built up some good friendships within the class and were willing to share your knowledge with others. You were a pleasure to assess.”

Very well done Corsica.”




Thanks for reading.

Did It Hurt?

In last month’s newsletter, I posted the results of our ‘did it hurt?’ survey. And they were, frankly, poor.

So, for March, I’m very pleased to say that we have improved. 94% of all of you who
completed the survey reported feeling no pain at all. That’s a step in the right direction.
As is the fact that we didn’t receive a single ‘ouch’.

I still think we can do better though. And I will continue to keep you updated.

So, thank you to all of you who completed the survey. The only way we can improve is to
continue to measure your feedback.

Jas Sandhu

image2It’s Arrived!

After about a year and a half, we finally
received permission for installing a
stairlift. It may look a little bit
confusing to operate, so please ask any
of us for a hand.

Sue giving
the stairlift
a test drive


“I like working at the High Street Dental Practice because it is a very friendly and happy
place. We work as a team and always go that bit further to
make it a warm and welcoming place for staff and patients
alike. We laugh a lot, enjoy spending time together and help
each other out.

image3We have fantastic patients who make it a pleasure to treat
them and do our best for them.

I used to dread coming to work but no longer because I know
that once I walk up the stairs I will be greeted with a smile which means more than

Debbie Topley

image4Helping children with toothache is one thing. But, our goal has always been to try and
prevent it in the first place. We all knew that this would be a difficult task given that we
only used to travel to Morocco a couple of times a year.

But, over the last two years, we seem to have reached the tipping point. The Dental
Mavericks are now being asked to visit lots of communities in both the Rif and Atlas

One of these being The Eve Branson ( Richard’s mum ) Foundation.

With the aid of toothbrushes, toothpastes and simple infographs, some of the village
communities are now running oral hygiene workshops for their schools.

Team members from Virgin Unite are also flying out to help with our projects.

image5And, the Advisor to the King of Morocco is also supporting our efforts. It’s likely that he
will be there to watch us treating the children when I next travel in May. So, I will try to
be on my best behaviour.

I am sorry if this report sounds self-indulgent. But so many of you have supported this
cause and I just want you to know that your ever so generous donations are really making
a difference.

Thank you.

Jas Sandhu


image64 Things You Should Know About
Your Toothbrush

1.    Don’t be afraid to change

Worn out brushes can’t clean our teeth properly and could damage the gums. So,
change your brush as soon the bristles start to splay. As a rule, about every 3
months. Also, signs of a worn toothbrush within about 3 months could mean that
you’re brushing your teeth too hard.

2.    How you store your toothbrush

Don’t use a cover for your toothbrush. The cover doesn’t allow the bristles to dry.
And this moist environment is where bacteria can thrive.
Don’t keep your toothbrushes together. If the brush heads come into contact, they
will spread germs.
Don’t store your tooth brush close to open sinks or toilets. The aerosol spray
produced by toilets particularly can contain airborne bacteria. As a rule, store your
toothbrush at least 2 metres away from sinks or toilets.

3.    Cleaning your toothbrush

Rinse your brush after using it and store in an upright position so that water can
drain away from the head

4.    What type of toothbrush?

Clinical tests have shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective at
removing plaque. Those with heads that rotate in both directions have been shown
to be most effective.

We mostly recommend the Oral B electric toothbrush.

However, if your brushing well with your existing toothbrush – whatever it may
be (and we’re not nagging you) – then don’t feel like you to change.

“Pick it, lick it, stick it”

Many thanks to Michaela, one of our patients, for sending us this very
informative article.

Word of the month:


“The perfect moment; the fleeting
rightness of time and place that
creates the opportune atmosphere
for action, words or movement.”

















Thanks for reading.






Does it hurt?

Pain. It’s one of the biggest reasons why so many of us fear going to the dentist – me     included. And it’s a question that we ask in one of our surveys.

In fact, it’s one of the strongest markers that we judge ourselves by.

February’s results show that 79% of you felt no pain at all during any treatment.

And that’s not good enough.

We can do better. So, from now on, we will be monitoring our results every week and I will post them on future newsletters. For now, though, please accept my apologies and my promise that we will improve.

Jas Sandhu









“The Road To Morocco”

2The Moroccans love their
football. And this shirt,
donated very kindly by
Richard Tramontin from
East Grinstead Football
C l u b , was v e r y w e l l

Despite having travelled to Morocco for several years now, last month’s trip was unique in a couple of ways. Firstly, the Dental Mavericks visited a new village and secondly, I was joined by some of our team: From left to right above, Cilla, Debbie, Maggie and Sophie.

Our destination, Kilia, is a small village up in the Rif mountains.3
The journey – in a 4 wheel drive jeep – wasn’t the most
comfortable. The roads are carved into the side of the mountain,
with a sheer drop on one side. No tarmac. No road signs. No
crash barriers.
Our ‘clinic’ was one of the classrooms in the village school. But,
because of the cramped conditions, we had to set up some of our
working spaces outside.

4They were more concerned about the gifts that we handed out. Colouring pencils, paper and things like yo-yo’s. Nothing remotely special – but they were overjoyed. The weather conditions and their lack of adequate clothing, they’re used to. But gifts, even as simple as those that we gave, are a novelty. We worked in a very poorly lit class room with water dripping from the ceiling onto an electric light bulb! And it is at times like these that I have to remind myself that we aren’t in the UK now. What we all take for granted is so often considered a luxury by our hosts.

In all of my trips, I’ve never seen so many children with abscesses. I can’t imagine the pain that some of them must have been suffering. I still haven’t got used to that. And I hope I never will.
Jas Sandhu

Word of the month:


“The perfect moment; the fleeting rightness of time and place that creates the opportune atmosphere for action, words or movement.”

Colgate Total

In 2013, the Cochrane Oral Health Group completed a review of the most effective toothpastes. The review involved 30 studies carried out over a 22 year period and 14,835 participants.

Cochrane are a global network of researchers. Their work is free from sponsorship and is recognised as representing an international gold standard for high quality, trusted information.

Their evidence showed benefits in using a Triclosan/copolymer fluoride toothpaste when
compared with a fluoride-only toothpaste. Triclosan is an antibiotic ingredient and
copolymer is an ingredient that helps to keep the copolymer on the teeth and gums. The
toothpaste used was Colgate Total and the results, after six months of use, showed:

22% reduction in plaque
22% reduction in gingivitis
48% reduction in bleeding gums
5% reduction in tooth decay
Our practice has no affiliation with Colgate. But, we think that it is important to recommend it as the evidence is, so far, overwhelming.

Nikoletta’s News

Born on the 1st of January, and now 10 weeks later, here’s a picture6
of Evi. According to her mother:

“She has a mind of her own. She is a Tottenham fan like her dad
and a Djokovic fan like her mum…no Federer or Murray!”

Poor child.

A glass of water can help tackle morning breath

New research suggests that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is an
effective way of reducing morning breath. The research, published in the International
Journal of Dental Hygiene, has shown that drinking or rinsing the mouth with a glass of
water helped remove up to 60 per cent of the substances which contribute to bad breath.

There is a simple test that you can do if you think you may be suffering from bad breath.
Just lick the inside of your wrist, wait for it to dry and sniff – if the smell is bad, it’s likely
that your breath is too.

If you do have bad breath, try keeping a diary of all the foods you eat and list any
medicines you are taking. Bring this diary to us, and we may be able to suggest ways to
solve the problem.

8Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth could be a warning sign of gum disease. Other
conditions that cause bad breath include infections in the throat, nose or lungs.
The best way to beat bad breath is to ensure that you have an effective cleaning routine;
ideally, brushing your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day.
Don’t forget to clean your tongue as well to help remove more bacteria.

Thanks for reading.

How Chewing Gum Can Save Us Money

1Chewing sugar-free gum could save the NHS £8.2 million a year.

A study published this week in the British Dental Journal has revealed that up to £8.2 million of costs to the NHS could be saved if twelve year olds across the UK were to increase their chewing of sugar-free gum as part of a good oral health routine to help prevent tooth decay.

While brushing for two minutes, twice a day is still the best way to keep our teeth and gums healthy, clinical research has shown that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating or drinking helps neutralise plaque acid and can reverse the early signs of tooth decay.

This research, conducted by the York Health Economics Consortium and Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University, with support from The Wrigley Company Ltd, is the first of its kind in the UK.

I would like to add the following points:

This research had the support of the Wrigley company – a well known manufacturer of chewing gum – so, one could be forgiven for thinking that the results are biased. However, the benefits of chewing gum, particularly after meals and drinks, are proven.

Also, this survey was limited to 12 year olds. However, the benefits apply to us all.

We don’t generally recommend that children under the age of 7 chew gum although this is very much at the discretion of all parents.

Whilst I do agree with the report, it focusses only on the cost savings whilst omitting the distress that children with toothache suffer.

Something that I am all too aware of during my travels to Morocco.

Jas Sandhu

2The diagram above shows how tooth enamel is at risk from acid after food and drink, and how long it takes the acid level in the mouth to return to the safe zone. The pH is the measure of acidity. Below 5.5 is acidic enough to soften tooth enamel. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating can quickly lower the Ph and, therefore, the amount of acid that attacks the teeth.


Congratulations to Sophie who, at the age of only 19, distinguished herself in her Radiology exam this month.

“I have been very impressed with the level of care and treatment and the practice. Thank you so much. Also, to learn of your missionary-type trips to morrcco’s needy children. May God bless you and the team. Your travels. Your health and all that you do. You are giving more than just dental treatment.”

Thanks you so much

Nigel M

Thank you Nigel

Stairlift update

Planning for our long-awaited stairlift has finally been approved. However, only verbally. So, all
we are waiting on now is the approval in writing. Of all the stairlifts we’ve looked at – and that’s a
lot – we were most impressed by those supplied by Age UK. However, should any of you have any comments or recommendations, please do contact me.

Again, thank you for your patience.

Jas Sandhu

“The Road To Morocco”

4Is it ironic that we, as a dental practice, are selling ‘sugar’ to help prevent its harmful effects? Probably, yes. But, all of the funds we raise will go towards helping the children in Morocco.

And, so far, the sale of our home-made cakes has raised a massive £316.66. As Jas is a trustee of The Dental Mavericks, he has set a fundraising target of £3000.

Our total funds raised so far are nearly £2000!

So, watch out for more cakes and other silly events in the next few weeks.



Thank you all so much.








Thanks Steph.6







7Our core values are those values that help to guide us. Our compass, if you like.

At our last meeting, we agreed that not all of us felt aligned with our old values. So, now, we

have updated them and agreed on the following:

  • Integrity8
  • Play
  • Ubuntu
  • Kaizen

Please feel free to ask us about them. What they stand for? Why we chose them? And how they

can help you? For now, I think that the photo on the next page explains why we all agreed on


You’ll find us in the front row.

Hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading.

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2016

A year that’s shaping to be a special one already:181201653935396_January-3

Firstly, on New Year’s Day, (just as Jas predicted), Nikoletta gave birth to Evi. Both of them are doing very well although Nikoletta still won’t be returning to the practice until April for some strange reason.

And, secondly, we’re Moving! To Morocco!!181201653935396_January-5

Now that we have your attention, we wish you all a Very Happy New Year.





Okay, we’re not actually moving. That would be silly. But, in February, Jas is taking some of us to Morocco.

Jas was recently made a trustee of The Dental Mavericks, a charity that he co-founded in 2010. 181201653935396_January-8And one that is going from strength to strength. To date, they have treated 3043 children in the Rif and Atlas mountains.

And now, he has arranged for some of us to travel with him to treat the Berber children in a village called ‘Kilea’. The demand for dental treatment is so high here that he thinks we may see around 500 children.

So, no, we’re not moving. But, for one weekend in February, The High Street Dental Practice will be travelling ‘en-masse’ to Morocco.

To help treat these gorgeous children. And, to help make a difference.181201653935396_January-9

But, don’t worry. Kate and Lindsey will still be here manning the fort for you.

Did you know, 2016 is:

The 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth?

The 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter?

The 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth?

The 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London?

The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death? And,

The 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings?181201653935396_January-12

Thank you so much for entering our christmas raffle. You raised a total of 696 pounds. All of which went to ‘Crisis’. Here’s a letter we recently received from them…

For all your support, thank you. And once again, Happy New Year.



181201653935396_January-16Many congratulations to our lucky winner

For all your support, thank you. And once again, Happy New

Welcome to this Christmas edition of our newsletter

181201653944533_December-1A major drawback of visiting us is having to negotiate our stairs. To all of you for whom walking is a difficulty, we do understand. Which is why we’ve been desperately trying to install a stairlift for the whole of this year. Who would have thought it would be so difficult?

The problem has been getting permission from the owners of our building – necessitating a structural survey. And, being a listed building, we also need permission from the council. Including, amongst other things, a detailed scaled drawing of the planned stairlift! So far, we have submitted the info required and are now waiting on a decision.

I am really sorry for the delay. Just don’t be surprised if you find me using it.

Jaspal Sandhu

“I was really impressed at my visit yesterday. The care, respect and kindness I was shown was wonderful not only by the dentist but reception staff too. Never have I experienced such treatment before and I will definitely be informing all my friends”

Thank you Mrs G

‘CRISIS’ at Christmas

181201653944533_December-8This Christmas, our practice will be supporting Crisis as our chosen charity by means of a raffle.

Tickets are just one pound and the lucky winner will receive this Christmas hamper from Marks and Spencer worth £100.

The lucky winner will be announced on Monday the 21st of December. And all proceeds will go directly to ‘Crisis’.

Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time of year for a person cut off from their family and home.

Crisis provide companionship and support to tackle loneliness and isolation, and help people take their first steps out of homelessness. To find out more about what they do, click here.

It’s our hope that, with your help, we can help them make a difference.


Murphy’s Law states that:

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong and at the worst possible moment.”

In the past, we’ve found that this is especially the case at Christmas. Hopefully, we won’t need to see you for the wrong reasons. But, just in case, we will be open on all non bank-holiday days as

shown below:

Thursday 24th December 8.00 – 1.00pm

Friday 25th December Closed

Monday 28th December Closed

Tuesday 29th December 8.00- 5.30pm

Wednesday 30th December 8.00 – 4.00pm

Thursday 31st December 8.00 – 1.00pm

Friday 1st January Closed

Saturday 2nd January 8.00 – 1.00pm

However, should you have any need to contact us out of hours, please make a note of our

emergency number: 07826 000465

You’ll get straight through to Maggie. However, I have allowed her to have some sleep this Christmas. So, if she can’t answer your call, please leave a message and she will get back to you as soon as she’s woken (sobered) up.

Our Christmas hamper,

proudly on display at

reception. It’s currently

under 24 hour surveillance

just in case any of the girls

get too tempted.

181201653944533_December-14Speaking of Maggie. As many of you will know, she is our practice manager, receptionist and nurse amongst other things. Well, on the 7th of December, Maggie reached the ripe age of 50! So, please understand if she seems just a little bit less ebullient than her normal self. And, if you are visiting us soon, feel free to pass on your birthday wishes. She won’t mind being reminded.

Maggie receiving the ‘Working with Jas’ award. I can’t imagine why. Indian Head Massage with Lindsey Many of you will already know Lindsey, one of our hygienists. But did you know that she is also a qualified complimentary therapist? Lindsey has a special interest in treating migraines, headaches, sinus problems and a host of stress-related conditions. Our patients are now beginning to see the benefits of Indian Head Massage which combats stress by rhythmically massaging away the ever increasing tensions and strains of modern day living. It soothes, comforts and rebalances the energy flow to produce a feeling of peace and tranquillity. The therapy is particularly beneficial either before or after any dental treatment that you may require. Each session lasts 1 hour and costs £45. If you’d like any more info, please give us a call.

181201653944533_December-16“I see Lindsey once a month for an Indian Head Massage. I do a lot of driving with my job and am a bit of a migraine sufferer. Lindsey’s treatment really helps with the stress and the knots in my neck and shoulders and the migraines are now virtually non-existent! Lindsey makes me feel very relaxed and the treatment is enjoyable especially the scalp massage ” Juliette. “I often arrive for an Indian Head Massage with Lindsey feeling tense and stressed following a hard week at work. I always leave feeling relaxed and lighter. I’d recommend Lindsey’s Indian Head massage to anyone ” Garry.

On a final note, at the end of every year, I ask all the team to nominate that one person who, in their opinion, is worthy of the Team Member of the Year Award. Well, the results are in and the winner was….. Debbie Topley.

Here are some of the comments I received:

She is kind, generous and consistent.

She makes a great friend & colleague.

She always makes time for us and is reliable.

She is marvellous with her patients, dedicated to giving gentle care, and showing great kindness and patience.

She always has time to help, listen and resolve any concerns the rest of the team have.

She is great fun and always appears happy and calm, taking everything in her stride.

Busy as she is, she still finds the time to think of her colleagues.

She’s so supportive as a colleague and friend.

She’s great fun especially after a few Mojito’s!

She is an excellent dentist.

And makes fantastic cake!!

For those of you who know Debbie, you’ll know exactly how true these comments are. Well deserved Debbie.

181201653944533_December-18Lastly, we would like to thank you all for your continued support and faith in us and our practice. We really do appreciate it and we will do our best to make sure that we continue to earn it in 2016.

Merry Christmas and the very best of wishes for the New Year.

Thank you.

The Chernobyl Children 2015

Anastasia, or Nastia for short, is 11 years old and doesn’t have toothache. In fact, she doesn’t even have a single filling.

During our time caring for the Chernobyl Children, we are so used to dealing with pain and high levels of decay that we have become conditioned to it.

Nastia is the exception. We were told that both of her parents are dentists.

The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line ( CCLL ) is a children’s charity, founded in 1991. To date, it has helped over 46,000 children.

The Chernobyl Children 2015Their main aims are:

•     To bring child victims of the Chernobyl disaster to the UK for recuperative breaks of four weeks every year.

•     To provide on-going supplies of multi-vitamins and basic healthcare products to the children on their return (thousands of tonnes in the last 9 years).

•     To help children too sick to travel by providing chemotherapy medicines to Children’s Cancer Hospitals in Minsk, Gomel and other regions.

Most of their efforts are focussed in Belarus, which received over 70% of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in April 1986. As a result, thousands are born every year or go on to develop thyroid cancer, bone cancer and leukaemia.

The Chernobyl Children 2015To this day, nearly thirty years later, the local hospitals are overflowing with newly reported cases of thyroid cancer.

The help offered by the CCLL is invaluable. Not just for the children, but for their parents as well. Many of whom were forced to re-house following the disaster. Thus losing their lands that they once farmed. Many of these parents are still unemployed.

Jules, making dentistry fun.

When I first heard about the work of the CCLL, I approached them to offer the services of our practice for their children. We were fortunate enough to be accepted and it was in the year 2013 that our joint alliance began.

One that our practice is proud to continue.

With their ongoing health concerns, coupled with the poor economy, it is little wonder that these childrens’ dental health has become overlooked. So many of their teeth are rotten and most of them have toothache.

This year, Dima is the most nervous of all the children this year. And he has toothache.

The Chernobyl Children 2015Despite that, when told that he would be visiting the dentist, Dima apparently replied that he would rather go back home to Russia.

Access to a dentist is not easy for most of these children. Dima, I noticed, had been seen by a dentist before.

“He comes from a poor family. And the only access is at a local hospital.”Lesley, one of the organisers, had informed me.

I wondered if Dima’s reluctance to be seen today was a result of his previous experiences. But, despite his obvious anxiety, he did eventually let me take a look in his mouth. Many of his teeth were decayed.

So much decay in a 9 year old.

After a lot of persuasion, and with the help of Russlana our translator, we manage to fill several of Dima’s teeth. He was very nervous. But he was also very brave.


Dima, after we had treated his teeth.

Our time with these children is limited. In the four weeks that they spend here in the UK, we have just one day to try to get them out of pain. But we also try to instil in them the importance of good oral hygiene in an attempt to hopefully prevent further decay in the future.

But, these children are faced with the very real prospects of developing so many life threatening conditions. And we have to accept that that looking after their teeth isn’t going to rank very highly on their list of priorities.

Nevertheless, it won’t stop us trying. And we hope to see them or their kin
The Chernobyl Children 2015

next year.