Ben and Emma White were the first people to introduce “Open Wide” Days to all the young patients at their practice. As an ex teacher Emma felt passionately that children had to have an environment where they could feel at ease and enjoy going to see the dentist. And they achieved it. So much so that the very first year they were on the local radio chatting about the success and rationale behind it.
Many of the young patients are now adults and continue to have a positive attitude to coming to the dentist. Emma can vouch that none of them have dental phobias and they all have learnt extremely important tools about how to look after their teeth and gums for life. There are so many misconceptions about healthy snacks and drinks that nutritional advice is very much part of the service too.
Due to growing statistics about poor dental health in children it is so important that we take action and by taking our “Teeth Academy” to schools so we can help in the crusade against gum disease and tooth decay in young people.
If we don’t already come to your child’s school do ask them to contact us and we’ll arrange a visit.
Note: The Teeth Academy is inclusive to all pupils whether or not they are having “braces” with us.
When Emma left teaching and became a practice manager/owner she became aware of the 4 o’clock every day rush for kids coming in for routine appointments. Suddenly the practice was full of parents and children feeling apprehensive or bored about the prospect of being at the dentist. Not a happy positive environment for anyone.
“My amazing mother never let us miss a dental appointment. It was so important to her that we had good dental health. However, we saw a lot of different dentists and never learnt how to look after our teeth and gums properly. I had my first experience of a hygienist when I became an adult. I hated going to the dentist. There was a time when I had a succession of small fillings during consecutive visits which really upset me as I always cleaned my teeth. It was so unfair. However, I didn’t know how to look after them properly.
When I was 14 I had NHS orthodontics. I had two healthy teeth taken out and had a fixed brace aka “train tracks” for approx two years. Sadly, it had a detrimental effect on my health as I developed TMJ problems (problems causing head and neck pain which meant that I suffered with terrible headaches throughout my GCSE’s and A levels.) and my teeth were pushed back. I no longer had my “fangs” but I still hated my smile.
Luckily, I met a young dentist who has transformed my smile. Lucky me. Ben has sorted out my TMJ problems and I now have a smile that I love. Sadly, I had to have two dental implants to replace the missing teeth which were taken out when I was 14. It still makes me cross even now.
I am determined that children and young people will have a positive relationship with going to the dentist. It is so very important. Hence, that is why I created “Open Wide”. Days totally dedicated to children’s dental health in a fun environment where they can be children”. Emma
Open Wide was created with various themes. Normally, Easter or Halloween (as they tend to take place during Spring and Autumn). A whole day based around children and their dental health. A family run event with our kids helping out too.
The day involves
Dental Health Wise
But don’t take our word for it:
I have 2 sons aged 6 & 9. I first heard about "Open Wide" when my eldest son was 5. We had been to the dentist for a check-up before and he had been very apprehensive. Open Wide sounded like a really fun way to get the children's teeth checked and also for them to learn about healthy teeth and how to look after them.
Open Wide was the opposite to what they had expected. There was a fun quiz about food, a lucky dip, face painting, music and lots of fun craft and activities. When it was their turn to go into the treatment room to learn about teeth hygiene it was explained to them in such a fun and engaging way they were really eager to listen. Ben let the boys hop into the chair where he checked their teeth and let them look at all the instruments. Check-up done, new brushing routine learned and lots of fun had by the boys.
We go every year and they still love it as much. Em and Ben are absolutely devoted to helping children form a positive and healthy relationship to dentistry and also for looking after their teeth. I would have thought it was impossible for a child to get excited about a trip to the dentist. A truly brilliant idea. Clare
Clare’s youngest son enjoying Open Wide
Our children love their dentist! They have helped out at our “Open Wide” days since they were young.
Faith – age 16
Faith had a fixed appliance aka “Train Track” when she was 13. Luckily her teeth were not too crooked. A relatively simple case for Ben.
Faith really didn’t like her smile. It is so lovely to see the transformation both aesthetically and also the confidence her new smile has given her.
Happy confident smiles – We have all had “Braces” courtesy of Ben
Imogen – age 13
Immie pre brace (with her uncle Tim)
Immie is in the process of having Orthodontic treatment. She has a fixed appliance. Immie worries that her teeth are too small. Watch this space to see how her smile is transformed.
Billy – age 9
Billy has very similar teeth to how Emma’s looked when she was younger. He went through a stage when he would do a very strange smile in photos to cover his teeth. Billy is desperate to get his teeth straightened so he will have Orthodontics sometime soon.
Ben is a perfectionist who has a reputation for providing patients with truly beautiful smiles.
Ben qualified from Bristol University in 1997. Ben and Emma opened their dental practice near Southampton, Hampshire in 2001. Ben started placing implants in 2002 and has carried out extensive post graduate training, in 2012 he passed his MSc in Dental Implantology, with distinction.
Ben places on average over 300 implants per year. At present over 35 dentists refer their patients to White Dental for Implant placement and restoration. He provides lectures and training in Dental Implant restoration. Both Ben and Emma provide complementary dental workshops to schools.
Ben has lectured across Europe providing masterclasses and “live surgery” training in “Teeth in a day” implant surgery for dentists wishing to increase their knowledge in this area. White Dental practice in Hamble is now one of the few accredited Anthogyr Campus Education centres on the south coast.
Ben is married to Emma and they have three children, Faith, Immie and Billy. He is a keen skier, sailor and windsurfer and has recently started boxing!
Grace and Alice have been coming to see Ben as patients since they were young. They have both had fixed braces “train tracks” with Ben.
For Grace’s teeth it was a question of straightening them out. Alice’s treatment was more complicated. Her teeth were crooked and over-crowded. The main problem is that one tooth was growing behind her other teeth up in her gums. Ben made space for her teeth to move the tooth forward and then realigned the rest.
Grace and Alice are wonderful young ladies with beautiful confident smiles. Please see our “The Results Speak for Themselves” video to hear how it has given both Grace and Alice more of their identity. Orthodontics are not just about moving teeth they can help to improve young peoples’ self-esteem and improve confidence.
As you can see from the photos they are very pleased with the end results.
Grace and Alice’s beautiful smiles
Amelie’s mother, Natalie, was very concerned about Amelie’s teeth and how they were developing. There seemed to be lots of teeth, not enough space and they were all over the place. Amelie had a fixed appliance “ train tracks”. Toby saw the difference that Amelie’s smile made that he decided to have Orthodontic treatment too! They both have such confident beautiful smiles.
The family lives in Surrey so had to travel for over an hour to have treatment with Ben. It has been a big commitment but one that they were prepared to do and are so delighted with their new smiles. Please watch our video to hear their thoughts in their own words.
Both Toby and Amelie have both performed in many shows in Kingston at The Rose Theatre and are studying at the Brit school in Croyden. Their new smiles have helped them to develop into strong confident young actors.
Amelie as “Gretel” at The Rose Theatre, Kingston
Brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at bedtime. Brushing at bedtime is important as we have less saliva when we are asleep, so the food and plaque won’t naturally be washed away. Two minutes twice a day.
Use fluoride toothpaste, fluoride is a great ingredient in toothpaste that helps prevent holes. Once your permanent teeth start coming through you can also add a fluoride mouthwash, it’s great to do this at a different time to tooth brushing for example after meals, remember that you need to spit it out once you have rinsed with it.
Spend 2 minutes brushing your teeth, either use a tooth brush timer to check or ask mum or dad to set a stop watch on their phone for you. Use the timer for a few days and then test yourself to see how close to two minutes you can get from memory.
Brush all the teeth in an order and brush all surfaces, start at a back corner and brush the front surfaces of the teeth, you can then come back round on the inside surfaces. Finish off by brushing over the biting surfaces of your teeth. Don’t be worried about asking mum or dad to watch you brush and even check afterwards, it can be hard to see inside your own mouth sometimes!
Once your “baby” teeth are replaced by “big” teeth you need to brush the new teeth really well, these teeth need to last you forever and you will find that they do tend to pick up more plaque more quickly especially on the inside surface of your bottom front teeth. This plaque, if left, will go hard and form tartar which you can’t remove with a toothbrush and will need to be removed by a hygienist. To prevent this spend a long time brushing the inside surface of the bottom front teeth, it’s an easy area to miss, if you are using an electric toothbrush you can go back over this area with a manual brush to make sure it is super clean!
Only drink milk or water in between meal times, although sugary drinks taste great, drinking these throughout the day will increase the likelihood of holes developing in your teeth, save them for a special treat or mealtimes.
If you do drink squash with your meals then go for a NO ADDED SUGAR squash.
Try to limit sugar attacks to three times a day, so if you are having something sugary at every meal don’t choose sugary snacks for in between meals, go for healthy, teeth friendly snacks such as cheese, bread sticks, cucumber sticks or carrots, etc watch for hidden sugars in flavoured crisps and fruity yogurts.
Never take a sugary drink to bed with you, if you become thirsty in the night then only sip water as you have less saliva to wash the sugars away so they are more likely to cause holes.
Finally, don’t forget to visit your routine dentist. Regular check-ups are extremely important.
It is important to know that taking care of your teeth will be more difficult once you get braces. Braces have countless tiny spaces to trap food, and this trapped food causes plaque, which can lead to many other dental problems.
Mid treatment - Immie and katie after a school’s ski race
Brushing and Flossing
Careful cleaning is required with braces, because plaque bacteria are easily trapped inside and around them. The following procedure will make daily brushing and flossing both simple and effective.
1. Prepare to brush. Take off elastics and any other removable parts of your orthodontic appliance.
2. Clean your braces. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of each wire down to the bottom. Take your time to ensure that all plaque and debris are removed, and that you work all the way around upper and lower teeth.
3. Brush your teeth. Clean each tooth individually. First, place your brush at a 45-degree angle the gum line, then apply gentle pressure as you move in a circular motion. Do this for about 10 seconds. Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of smaller front teeth.
4. Floss once a day.
5. Rinse and check your teeth. Rinse thoroughly with water or mouth rinse, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror.
If you are what you eat, that's even more true for your teeth and gums. When you drink and eat starchy or sugary foods, you're not only feeding yourself. You're also feeding the germs (bacteria) that can cause tooth decay and gum disease in your mouth.
Plaque is a thin, invisible, sticky film of sticky bacteria and other materials. It covers all the surfaces of all your teeth. When sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, acids form. These acids can attack your teeth for 20 minutes or longer after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth. This leads to tooth decay. The bacteria in plaque also triggers an inflammatory response. This causes the breakdown of the gums, bone, and other supporting structures of your teeth.
A healthy diet is good for your teeth
What you eat and drink can cause tooth decay, so a healthy diet is important for your teeth.
A balanced diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as starchy food, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta (choose wholegrain versions and eat potatoes with their skin where possible).
You should also eat sources of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, beans or other non-dairy sources of protein, and some milk and dairy foods (ideally lower fat options).
Only eat small amounts of food and drinks high in fat and sugar.
Reduce sugar to prevent tooth decay
Limiting the amount of sugar you eat and drink is important to prevent tooth decay
A lot of the sugars we eat and drink are in food and drinks such as:
OMU and the “Teeth Academy” have a chosen charity each year.
This year we are supporting “bridge2aid”. During our complementary workshops we are hoping for donations toward this charity.
Emma is doing a 10 k run to raise money and awareness for bridge2aid.
Please look at this website for further details: