Fighting your fear of the dentist.

The dark, clowns and dentists are some of the top phobias with 15% of people admitting to being scared to go to the dentist.

We know that fears are not always rational ( did you know that it’s possible to have a phobia of bananas? ) but rational or not phobias can affect your life if they aren’t tackled.

At Smilepod Holborn our team have come up with some ideas to help those dental phobic clients relax and beat the fear.

1) Make small steps

For someone who is really scared of the dentist just picking up the phone to make an appointment can be a huge milestone. Try and feel proud of the small steps you take on your journey to conquer dental fear

2) Build it up.

Dentist Zahra Fernades advises clients to take things slowly if they are feeling nervous. She suggests that “ Even if you cant do everything you need at once just get started. Come for a check-up so you know what you need – all that happens is we tell you if treatment is needed. I think some clients are scared we would start drilling but this would never happen! Then come for your dental hygiene which is easy and painless and will leave your smile looking aesthetically better. Then you get used to us and into the habit of coming to the dentist. The environment is what makes people scared but once you are used to it you’ll feel better.

3) Know why you are afraid.

Dentist Ana Polidoro recommends nervous clients think about the root cause of their fear. “What I see as a dentist is whenever you ask why people are scared it is usually due to having a bad experience when they were a child. Once yopu know this I can reassure you. Dentistry has changed so much over the years so your experience won’t be repeated. If you take a chance by coming to us we can make sure you have a positive experience and feel safe – my clients always say it’s much less scary than they expected”

4) Take back control

The fear of the unknown or what is going to happen can be scary for a lot of people. Hygienist Charley Wong says just removing the uncertainty can really help. “With my more nervous clients I always take things really slowly and explain what I am doing and why I am doing it. I also make it clear to my clients that if they need a break at any point they only have to ask. I think clients feel better when they feel like you are working with them. If you understand what is happening it helps anxiety.”

5) Music

Smilepod dentist suggests that for some clients just having the choice of music and a friend with them might help. We can make the experience very personal to each client and do our best to create a relaxed atmosphere.

6) Find the right dentist

Holborn dental nurses Onorina and Andrea suggest clients try and find a dentist  they trust. Onorina says, “Its important to have rapport and once you find the right dentist they will be kind and understanding about fears. “

Andrea adds “there is no need to be scared – we don’t bite! I understand fears –if you come to Smilepod our dentists are really nice will take really good care of you. I even hold some clients hands if they ask. We are understanding and kind here.”

Gum recession

London dentist Dr Carine discusses gum recession

Gum recession Overview

Healthy gums are generally coral pink in colour and firm around the teeth. You might see individual variations due to your gum thickness, teeth position and pigmentation. Healthy gums should not bleed when you brush your teeth. If your gums bleed when you brush, make an appointment with your Smilepod dentist so we can find out what is causing this and recommend a treatment to keep your teeth and gums healthily.

Gum recession is when the roots of the teeth are exposed. This can make it look like your teeth are elongated. It is when the gingival tissues are located more towards the apexes of the teeth roots.

Receeding gums are common in people who need to improve their oral health techniques but there can be a number of other factors which increase your risk of gum recession. The elderly tend to have significantly more prevalent, extensive and severe cases of gum recession.

Factors that can cause gum recession:

Gum inflammation
If teeth are not properly cleaned it leads to a build up of harmful plaque. When bacteria builds up on the gum line it can lead to sore and inflamed gums. Untreated this can cause gingivitis and then periodontal problem which will lead to receding gums and dental problems. Regular teeth cleans are necessary to remove the build up of this harmful plaque.

Brushing too hard
A scrubbing or fierce brushing technique with a hard bristles toothbrush can lead teeth to recede. Use an electric toothbrush, such as a Phillips Sonicare, to gently clean teeth and massage the gum areas. Do not scrub at teeth! Choose a toothbrush or toothbrush head with soft bristles.

Unfortunately you might have wonderful oral hygiene techniques and still be prone to gum recession due to nothing more than genetics. If your parents have receding gums you might have also inherited characteristics such as a high insertion of the labial frenum, thin and narrow gum tissues. See your dentist to discuss the best way to manage gum recession.

Crooked Teeth
When teeth are non-aligned or crooked they don’t close together evenly. Over time this puts strain on the gums and bone which allows gums to begin receding. Crooked teeth can also be harder to clean which can lead to a faster build-up of plaque and calculus and cause gum inflammation and recession. If you are worried about this there are solutions such as regular dental cleanings. You can also look into orthodontic solutions to correct your crooked teeth such as Invisalign, lingual braces etc.

Clients with a stressful job might be more prone to grinding teeth in the night. Common symptoms include headaches and jaw pain. Grinding and clenching can cause gum recession and dental damage so if you suspect you might be grinding at night speak to your dentist who can get you a night guard to prevent dental damage.

Any injury to your mouth or jaw can cause gums to recede. If you have recently had a dental injury or trauma speak to your dentist about managing potential gum recession.

Next steps

Receded gums do not grow back to the original position so seeking professional help and advice is important to manage gum recession.

Smilepod are here to offer advice, diagnose the cause and if needed apply measurements to stop your gums from receding further.

Your dentist will work with you to carefully devise the best treatment and prevention plan keeping you fully informed. Your dentist will also help you measure and improve your gum health score.

In more severe cases if gums have receded, ask your dentist about “gum grafts” which can be used

Book an appointment with Dr Carine

Smoking and your teeth

When it comes to smoking, we are constantly told about the dangers to our health, but are you aware of the effects that smoking has on your teeth? London dentist Dr Jimena Calleja investigates.

bank curve

Dr Jimena works at both our Soho and Covent Garden Smilepod Studios and will be happy to speak to you further about smoking and your teeth to ensure you receive the best possible oral care and advice (even if you are not ready to give up smoking).

Contact Jimena.

The dangers of smoking:

Smoking has a proven association with a wide spectrum of diseases but did you know that smoking is also bad for your mouth?


Risk of periodontal disease:

Increasing evidence points to smoking as both a cause and aggravator of gum/ peridontal disease. Moreover, smoking can influence the clinical outcome of nonsurgical and surgical treatments as well as the long-term success of implant placement in cases of tooth loss.

The best solution to reduce these risks is simply to stop smoking. If you are not able to quit, it’s important to be aware of the signs of gum disease and ask your dentist about oral hygiene products which can reduce the risk of damage. Corsodyl Daily mouthwash, for example, is recommended as it can minimize the impact of smoking on the mouth. Ask your dentist to recommend the best products for you to use during one of your regular check-ups.


What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures which support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation. This is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria.

In the more serious form of periodontal disease, called periodontitis, there is not only gum inflammation but also a loss of supporting bone mass with potentially serious consequences such as tooth loss.

Cigarette smoke is a very complex mixture of different substances with over 4000 known constituents. Many of these components show a clear relationship between smoking and periodontal disease. A large number of studies comparing smokers and non-smokers with periodontitis have found that smokers have:

  1. Deeper probing depths and a larger number of deep pockets.
  2. More attachment loss including more gingival recession.
  3. More alveolar bone loss.
  4. More tooth loss.
  5. Less bleeding on probing.
  6. More teeth with furcation involved.


Smokers may present with periodontal disease at an early age, be difficult to treat with conventional therapy and have progressive or recurrent periodontitis leading to tooth loss. Smokers should be aware that even with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, bone loss can still occur.



no_smoking_your_teeth_will_thank_you_poster-rcb4bfb80de3f4ec8928aa94ac7476921_wad_8byvr_512As a smoker it is best to have very regular dental hygiene visits and dental examinations to ensure that symptoms are recognised and treated as quickly as possible to minimize damage. If you feel unable to give up smoking, it’s recommended to limit other damaging habits such as sugary drinks. At Smilepod, we have a Smoker’s Makeover hygiene clean that specifically targets nicotine stains and is a perfect solution for smokers. If you feel unable to quit, come and see us – we will offer you non judgmental advise help you maintain good oral hygiene.

Stop smoking today in order to

  1. Live a healthier longer life
  2. Have fresher breath
  3. Save money


Book an appointment with Dr Calleja

Your teeth and diet

The Soho Smilepod team are surrounded by tempting food all day long. Soho is truly a foodie heaven. However, for your teeth this can be a different story. The Soho Smilepod team of qualified friendly dentists, experienced dental nurses and lovely manager Angi have devised a guide for keeping your mouth healthy.


Cariogenic foods and drinks:

Cariogenic is defined as “producing or promoting the development of tooth decay.” Foods with highly fermentable carbohydrate content and a sticky consistency break into small pieces in the mouth, reduce the pH in the mouth to less than 5.5 and are highly processed.


If you try to avoid these types of food and drink, you will be able to decrease the possibility of caries developing.  If that’s too much to ask, we can recommend a few products to help maintain a healthy pH level in your oral cavity. These include mouthwashes, toothpastes, tooth mousses etc. We also advise drinking with a straw to minimise damage.


Sugary and starchy foods:

Fermentable carbohydrate foods are those that are broken down by the saliva in your mouth. Examples include starchy or sugary foods such as breads, crackers, sweetened cereals, candy, cakes or other sweets.

Products with a high sugar content

As bacteria break down these foods, they release acids. If the pH level in your mouth is below 5.5, the acids will begin to break down your teeth enamel.

Sugar lowers the pH level. The longer your teeth are exposed to a low pH and high acid content, the more likely you are to develop cavities.


Sticky foods:

Sticky foods such as dried fruits, fruit snacks and cookies can lead to cavities because they stick to your teeth. The acids released by the bacteria breaking down these foods remains in your mouth for longer periods of time leading to tooth decay. Foods that break into small pieces can also get stuck and remain in the crevices between your teeth or in deep fissures in your molars for long periods of time causing the same type of damage. To prevent this, try and invest in an electric toothbrush and brush carefully between meals.


d42961ff29393d54cbb1fc58b45c1ebfBeverages usually don’t stay in your mouth very long, but if you drink sugary drinks often throughout the day you increase the likelihood of developing cavities. If your teeth are constantly exposed to sugary drinks, the acids produced by bacteria remain in your mouth, causing decay. Drinking soda, juice or milk with meals and drinking water between meals will reduce your chances of developing cavities.

Other factors:

To try and prevent damage from sugary foods it is worth eating foods such as cheese, fruits and vegetables. These stimulate saliva production which rinses cariogenic foods out of your mouth and off of your teeth. Eating a larger amount of sugary foods at one time is better than consuming small amounts more frequently. This is because it reduces your overall exposure to cavity-causing foods or drinks.

For more information about your diet and your teeth drop into any of our Central London Smilepod Studios.



Book an appointment at Soho smilepod

Keep your smile young

We all want to look young for our age and looking after our teeth and smile is a great way of keeping a more youthful appearance. Here at Smilepod London, our friendly dentists share their tips on keeping your smile young!

Oral Hygiene – brushing and flossing:

Good oral hflossingygiene is vital for keeping a younger looking smile as healthy gums and teeth are what make a smile look beautiful. Brushing alongside either flossing or interdental brushing twice a day will help keep your smile sparkling. If you struggle to floss, ask one of our dentists to demonstrate simpler techniques or else try a Philips Sonicare Airfloss. Smilepod dentists have put together some tips and tricks for effective flossing here.

Brushing correctly:

toothbrush girlBrushing techniques are very important for maintaining a youthful appearance. If you end up brushing too vigorously, you can damage the enamel of your teeth or cause gum recession. To prevent damage, consider investing in a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush. Next time you visit us at Smilepod, your dentist will be happy to show you the most effective brushing techniques to keep your smile looking its best.

Regular dental checks:
It’s important to visit your dentist once every six months to
ensure that any early decay is discovered. When it comes to dentistry, prevention is always better than cure.  At your dental examination your dentist will spot any leaking or broken fillings or restorations and replace them to keep your teeth at their best.

Regular hygiene appointments:

Make your smile dazzleTeeth will often become brown and stained due to lifestyle choices such as drinking tea. Regular hygiene appointments will reduce the build up of staining and remove plaque and tartar. At Smilepod we have a number of hygiene treatments which are designed to remove the build up of nicotine, tea, coffee or red wine stains. It is good to have frequent teeth cleaning to keep teeth healthy. In particular our Smoker’s Makeover or High Gloss Diamond Polish are great stain removal treatments.

Preventing grinding:
protectionNight grinding, which is often caused by stress, can make teeth appear worn and chipped over time. These imperfections make for an old looking smile. Teeth grinding usually happens at night and can cause pain to the muscles of the face when waking. If you have these symptoms, don’t hesitate to let your dentist know. They will look and assess the amount of wear on your teeth and recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from further damage. You may also wish your dentist to restore damaged teeth and give you back your younger looking smile.

Missing teeth:
Gaps in your smile due to missing teeth can make for an old
looking smile. During your treatment at Smilepod, your dentist
will inform you of all the options available for restoring missing teeth. These
include dentures, bridges or implants depending on the number of missing teeth and your preferences.


If your teeth have a yellow appearance you might benefit from a whitening treatment. Whitening can make teeth up to eight shades whiter giving you a more attractive younger looking smile. Book a free whitening consultation to see if you are suitable.

Crooked teeth:

It’s never too late to straighten your teeth! At Smilepod we offer a range of solutions to fit your lifestyle and preferences including nearly invisible straightening with Invisalign, lingual or traditional fixed braces. Book your free consultation today at Smilepod and enjoy a more youthful smile.


Book an appointment at smilepod

Sports Guards

All you need to knowveronica about sports and your mouth:

Bank Lead Dentist Dr Veronica De Zan talks you through all you need to know about mouthguards for playing sports.

If you have any questions you can contact Veronica


Play Sports? Worried about injuries. A mouthguard might be just the thing for you.

Do you play sports or are you thinking about taking up a new sport? You might be concerned about dental injuries. Don’t worry, there’s an easy way to protect your teeth while still enjoying sporting activities.

Mouthguards can be used in a variety of different sports to avoid dental trauma and injuries. If you play sports and are concerned about injuries, why not pop in and have a chat with myself or one of the other friendly Smilepod Dentists to see how we can help.

Mouthguards used in sports to avoid dental trauma:

Sports fans around the world are probably already familiar with mouth guards because they see athletes wearing them regularly. Rugby players and boxers use them as well as hockey players and skateboarders. Currently, mouthguards are not common in most other sports such as basketball or football; however that may soon change.


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that up to a third of school sports injuries involve some type of oral damage that a mouthguard could have prevented.

What’s more, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation, every year, in the United States, over five million teeth are lost due to sports-related injuries. This is why athletes who are concerned about their smiles sport their guards.


So, if you  play a lot of contact sports or just want to take precautions to minimize your chances of injuries and dental damage, a mouthguard is a good solution

Pop into Smilepod and book a consultation with myself or one of the other experienced Dentists who will be happy to talk with you.


Dr Veronica De Zan, Lead Dentist at Smilepod Bank (located near to Monument, Aldgate and Bank Underground and a short walk from Fenchurch street) discusses sports guards and how to protect your teeth during sporting activities.

Book an appointment with Dr De Zan

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.

bad breath treatment2
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