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Understanding MIH: Guide for Parents

What is Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH)?
MIH is a dental condition affecting the first permanent molars (the first big back teeth that appear in a child’s mouth) and often the incisors (the front teeth). It causes these teeth to have enamel (the tooth’s outer layer) that is weaker than normal. This enamel doesn’t develop properly, which can make the teeth more susceptible to decay, sensitivity, and even breakage.

What causes MIH?
The exact cause of MIH is not fully understood, but the latest evidence shows there are strong genetic factors involved. Previous research shows alternative possible factors include:

  • Early childhood illnesses, such as high fevers or respiratory conditions
  • Preterm birth or birth complications
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Environmental factors

How is MIH identified?
MIH is often identified by the appearance of the enamel, which can look different from normal, healthy enamel. You might notice:

  • White, yellow, or brown discolouration on the teeth
  • Enamel that appears translucent
  • Teeth that seem to chip or break easily

Dentists can usually spot these signs during a routine dental check-up.

What problems can MIH cause?
Teeth affected by MIH are more prone to:

  • Dental decay, because the enamel is weaker and more porous
  • Sensitivity, making it uncomfortable to consume hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks
  • Aesthetic concerns, due to discolouration and shape changes

How is MIH treated?
Treatment for MIH varies depending on the severity and symptoms. Options include:

  • Application of fluoride varnish or other remineralising agents to help strengthen the enamel
  • Placement of dental sealants to protect the surface from decay
  • Using composite resins or crowns to cover affected teeth, improving strength and appearance
  • In severe cases, extraction may be considered if the tooth is extensively damaged and causing significant problems

What can you do as a parent?

  1. Good Dental Hygiene: Encourage regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing to protect your child’s teeth.
  2. Regular Dental Visits: Ensure your child visits the dentist regularly for check-ups. This allows early detection and management of MIH.
  3. Dietary Choices: Limit sugary snacks and acidic drinks, which can further damage weak enamel.

Support for Your Child
Understanding and managing MIH can be challenging, but with proper dental care and preventive measures, your child can maintain a healthy smile. If you have any concerns or notice any changes in your child’s teeth, please do not hesitate to contact our clinic. We are here to support your child’s dental health every step of the way!

Lorna Breakenridge

Dental Nurse

Lorna qualified with an SVQ Level 7 in Dental Nursing from Mentor Training in 2021. Lorna says her favourite aspect of working in dentistry is being able to put people at ease and make them feel comfortable (you’ll definitely have heard her singing along to the radio if you’ve been in surgery with her).

She particularly enjoys working with children and helping them to overcome any fears they may have. In her spare time Lorna enjoys travelling, trying new foods and whilst she won’t admit it, she’s a karaoke queen (her rendition of The real Slim Shady is really something to behold).

She says her greatest achievement to date is passing her driving test at the start of 2023, much to the relief of her parents and Pam who were having to drive her to/from work every day.

Alicia Dillon

Dental Therapist

Alicia’s full bio will be ready shortly!


Hazel Hannigan


Hazel graduated with Honours from Glasgow Dental School in 2010, receiving the Dean Webster and Lord Provost prizes for being the highest performing student in her year. In 2012 she became a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow after completing her MFDS examinations. 

She then spent some time in the public dental services, focussing on the treatment of children, anxious patients and those with additional support needs, before working as a general dental practitioner in practices based in Alexandria and Airdrie.

In July 2016, Hazel and her husband, Pearse, established Hannigan Dental Care, making the leap from associates to principal dentists. Hazel has lots of experience treating anxious patients, having logged hundreds of hours of sedation over her career, but she says she especially enjoys treating children, even more so since becoming a mum herself.

She believes forging good relationships with children as early as possible helps prevent dental anxieties ever developing and feels very lucky to be in a position where she can see families regularly and watch children grow and develop year on year. Out with clinical dentistry, Hazel is the vice chair of the Lanarkshire Local Dental Committee, and also holds seats on Lanarkshire’s GP Subcommittee and Area Dental Advisory Committee, groups which represent NHS dentists in communications with the health board and Scottish Government. Hazel’s hobbies include baking, reading and walking and one day she hopes to have some free time to actually practice them again.


John McCall


John qualified in Dentistry from the University of Glasgow with Commendation in 2018. His professional journey encompasses a broad spectrum of training within General Dental Practices, hospitals, and the Public Dental Service. 

These training roles included working in Paediatric Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Maxillofacial Surgery. This diverse expertise enables him to deliver unparalleled care to his patients.

Since his graduation, John has been dedicated to treating anxious paediatric patients, leveraging advanced technologies such as “The Wand” for pain-free anaesthesia. His proficiency in this area has led him to provide valuable training and courses to both General Dental Practices and the Public Dental Service. Furthermore, for the past five years, John has been practicing Inhalation Sedation, contributing to his role as a mentor in sedation training for dental professionals.

His academic achievements include Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians Glasgow and a Postgraduate Certificate in Dental Education. Currently, John serves as an Honorary Clinical Teacher in Paediatric Dentistry at the University of Glasgow, where he passionately guides future dentists in compassionate patient care. His contributions to dental education are complemented by his research published in the European Journal of Dental Education.

Beyond his professional life, John is a former elite track and field sprint hurdler and sprinter, having proudly represented and captained Scotland in international competitions and still holds Scottish and Celtic records over sprint hurdles. Although retired from competitive sports, he remains active, undertaking challenges for charity, such as the Ultra Marathon Spartan Race, and is preparing for the 70.3 Ironman triathlon in June 2024.