IN LOVING MEMORY
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Lindsey Musing, our dental hygienist for two years, sadly passed away on Friday 27th of January, after a short fight with pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed in late December she spent her final weeks in the company of her family and friends in relative peace and comfort. We are all devastated by the news and can find little solace at this most tragic time. Lindsey was an integral member of our team, a dedicated person to her job and patients, and we will all miss her greatly.
Her children, Louisa and Max, have organised a funeral service to be held at St Swithun’s Church in East Grinstead on the 24th February at 11:00 am, followed by a reception with light refreshments. The venue is:
Java and Jazz
Anyone who wishes to pay their respects is very welcome to attend.
“Never Can Say Goodbye”
Although I only knew you for a few years, I always felt I’d known you for years and years. I felt so at ease in your company. You were so easy to talk to and a good listener.
So patient and calm. A gentle nature, a big heart and a radiant soul. I loved working along side you as a fellow hygienist, and enjoyed our chats on our country walks together. We had a common love of ” fresh air” and the simple things in life.
You fitted into our team so easily, it felt like you’d always been part of it for many years. We were all so sad that you lost your battle with cancer so suddenly. It seems so unfair. You will be greatly missed.
I will always remember you when I sit on our bench at lunchtime in the church gardens in the summer. I will picture your face and hear your voice in my head.
I may never see you again, but I will feel your presence. The warmth of the sun shining on my face, the light breeze cooling my skin and the little robin pecking at my crumbs.
I will know you are there my friend. I’m so very sorry I never got to say goodbye. I’m so sorry you’ll never get to see your children get married and see your grandchildren grow up.
You were taken too soon!!
Just remember, you were loved by so many and I feel privileged to have known you.
Never can say goodbye, so ….. See you around Lins.
“In life you meet people that leave a mark on you. I have had the privilege of knowing Lindsey as a friend and colleague for about 10 years.
She had an innate calmness and serenity that made your blood pressure drop just being in her presence!
She had a great sense of humour and could always see the positive in everything and everyone.
She was dedicated and c o n s c i e n t i o u s professionally.
That’s why she had so many loyal patients.
Her dedication and love could be seen by how proud she was of her children Louisa and Max, who are a credit to her Losing her so suddenly has left us all shocked and deeply saddened as we’ll miss her. Our loss is also our gain as we had the privilege of having her in our lives.
Rest in peace Lindsey”.
When Lindsey first approached me about joining our practice, we didn’t really need another hygienist. But, after having spoken to her for just a short while, I quickly realised that we did need a ‘Lindsey’.
Of her many virtues, I was struck by her incredibly calming influence. She never rushed, be it with the spoken word or in her actions. Perhaps this was a reflection of her training in the martial arts? I don’t know. But, what I do know is that speaking with Lindsey felt like time itself had slowed down.
Lindsey was, in so many ways, my inspiration. She was my rock. Her optimism and courage never wavered, even during the peak of her illness.
Meeting Lindsey was, for our practice and myself, one of life’s truly serendipitous moments. And, despite the fact that I only knew her for a relatively short while, it was long enough to make a difference.
Rest in peace Lins.
I think it’s only fitting that I leave the last words to Lindsey (from a recent email)
Happy New Year to you, I hope you had a wonderful festive period.
I didn’t feel able to communicate over Christmas, I was warmly cocooned in a bubble of Christmas lights, lovely food smells, games,
laughter (which we did manage) and important family time.
I believe you know of the battle I have ahead of me. I will muster all the strength I have to beat this nasty thing inside me, and must
focus on myself for the immediate time.
I am devastated for my patients who followed me from St. James, they are more like friends after so long, and I know it isn’t anyone’s
fault but I feel bad for letting the practice down.
As you can see, our results for December do not
make for pleasant reading. I won’t offer any excuses,
but I do apologise, and I promise that we will make
every attempt to improve over the year.
As you may know, Lindsey, our hygienist, hasn’t been well since her hip operation in
November. I know that many of you are missing her terribly and have wished her a
speedy recovery. As do we.
Some of you may have met our latest recruit: Amy Ridpath is a hygienist who joined us only a few weeks ago and is already receiving glowing reviews. In Amy’s words:
I’m Amy and have recently joined the practice as a dental hygienist. I will not only be working with you to help keep your mouth clean and healthy but I will endeavour to provide a pain-free personal experience for all my patients and ensure your hygiene appointment is enjoyable and as stress free as possible.
I live with my husband local to the practice and in my spare time I enjoy exercising, cooking and travelling.
I am looking forward to meeting all my patients and
integrating into what is already a fantastic team at the high street dental practice.”
Thank you for taking part in our prize
Christmas hamper raffle. In total, we
raised £465 for Help for Heroes.
Every month, we make a contribution to a number of world-wide projects via
Buy 1 Give 1. Here’s a summary of where our contributions went for 2016:
• You’ve given 8 nourishing meals to families in need.
• You’ve provided 105 days of access to dental hygiene to people in need .
• You’ve provided 146 square meters of rainforest protection.
• You’ve given 2283 days of access to life-saving clean water to people in Africa.
We couldn’t have done this without support. Thank you helping us to make a
The Dental Mavericks
In 2010, I became aware of the plights of the Berber tribe in Morocco. This is a
community of about 50,000 people spread mostly amongst the Rif and Atlas mountains.
Because of the remoteness of their habitats, and their poverty, the vast majority of them
have never seen a dentist.
For them, particularly the young, dental pain was simply regarded as an unfortunate
symptom of their lifestyle. And, for a community whose sugar intake is very high, this
meant that toothache was a widespread and serious issue. In most cases, painful and
decayed teeth were left to ‘rot’. And, in times of desperation, some resorted to taking out
their own or their childrens’ teeth.
I was one of a group of seven people who decided to try and do something about that. So,
in September of 2010, we ventured forth on our inaugural trip to Morocco. Because of the
difficulties in obtaining the necessary paperwork, our journey wasn’t (and still isn’t) easy.
To be brutally honest, none of us knew if we would be successful.
Thus began the journey of The Dental Mavericks.
Fast forward to today and The Dental Mavericks has become a registered charity,
numbering several dozen volunteers from Europe, America and New Zealand amongst
our group. And we have been able to forge links and friendships with so many people –
from the heads of the communities we visit to the Moroccan minister of health.
As a Dental Maverick, 2016 was a particularly
special one for me. Firstly, back in February, I
was able to take Maggie, Debbie, Cilla and Sophie
from our practice on one of our trips. This was
the first time that anyone else from our practice
has travelled with me. I wanted them to come
with me and experience what I do whenever I
work in Morocco, and why I do it. From the ‘lows’
of seeing so many children in distress, to the
‘highs’ of seeing them smile and being hugged by
them once we’d rid them of pain. Our trips can
often be very daunting for first timers, but I was
really proud of how very well they coped.
Secondly, one of my own children joined me on our last two
trips. And, although she had no previous dental experience, I
hope you’ll forgive me for saying that she shone as my nurse.
Indeed, she’s now looking forward to our next trip this May.
And lastly, we made our first trip to Greece where we visited
several camps in Thessaloniki to care for the Syrian refugees.
I am very pleased to say that this has now become another of
our causes. In fact, we are now returning there every month
to continue our work.
So, why am I telling you this? It is to thank you. Over the years, so many of you have
donated to our cause and without your generous contributions, I doubt if we would have
been able to continue. From its inception, all Dental Mavericks pay for our own travel,
food and living expenses. This means that every penny of your donations go directly
towards where it is most needed:
To help treat the children in the Berber tribes and rid them of dental pain.
On behalf of all the Dental Mavericks and the children of Morocco, thank you.
Word of the month:
Thanks for reading and happy new year.
Thank you all again for taking the time to fill out our surveys. As you can see, the results for November have improved. In fact, they are our best so far, with 3% of you reporting feeling ‘a bit’ during treatment. Most importantly, we didn’t get a report of any ‘ouches’.
However, we can still improve. And, to that end , we have invested in some exciting new technology to hopefully do just that.
‘Aqua Care’ is the latest and most advanced air abrasion units. It can be used to clean cavities and teeth using a fine spray of water and powders. The advantages are:
No Vibration, and
Aqua Care uses powder called ‘Sylc’ which contains Novamin, the same ingredient found in the latest Sensodyne toothpastes. And it has been clinically proven to protect and soothe our teeth. Consequently, it can be used to effectively remove tooth sensitivity.
If you would like to know more, please ask us for details.
This Christmas, we are raffling a hamper worth £100 and all proceeds will go to this very worthy charity.
If you’re passing by, please pop in and help us support ‘Help for Heroes’.
Tickets are £1 each and the lucky winner will be announced on the 19th of December.
She’s done it again
Many thanks to Nikoletta, who has recently had 10 inches of her hair cut off to donate to The Little Princess Trust.
The Dental Mavericks and Health-Point Foundation
Jas has just returned from another trip with his charity, The Dental Mavericks. This time, though, he travelled to Thessaloniki in Greece. Specifically to treat the Syrian refugees in partnership with the Health-Point Foundation charity.
“Mention Greece and you immediately think ‘hot’. Or at least I did. I certainly wasn’t expecting snow, but that’s what we had”.
“It was freezing, and these are the conditions that these poor people are enduring. Mostly with very little clothing and barefoot”.
“We visited three camps, setting up our surgeries in each to treat as many people as we were able. So many were suffering from terrible toothache. And this, on top of all their other woes. It’s so unfair”.
“Entering the camps is a bit daunting at first, because of the high security. And, I was a little concerned. Not least because one of my daughters was with me. But, despite everything, that these people had been through, they were so friendly to us”.
“It was an incredible experience and one that I hope to repeat soon”.
Word of the month:
Our Christmas opening hours:
Saturday 24th December 9am to 12pm
Monday 26th December Closed
Tuesday 27th December Closed
Wednesday 28th December 8am – 5pm
Thursday 29th December 8am – 5pm
Friday 30th December 8am – 5pm
Monday 2nd January Closed
Thanks for reading and we wish you all a very merry Christmas.
The latest results of our ‘pain-free’ survey show that the percentage of ‘ouches’ remains the same at 1% (which amounts to one patient last month). I know we can do better and I promise that we will keep trying.
Our best wishes go to Lindsey, our hygienist, who is presently recovering from a hip operation. Amongst her many talents, Lindsey is also a black belt in Karate so I expect her to be back with us soon.
At a recent practice meeting, Kate and Debbie arranged a Pilates session for our team. It’s much harder than it looks.
The Syrian Refugees
Next month will be another first for the Dental Mavericks. We have been allowed permission to travel to Greece in partnership with The Health – Point Foundation. You can read more about them here.
It is estimated that about 1000 refugees make their way to the shores of Greece every day. And that many of these people – children as well as adults are in need of urgent dental treatment.
Our destination is Thessaloniki, however, we have been forewarned that the Greek military may move the refugees to another area at short notice. So, there are just 3 dentists travelling together with one nurse – my daughter.
During last month’s visit to Morocco, we were able to treat adults as well as children. On previous occasions, we had only been given permission to treat children.
I can’t express how much of a relief this is as many of them travel for several hours on foot to come and see us. And, to turn them away has always been heart breaking. As news of this got out in the mountains, our make-shift clinic was often inundated with people to treat.
On several occasions, we were forced to lock the entrance gates to our clinics because of the rush to be seen.
At 96, this is my oldest patient so far At the week’s end, we had treated over 1000 people. Once again, thank you for all of your support.
To dare is to lose ones footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.
Thanks for reading
TOP SPORTS STARS ENCOURAGED TO BRUSH UP AHEAD OF RIO OLYMPICS
Who’s not been inspired by the Olympians? They certainly are endorsing the Olympic motto: “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”
But, after the London 2012 Olympics, research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that 55 percent of the athletes had tooth decay. And that over 75 percent
of athletes had gum disease. 15 per cent of which was advanced and therefore irreversible.
These figures are surprisingly high.
The cause was found to be their high carbohydrate consumption in the form of energy drinks,
bars and gels. Yes, they do help to maintain their energy levels, however, they are full of sugar
which reduces the mouth’s pH to below 5.5. In other words, our mouths become more acidic.
And it is at this level that the enamel on our teeth starts to dissolve.
Taking these energy supplements occasionally is okay because our saliva quickly dilutes them.
But their sustained use is the cause of tooth decay.
So, with the Rio Olympics well underway, sports men and women are now being reminded to
take extra care of their oral health. The advice, which also applies to all of us who exercise regularly, is:
Try to limit the amount of times you have anything sugary.
Ok, I admit that this isn’t going to be practical for our Olympians.
However, using a straw helps drinks go to the back of the mouth more quickly, limiting the amount of time the sugar will be in contact with teeth.
And, of course, drink lots of water.
DID IT HURT?
For the second consecutive month, out of the 162 surveys that we received, there were no
‘ouches’ in July. And that’s a positive. Still not good enough I admit and I promise that we will continue to aim for 100 per cent ‘pain free’.
And, in an effort to achieve that, we are discussing these results weekly within our team to see exactly how we can improve.
One intriguing question: why were there only 162 surveys for the whole month? One obvious answer is that perhaps not everyone had a chance to fill out a survey.
However I have also noticed that, with the exception of check-ups and seeing our hygienists, far fewer of you are in need of any treatment.
The credit here goes to you and our superstar hygienists: Jules, Lindsey and Alex.
Nikoletta brought her beautiful daughter, Evi, into the practice recently for a bit of ‘work experience’.
Recently, I received this email:
You continue to thrill us with your giving — it’s just wonderful to see. And it’s so
Many congratulations for making it all happen. We are delighted not just to have
you here in B1G1 but to see you creating such a positive impact.
With much gratitude,
The B1G1 Team”
B1G1 is a non-profit organisation with a mission to create a world that’s full of giving. And with their support, our practice makes monthly donations to several charities around the world.
Our practice became a business member of B1G1 in 2011. In fact, we were the first dental practice in the UK to do so.
The graphic on the right shows exactly where our donations have gone.
To date, the total contributions our practice has made are 95,381.
So far, we have:
- Given 86,775 days of access to life-saving clean water to families in Ethiopia.
- Provided 1,001 days of access to personal hygiene to girls in need.
- Given 677 days of access to life-saving clean water to people in Africa.
- Given 520 nourishing meals to families in need.
- Provided 106 days of access to dental hygiene to people in need.
- Provided 93 square meters of rainforest protection.
- Given 14 days of medical support to children in need.
We could not have done this without your support. And, for that, we are so grateful.
Word of the month:
Thanks for reading.
Thank you so much for all your good wishes on our practice reaching its 45 year milestone. Here are some of the lovely messages we received:
“I have been a patient there since 1987 and what has never changed is the quality of the front of house staff. We are always met with a smile a friendly word and patience when I confuse my appointments. Yes new technology is great and Decor certainly improved but it’s that greeting which is so important !”
“Having been a patient of “Malcolm Valentin”, who was great, I was worried when he retired who the replacement was going to be, and the type of dentist they would be, as I had never been worried about going to the dentist during Malcolm’s time. So I was a little nervous on my first check-up with Jas all those years ago when he took over the mantle. I really needn’t have worried, he is an exceptional dentist and if anything he is even gentler than Malcolm was on the odd time I have needed any work doing.
Although I have seen some changes in the team over time it is still, dare I say it, a “pleasure” to go the dentist, even as a start to my working week this week for my checkup.
Congratulations and keep up the good work!”
“Happy Birthday to you. I have been with your practice since about 1988 when we moved down here from Beckenham and it has improved very much indeed. The main difference is the nice friendly atmosphere between all the staff I meet when I’m there. It is an almost pleasant occasion coming to the dentist now and Jas always has time to discuss things and I don’t feel rushed out to make way for the next patient. Well done Jas and the team. I can’t think of any way you could improve at the moment.”
“Many congratulations on reaching the 45th birthday of the practice. I can absolutely say that the treatment and service received today is substantially better than those early years. I have been a patient of the practice for 41 years without a break. I started in 1975 when Malcolm Valentin was my dentist.
I would be interested to know if anybody who still uses the practice at least twice a year has been a patient for longer ? If you can tell me that would be great. Anyway the service received now is very good in my opinion and any visit holds no fear at all !
Congratulations and keep up the good work.”
Again, thank you all for your comments and messages of support. And, if any of you have been with us since we first opened our doors, please do get in touch.
DID IT HURT?
Firstly, thank you to all of you who completed our survey. As you can see, the results for the month of June have improved, with 1% of you reporting feeling an ‘ouch’ during treatment.
However, it’s still too much.
One of our core values is ‘Kaizen’. Or, constant continuous improvement in everything we do.
So, in that spirit, I am still aiming for 100% ‘pain-free’. I know we can keep improving.
Thank you all for your patience and faith in us.
‘SPIT DON’T RINSE’
Following several research studies, this is the advice that we have been giving our patients for the last few years. And it’s nice that the Oral Health Foundation have decided to endorse it.
“Spit don’t rinse” is the message from the Oral Health Foundation.
Says Mhari Coxon, dental hygienist and Trustee of the Oral Health Foundation:
“Rinsing our mouth with water is bad for our teeth as it washes away the protective Fluoride left behind by brushing.
“Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste.
“It greatly helps oral health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.
“By spitting toothpaste out then not rinsing with water it ensures that the fluoride will remain on the teeth and continue to be effective.”
“It may also be surprising to some but using mouthwash directly after brushing is also bad for our teeth as it also rinses away fluoride,” added Ms Coxon.
“If you do like to use mouthwash, try to use it at a separate time to brushing to ensure that you get the full benefit of the fluoride in your toothpaste.”
It’s also important to remember not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after toothbrushing.
Our advice is to use a mouth rinse after lunch. That way, it will be absorbed by the plaque on our teeth and remain for longer in the areas that it’s needed the most.
THE TOP 10 THINGS THAT PUT A SMILE ON OUR FACE
The Oral Health Foundation have gone on a mission to find out what is most likely to put a smile on the faces of the great British public; and what they have found has revealed that what brings us most happiness does not have to cost us anything at all.
Here is a countdown of the top 10 things that bring a smile to our faces:
10. Eating Food
9. Finding money in the street
8. The thought of a lie-in
7. A night out with friends
6. A stroll on the beach
5. Being welcomed home by a pet
4. Hearing our favourite song
3. Looking at family photos
2. Giving or receiving a good hug
1. Hearing our children or grandchildren laugh
Honourable mentions have to go to some of the more unusual answers. Such as getting a ‘like’ on social media and even watching somebody fall over.
The message here is that we can all find a reason to smile at any moment of the day, and being happy doesn’t have to cost us a penny.
A smile is hugely contagious. It often makes others around us smile and improves our mood.
According to research carried out by the University of Technology in Munich, our brain’s circuitry of emotion and happiness is activated when we smile.
Researchers in the UK discovered that one smile can be as pleasurable and stimulating as up to 2000 bars of chocolate. And, that it takes receiving up to £16,000 in cash to generate the same level of brain stimulation as one smile.
Word of the month:
Thanks for reading.