Imagine walking into your child’s room to find a stranger choking your child. Fear, panic and an immediate response would be instant, of course with a heroic end and a safe child. However, it is common to let our children snore, effectively choking, each night without investigation or treatment.

As dentists we are the gateway to the mouth. We see our patients regularly, we monitor their development and we should know the signs of sleep disordered breathing. And when we do, we can make a change in our patients lives.

This episode we have the absolute pleasure of speaking with Dr David McIntosh. David is a paediatric ENT with a special interest in airway, snoring and sleep apnoea. David is a published author on this topic with an excellent book called Snored to Death – I recommend everyone reads this. David runs multiple facebook pages in an attempt to educate and change the old ways of letting our children struggle to breath at night.

This was a monster episode with a ton of information. David was particularly generous with his time and this stretches close to 2hrs! Perhaps digest this one in a few different sittings but i have absolutely no doubt you’ll be engaged and take away a ton of Information.

We chat in depth about

  • Is it ok for a child to snore?
  • How David became an ENT with a special interest in paediatric airway
  • What do dentist need to know about airway to pick this stuff up
  • The deal with tonsillitis and the magic number 
    • Of the cases he sees where tonsillectomy is indicated, 80-90% have not ever had tonsillitis 
    • Size is a big part but not the whole story 
    • Diagnosing in children – the facts 
    • Assesssment of tonsils and their grades
  • How you can approach the airway and tonsil discussion with parents
  • What is the referral pathway once the issue is identified.
  • Not all ENTs are created equal, some have special interests in the ear, others in the airway etc. Do your research to ensure the pt gets appropriate care
  • Should adults snore?
  • Tongue tie, a great framework to help you think about and advise on tongue tie.
    • Physical tongue tie and a functional tongue tie
  • A few questions from our Instagram page and Facebook Group


In this episode we also have the pleasure of kicking of the Prime Head Start Segment. This is a segment proudly brought to you by Prime Practice with a goal to give you small, bite-sized tips on specific topics. We’ll cover business, communication, infection control and more.

I really believe you will benefit from these tips and it’s my pleasure to partner with Prime Practice.

For Dental Head Start listeners, Prime Practice are offering their leading communication course, Primespeak, at 15% off for everyone and a massive 50% off for students and recent graduates. Check out to get your hands on the discount codes. 

Prime Head Start this week with Dr Phillip Palmer, dentist and founder of Prime Practice. Phillip shares his wisdom on “When is the right time to buy a practice“. Always interesting even if this is years ahead of you. Enjoy.

We’re also proudly supported by BOQ Specialist who offer a student banking package. Check that out here

The Dental Head Start Podcast is for students and new graduates. We interview successful dentists and specialists to uncover the tips, tricks and advice to help you transition from dental school to private practice successfully.

If you like this content then I ask just one thing of you; share this with a friend who will benefit from this and help us help more students and new grads!

For every share and tag on social media, we provide dental hygiene to a child for a day. For every listen to the podcast, we provide drinking water to someone for a day. Find out more at

David is a recent graduate dentist working in private practice in regional NSW, Australia. Read more at

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