Sweet tooth? How to minimize sugar damage

We all love a sweet treat on occasions but is there anyway to eat chocolates without risking cavities? The Smilepod team in Holborn have prepared their best tips on how to reduce sugar damage to your teeth.

1. Minimize frequency.

Its never about the quantity with sugar its all about the frequency. Dentist Zahra  Fernandes comments “If you are going to have a treat it is far better to have a dessert than eat a bag of sweets throughout the day”

2. Keep your coffee sugar free!

Dentist Ana Polidoro says, clients can be very unaware of the sugar in teas coffees and fizzy drinks. “If you have sugar in your coffee you will likely be sipping this for long periods of time causing prolonged sugar exposure. It’s far better to have tea or coffee without sugar. Try it skipping the sugar for a few weeks and see if you can give it up.”

3. Alcohol in moderation

All of our dental team agree alcohol in moderation is key for a healthy mouth.

Alcohol, such as wine, contains both sugar and is highly acidic. In an ideal world we would all limit consumption. Enjoying alcoholic beverages in moderation shouldn’t cause dental damage but too much alcohol can lead to dental damage.

 4. Good oral hygiene

Hygienist Charlotte Wong says while its best to avoid too much sugar in your diet for a number of reasons, if you have good oral hygiene you are far less prone to cavities and dental problems. For the best possible oral hygiene use an electric toothbrush twice a day for at least two minutes. You also have to floss! As long as you floss on a daily basis you are helping reduce the risk of gum disease. If you floss daily you can avoid so many problems. Finally come and see your hygienist regularly!

5.  Mouthwash

Dental Nurse Andrea says if you are going to treat yourself to chocolate then you can minimize damage afterward by rinsing your mouth out. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend the right mouthwash as some are more effective than others. We recommend using an alcohol free version.

6. Use a straw

If you are drinking very sweet drinks you can help to minimize damage by using an environmentally friendly straw. Don’t rest the straw against your teeth it needs to be positioned towards the back of your mouth. Using a straw can help avid cavities and decay.

Dental Extractions

Dr Juliana Hughes explains dental extractions.

What is a dental extraction?

A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. It can be a simple or surgical procedure.

Why would you need to remove a tooth?

There are many reasons you might have a extract a tooth. If your tooth becomes broken or damaged by decay and is left untreated restoration might not be possible.

If you have a tooth that is heavily decayed, is causing extreme pain or has a cyst or infection extracting the tooth might be the best option. Your dentist will always talk through all the options and advise the best treatment and prognosis.

Before dental extraction

Before you have a tooth removed a radiograph will be taken to assess roots and how heavily damaged/decayed the tooth is. This will help the dentist to know how complicated the extraction is and if restoration is possible. We will take full medical history to ensure that you are completely safe to have the treatment in our studios


What is the difference between simple and surgical?

A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator then an instrument called forceps is used to remove the tooth.

• A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure and usually done by an oral surgeon.


The patient can expect some discomfort after even simple extractions. Usually it is mild.
Your dentist will give you detailed instructions on what to do after the procedure, such as:

  • The use of anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen can greatly decrease pain after a tooth extraction.
  • Application of ice packs on the face to reduce swelling.
  • Eat soft and cold food for a few days.
  • Gentle rinse with warm salt water, started 24 hours after the surgery can help with the healing.
  • No smoking for 24 to 72 hours (smoking could cause dry socket, see below).
  • No spitting out or vigorous rinse.

Possible risks of dental extraction

Whilst there usually is nothing to worry about extracting a tooth has some risks. Your dentist will explain all of these to you and give advice to minimise risks and discomfort.

Dry Socket: this occurs when a blood clot does not form in the hole or the blood clot beaks off or breaks down too early (usually happens when patient smokes on the first few days after the procedure).

Infection, bleeding, swelling, bruising.

Accidental damage to the inferior alveolar nerve causing long lasting numbness in the lower lip and chin. This is rare and complete healing may take three to six months. The numbness may be permanent but this is very uncommon.

The fracture of the tooth/root during the procedure requiring subsequent surgical procedure.

Book to see Dr Juliana Hughes


Spanish Speaking Dentist

Spanish Dentysta – Dr Claudia Calleja

Holborn orthodontics

Probably, going to the dentist is not one of your favourite activities. And even less when you have to speak another language. We all have our own customs and in Spain we are not different. When we talk about dentist we like going back home as we know someone we trust. However, Smilepod speaks your language so you do not need to go back to Spain to have your dental treatment done. You have all you need at Smilepod, from General Dentistry to Orthodontic or cosmetic treatments.

We think that communication, feeling comfortable at the dentist and being able to explain with confidence your expectations of the dental treatment or what your problems are, are essential.

Smilepod speaks Spanish too, so don’t doubt in booking an appointment with us for that “feel-at-home” feeling again when you are at the dentist. If you are looking for a Spanish dentist, try Smilepod!

Dr Claudia Calleja works in London Holborn and Soho.

Sabemos que ir al dentista, probablemente no es uno de tus hobbies favoritos. Y menos aún cuando tienes que hablar otro idioma. Todos tenemos nuestras propias costumbres y en España no somos diferentes. Cuando hablamos del dentista solemos volver a casa porque conocemos a profesionales en los que confiar. Sin embargo, Smilepod habla tu idioma, y por eso no necesitas volver a España si necesitas tener algún tratamiento dental. En Smilepod tienes todo lo que necesitas, desde Odontología General a Ortodoncia o tratamientos estéticos. Creemos que una buena comunicación, sentirte agusto en el dentista y ser capaz de explicar con claridad que buscas de tu tratamiento dental o que problema tienes es esencial.

Smilepod también habla español, no dudes en reservar tu cita con nosotros para sentirte de nuevo “ como en casa” incluso en el dentista. Si estas buscando un dentista español, ¡prueba Smilepod!

Estamos en Londres, Smilepod Holborn y Soho.

Dr Claudia Calleja

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Book Dr Claudia®

Smilepod también habla español, no dudes en reservar tu cita con nosotros para sentirte de nuevo “ como en casa” incluso en el dentista. Si estas buscando un dentista español, ¡prueba Claudia!

50 Years of Dental Implants?

Exactly 50 years ago, In 1965, a Swedish physician and research professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, after years of research and studies, placed the first titanium dental implant into a human volunteer.

Thanks to his enormous contribution to the field he was touted as the ‘father of modern dental implantology’ and his work changed lives of millions of people around the world.

What exactly is an implant? It is a piece of metal (titanium or Trabecular Metal) which is placed in a jaw to imitate the root of a missing tooth. At the end of it, there is a screw-like abutment to which a crown can be attached.


During the last fifty years not only the methods and materials used in implantology, but also our approach to dental implant has evolved. Nowadays, from the bioengineering point of view implant is the most advanced method of replacing a missing tooth, and from the patient point of view – considering its success rates and minimal aftercare required – it is the most convenient solution.

However, not only due to costs involved, but also because of people’s fear of having a ‘foreign object’ planted in their bodies, it is estimated that only 20 per cent of people with missing teeth use implants.

But, despite their wide use and popularity in modern dentistry, implants are not a modern invention at all. There is archaeological evidence that in ancient China people were using carved bamboo pegs tapped into the bone to replace missing teeth 4000 years ago. Similarly 2000 years ago ancient Egyptians have been using tooth-shaped pegs made of precious metals or ivory.

Some Egyptian mummies were also found to have transplanted human teeth! Well, it is always been the case: people with big money could afford anything.

In 1931 American explorer Wilson Popenoe and his wife were working at archeological site in Honduras, dated back to 600 AD. There they found the lower mandible of a young Mayan woman, with three missing incisors replaced by pieces of tooth-shaped. Bone growth around two of the implants indicated that they were functional as well as aesthetic.

So obviously, dental implants per se are not an invention of the XX century. But we are rather glad that precious metals replaced bamboo shoots

Book an appointment at smilepod

Dental decay and your teeth

Tooth decay is one of the most common problems that dentists see. Dental or tooth decay occurs when the acid in your mouth begin to dissolve your enamel. If left untreated this can leave to cavities.

Our friendly dentist are always happy to help you with tips and tips to better oral hygiene to prevent dental decay.

10 things you didn’t know about tooth decay

1) It is one of the most common health problems in the UK.

2) It’s estimated that around one in every three adults in England have tooth decay.

3) There are no symptoms in the early stages of tooth decay.

4) A survey of five year olds identified that more than one in four had some level of tooth decay.

5) It’s caused when acids in your mouth dissolve your teeth’s outer layers

6) Later symptoms include toothache, grey or black spots appearing on your teeth and bad breath.

7) If left untreated, it can lead to cavities, gum disease and even losing a tooth.

8) Toothy decay is much easier to treat in its early stages.

9) Snacking between meals on sugary and acidic food and drinks can increase the risk of decay.

10) The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.


Even if you don’t have any visible problems with your teeth, it is still important to see your Smilepod dentist regularly so that they can check for any signs of decay. It is much easier to treat tooth decay when caught early on, and is often symptomless until it has reached an advanced stage. Book your appointment at anyone of our six Central London studios so we can keep your teeth healthy, clean and protected.


Book an appointment at smilepod

Crowns Explained

How Do Crowns Work? 

A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.


At Smilepod we may recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining]
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

How many appointments will you need?

Fitting a crown requires at least two appointments. During your first visit, the tooth is prepared for the crown, an impression or mould is made of the tooth, and a temporary crown is placed over the prepared tooth. At the subsequent visit, the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is fitted and adjusted and cemented into place.

How long does a crown last?

Predicting the life expectancy of a dental crown is extremely challenging. Many factors affect their longevity: your oral hygiene, how often you visit the dentist, the technique used by the dentist, and the biting force applied to the dental crown. Research has shown that the average success rate of a dental crown is between 5 and 10 years. However, I have seen countless crowns last more than 20 years .

If you would like to know a bit more about having a crown done we invite you to come to see us at Smilepod and we can explain any doubts you may have in a relaxed, personal and friendly environment.

Book an appointment at smilepod

Signs of gum disease

Gum disease and the warning signs
London Dentist Dr Gino Castro discusses warning signs and symptoms of gum disease. If you are concerned about gum disease Gino is available to see you in canary Wharf and Soho

If you have any questions, contact Gino.

Dr Gino Castro

Worried about bleeding gums and infection?

What is gum disease? Gum disease is when the gums bleed, become swollen and sore or are infected. It’s a very common condition and it is estimated that half the adult population has some degree of gum disease. Most people experience it at least once in their lives.

Gum disease is a serious condition because, if left untreated, it can develop into its more severe form, periodontitis. It affects the tissue that supports teeth and hold them in place. If periodontitis is not treated, the bone in your jaw can decay and small spaces can open up between the gums and teeth. Teeth then can become loose and may eventually fall out.

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The initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis are red and swollen gums that usually bleed after brushing or flossing your teeth. If it develops into periodontitis, you may also experience symptoms such as a bad taste in your mouth, loose teeth (which can make eating difficult) and gum abscesses (collections of pus under your gums).

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains harmful bacteria. If you do not remove plaque from your teeth by brushing and flossing them, it will build up and irritate your gums, leading to inflammation and soreness. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease. You are more at risk of developing gingivitis and periodontitis if you smoke, have diabetes or have a weakened immune system (for example, due to conditions such as HIV, or certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy).

teeth decay blog
Mild cases of gum disease can usually be treated or ‘reversed’ by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth using an effective technique at least twice a day and flossing daily. If necessary, your dentist will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They will also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future. If you have developed periodontitis, your dentist may need to refer you to see a specialist in Periodontics to treat the condition.

Healthy gums should be pink, firm and keep your teeth securely in place. Your gums should not bleed when you touch or brush them. Gum disease is not always painful and you may not be aware that you have it. This is why it is important to have regular dental check-ups. You should make an appointment to see your dentist if your gums are painful, inflamed or if they bleed when you brush your teeth.

Signs of gum disease to be aware of:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing
  • Blood in your saliva
  • Inflamed, red, or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Wobbly or loose teeth
  • Abscessed teeth

If you are experiencing bleeding gums and need an emergency appointment click here to see the next available slots in our diary.  

Book Dr Gino Castro

The Importance of a check-up

London dentist Dr Marcio Barcala talks about the importance of the dental examination or “check-up.” A dental examination or check-up at Smilepod is a full dental examination, including X-rays, if necessary.
Dr Marcio Holborn dentist
A check-up establishes if there is the need for dental treatment and also covers a number of other important areas, some of which are vital to your long term overall health.

First, your dentist will assess your teeth for decay. They will also be looking for evidence of erosion and attrition caused by diet or grinding, or a combination of the both. Your dentist will also offer advice on how to protect your teeth from grinding, and how you can improve your oral health through modifying how and what you eat.

Your dentist will also check for signs of gum recession or gum disease, as this can indicate that you may need to modify your brushing technique. The use of manual and electric toothbrushes, and specific interdental cleaning, will be discussed. With so many different dental products available on the market, it’s an opportunity to find out which ones will suit you best.


The health of your mouth reflects the condition of your body as a whole. A dental examination will not only assess the health of your teeth and gums, it will cover a number of wider health conditions that your dentist will look for. Examples of which, range from vitamin deficiency to early signs of cancer.

Regular visits to your dentist will ensure that many health issues can be picked up and dealt with before they become serious.Your teeth also play a vital part in how other see you. Imperfect, stained or crocket teeth may make a poor impression and this can affect your confidence. Your dentist will discuss any aesthetic treatment you may have. This can range from teeth whitening to a full mouth rehabilitation including prostheses (e.g. crowns and veneers) or implants. Even complex cases can be dealt with by the Smilepod Specialists.
A visit to Smilepod will provide you with a friendly service focusing on your health, pain and any aesthetics concerns you might have.

Book Dr Marcio for your check up

Dentista Espanol


Dr Cris Diaz shares her experience of treating clients in their native language

kri diaz staff

We all know we have million things in mind when moving to London and that we have to leave a lot behind to adapt to the new city.Also,many times we may struggle to communicate or to explain things in English if we are not familiar with the vocabulary.

Being Spanish and working in London as a dentist, has given me the chance to help other spaniards to overcome their fear to the dentist and to treat them as if they were in Spain, saving them the inconvenience of having to take holidays to have treatment done back home.


If you have not being to the dentist for a while or you need to have any kind of treatment, from a routine check up to a hygiene session, feel free to contact us.


Todos sabemos la cantidad de cosas que tenemos que dejar atadas al mudarnos a Londres, alquilar piso, encontrar trabajo…y una vez asentado, lo que menos piensas es en ir al dentista.

Otras veces, cuando surge un imprevisto, no nos sentimos comodos al explicar nuestro problema en ingles, ya sea por falta de vocabulario o por la desconfianza hacia el profesional o las leyendas urbanas que nos han contado.

El llevar 8 anos siendo dentista en Londres me ha brindado la oportunidad de tratar a muchos espanoles en casos de urgencia y a dar esa confianza que no tenemos al llegar aqui a la hora de cuidarnos la boca. Tambien he evitado el tener que coger vacaciones y volar a Espana para someterse a un tratamiento dental.

Bien si no has ido al dentista en mucho tiempo o necesitas cualquier tratamiento, desde un examen rutinario hasta una limpieza, no dudes en ponerte en copntacto con nosotros.

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Book Dr Cris Diaz

Dental Implants care

Every patient with dental implants will require a lifetime of careful evaluations and maintenance to ensure implant health and longevity. Once a patient receives an implant, the single most important long-term determinant for implant success is diligent oral hygiene and home care by the patient. The dental professional plays a crucial role in the survival of implants in any practice.

We at Smilepod offer professional Hygiene cleaning for people with implants.

Important Facts:

After osseo integration of the implants has been confirmed and the final prosthesis or restoration is complete, the patient is largely responsible for the success of an implant and needs to understand the importance of proper in-surgery implant maintenance appointments every three months for the first year to help prevent infection or failure of the implant. After one year a mature level of bone surrounds the implant, the interval between maintenance visits can be less. The Dentists at Smilepod Soho will be able to advice on the frequency based on the patient’s general health, assessment of the implant, and home care.

The dental professionals working at Smilepod play a key role in the success of dental implants for the patients by providing the education, assessment, safe implant maintenance and home-care recommendations.

Implant Instrumentation and Debridement

Removal of deposits on the implant should be accomplished with special instruments that are implant-safe, that are unable to scratch the softer titanium implant surface. Instruments not recommended include stainless steel curettes or standard ultrasonic and sonic instruments. Stainless steel instruments, standard ultrasonic and sonic instrumentation have demonstrated damage to the titanium implant abutment.

The special type of implant scalers are available at the Smilepod Soho studio for a safe and professional implant debridement.

A rubber cup can be used to polish the implant surface with a nonabrasive toothpaste or fine polishing paste.

Patients with dental implants and periodontal concerns often need more frequent appointments to maintain oral health. Implant patients are typically scheduled for 3-4 month recare intervals during the first year and every 6 months after that.

Book an appointment at smilepod

Bruxism: Signs and Symptoms

Do you sometimes find yourself waking up with a headache, even after a good night’s sleep? Or maybe you jaw hurts in the morning and you have no idea why? If so, you may be suffering from bruxism which is the grinding and clenching of teeth. Most of the times it occurs at night during sleep, therefore most people suffering from it are totally unaware of their habit until they start to feel some very unpleasant symptoms.

Is bruxism dangerous?

It is very important to know that during grinding the forces applied on your teeth are about 90 times higher than during normal chewing, therefore bruxism can cause teeth to become painful or loose, and sometimes parts of the teeth are literally chip or crumble away. Eventually, bruxism can destroy the bone and gum tissues surrounding the tooth. It can also lead to problems involving the jaw joint, most commonly the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

How do I know if I have bruxism?

Because for most people bruxism is an unconscious habit, they may not even realize they’re doing it until e.g. a relative points out to them that they make a grinding sound while sleeping. For others, a routine dental check-up is when a dentist discovers their teeth are worn or their tooth enamel is fractured.

Other potential signs of bruxism include aching of the face, head and neck.

Your dentist can make an accurate diagnosis and determine if the source of facial pain is caused by bruxism.

How is bruxism treated?

Out of many different causes of bruxism, stress is the most common one. The appropriate treatment for you will depend on what is causing the problem. By asking careful questions and thoroughly examining your teeth, your dentist can help you determine the potential reason of your bruxism.

Based on the amount of tooth damage and its likely cause, your dentist may suggest:

  • Wearing an appliance while sleeping. Custom-made by your dentist to fit your teeth, the appliance slips over the upper teeth and protects them from grinding against the lower teeth. While an appliance is a good way to manage bruxism, it is not a cure.
  • Finding ways to relax. Because everyday stress seems to be a major cause of bruxism, anything that reduces stress can help-listening to music, reading a book, taking a walk or a bath. It may help to seek counselling to learn effective ways for handling stressful situations. Also, applying a warm, wet washcloth to the side of your face can help relax muscles sore from clenching.
  • Reducing the “high spots” of one or more teeth to even your bite. An abnormal bite, one in which teeth do not fit well together, may also be corrected with new fillings, crowns or orthodontics.

Book an appointment at smilepod

Teeth grinding

Teeth Grinding – Everything you need to know about bruxism

Dr Veronica De Zan



City of London Dentist Dr Veronica De Zan talks about teeth grinding and mouthguards.

If you have any questions you can contact Veronica.

Stressed at work? City life taking its toll? Do you wake up with a sore head and achy jaw?

You may be one of many people who are grinding their teeth. This is a common problem caused by stress. In order to relieve your symptoms and protect your teeth you might be in need of a mouthguard or nightguard.

Pop into Smilepod and book a consultation with myself or one of the other friendly and experienced dentists who will be happy to discuss solutions with you. I have detailed a few of the symptoms to look out for – see if any of this sounds like you.

Mouthguards for oral medicine purposes:

Some people have a habit of grinding their teeth during sleep. This is called bruxism. Most people are not aware of their bruxism. Only an estimated 5% go on to develop symptoms, such as jaw pain and headaches which require prompt treatment. A sleeping partner or parent may pick up on the behaviour first, although sufferers may notice pain symptoms without understanding the cause.

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Clients may suffer a whole range of symptoms including: anxiety, stress and tension, earache, headaches or migraines, chipped or broken teeth, gum recession, neck pain and, most commonly, a sore or painful jaw. If you have any of these symptoms, come and see me and I can look at making you a custom-made mouthguard or nightguard.

To create your guard all we need to do is to take a mould for a bite plate, sometimes known as a mouth splint. Although wearing a guard will not stop you from grinding your teeth, it will help relieve all kinds of symptoms and prevent temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ) as well as unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth.

Researchers classify bruxism as “a habitual behaviour and sleep disorder.” The effects of bruxism can be easily identified by your dentist. What they will see is exposed dentin and pulp, which are normally hidden by tooth enamel.

Over time, if left untreated, the dental damage will increase. If enough enamel becomes abraded, the softer dentin will be exposed, increasing the possibility of dental decay and tooth fracture.

Sadly, despite being treatable, bruxism is the leading cause of occlusal trauma and a significant cause of tooth loss and gum recession. The causes of bruxism can be quite varied, ranging from allergic reactions or medical ailments, to trauma (such as a car crash), to a period of unusual stress. Once bruxism becomes a habit, early intervention by a dentist is strongly advisable.

Should you have any questions, get in touch with any of our studio managers or myself.


Dr Veronica De Zan, Dentist at Smilepod Bank (located near to Monument, Aldgate and Bank Underground and a short walk from Fenchurch street) discusses the implications of teeth grinding and the best treatment plans.

Book an appointment with Dr De Zan

Root canal treatment London

Root canal treatment at Smilepod Moorgate, in the heart of the City

If you have been told you need root canal treatment it is important to understand what has caused this.

Here at Smilepod Moorgate in the heart of the City of London, we have a talented expert in endocare who can tell you everything you need to know about root canals including causes, prevention and treatment options. Dr Daiva Pitkauskiene is our in-house specialist in endocare and she will be happy to talk through any concerns you might have regarding your root canal treatment in our central London location.

Why do I need root canal treatment?

You will need root canal treatment if the soft tissue at the centre of your tooth (known as pulp) has become damaged.

Your tooth is made up of: the outer enamel, a hard layer called dentine and (right at the centre) a soft tissue known as pulp. This pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels and tissue. When your tooth is growing, pulp is what helps to nourish the root.

Root Canal London

If you have been told you need root canal treatment this will be because the pulp within your tooth has become infected or inflamed.

If this pulp infection is left untreated the tooth can become painful and you might be at risk of losing your tooth.

Root canal treatment will have been recommended if your dentist has found any damage or an infection after taking an x-ray of your teeth.

If you have more questions about why you need root canal treatment contact us here. Our endocare specialist is available for consultations and appointments in our central London Dental Studio on Wednesdays.

Book an appointment at smilepod