December sparkles through the rain

As we Jingle Jangle into Christmas and the all too quick end to another year…

Welcome to Donna

Donna joins us as our new Treatment Co-Ordinator (TCO) after Abbey decided that remote working with us was just not as good as being in person (she claims it has nothing to do with the fact that she missed Friday cakes, but I’m not sure).  So, a big thank you again to Abbey for all the work she has done for us over the years and a big hello to Donna.

Donna brings a lot of experience, having helped to run the dental care professional training courses at the Bristol Dental Hospital and laterally, the University Dental School.

Her role as a treatment coordinator is to act as your guide through your treatment from new patient to end for treatment.  She will be there to answer your questions and send you the information you need. She is available for face-to-face meetings or video calls on Mondays,  Tuesdays and Fridays, but you can contact her at any other time on the practice number or via email on

Donna’s cautionary tale – careful what you put in your body.

Not long after she had started working with us, Donna received some photos from her daughter who was not feeling well and who had started to develop a rash.  As the day progressed, the rash got worse, and her lips stared to swell. A lot of slightly worried research was done but nothing was fitting the pattern, measles, chickenpox, and other usual suspects were all ruled out, 111 were stumped. Nicola was ready to drive Donna and her daughter straight to A&E, swollen lips being an indication of some form allergic reaction.

Whist trying to work out what was happening one of the doctors asked a seemingly unrelated question ‘Is there any chance that you have had your nails done recently?” Shocked, Donna replied ‘yes, just a few days ago,” the Dr. responded, ‘I can’t say for certain but were seeing a lot more of this type of case, an allergic reaction to acrylic nails.”  Further research yielded an article by bath dermatologist Dr Deirdre Buckley, and you can see the Independent’s report on the subject that quotes her here.   ( )  Thankfully her daughter has made a full recovery.

The allergic reaction in cases like these comes from chemicals call methacrylate’s and once you have the allergy you are likely to have it forever.  But you may have guessed that methacrylates are present in more than just nails as Dr. Buckley said in her article, it is present in a lot of things including artificial joints, and in many items commonly in use in dental practices, typically in white fillings and some forms of dentures.   As we mention on our webpage here most white filling materials are complex resin based chemicals.  You will also be pleased to know that at the Natural smile the filling material here that we use, Admira fusion, does not contain methacrylate’s, BPA or Bis -GMA.

I know for a fact that other filling materials that are free of BPA and Bis-GMA do contain them since we were approached by a company about using their filling material recently.  A scan of the material safety data sheets (MSDS)  showed that it contained two forms of methacrylate’s, and even labels the known issues with them  “May cause an allergic skin reaction”.  You need to be on your guard!

 Here for you over Christmas our Christmas opening hours:

Dec 22nd                               Appointments as normal.

Dec23rd – 26th                    Emergency cover available – 07770 941848*

Dec 27th – 29th                     Skellington staff emergency appointments buy TNS Dental Staff.

Dec 30th – Jan 1st               Emergency cover available – 07770 941848*
Jan 2nd   onward              Appointments as Normal.

*Our payment plan patients are covered for any costs.

Challenging year 
As we wind towards the year end, we are aware that lots of you are dealing with many issues and have had a challenging year. At work as long term lab technician and experienced referral specialist start to retire or cut down their hours we have really struggled to find replacements with the quality of work care and experience we strive to provide and would want for our patients.  We have put a lot of effort into this issue and at the years end it is  looking a bit more positive as a result  but if you have been affected by this thanks for bearing with us as we try to sort through it, we only ever accept labwork that is up to standard even if this means its gets delayed.

The end of 2023 has brought difficulties for Nicola and I on a personal level with our respective parents finding themselves in hospital for different reasons. 

We have found ourselves having to lean heavily on our own advice to get through it, but it is as good now as it ever was.  Deep ‘core’ breathing being drawn through your nose, good nutrition hydration and sleep, natural daylight, fresh air, and movement.  And we have added a new one to the list – the understanding that you cannot change that which refuses to change. Combined, these things have at least helped us to get through a tough end to the year and give us hope that we can move forward in 2024.

Happy Christmas from the whole team at the Natural Smile.    

Our Endless Numbered Days

All About Imogen

Imogen has begun her journey with us She has quickly learned the ropes and her time spent with Saranya has been very worthwhile. Saranya is now fully underway with her new role as a dentist and is enjoying her new job very much

Imogen is a qualified dental therapist, this means that she can undertake some of the work that dentists can do. You can think of her role as somewhere between what Saranya did and Nicola and Mei- An do.

She will also be seeing all our younger patients. So because of this we will no longer be calling visits to see Imogen Hygienist appointments, they will be Dental therapy appointments which may be gum health and hygiene or may be part of the wider role that Imogen has.

Imogen’s Mum, (from Trinidad and Tobago) met her Dad, (British) when they had enrolled on the same nursing course in London! As a child she loved music, playing the piano, piccolo, violin, flute guitar and the alto recorder. She enjoys painting, walking her dog, Bailey and – (perhaps the main reason why we employed her) – baking cakes.

The feedback we have had so far has been nothing short of amazing, even patients who have been with us for a long time are saying how gentle and thorough she is.

Bristol clean air zone

From Monday the 28th November the new clean air zone starts in Bristol. The Natural Smile is located within the clean air zone, and this means that depending on your car you may need to pay a fee to come into the zone. This document is a full overview of what is happening and why

click to download

You can check the full clean air map here

You can check if you car will cost or not here

Autumn and winter bugs

We are expecting a tricky time with colds flue and Corona virus this Winter. Our main advice to help you avoid these bugs remains the same: Good nutrition, good sleep, drink plenty of water and try to reduce the stress where you can. We also have a range of high quality immune boosters made by Cytoplan in the practice which help support these essential basics . They are currently on offer so now would be an excellent time to try them. If you have a cold or flu and are wondering whether or not to come in the advice is to call us (with as much notice as you can please- at least 48 hours) and check. We will then advise you of the best course of action. If your treatment is urgent we can still see you with colds and flu, we just need to take extra saftey measures.

Thank you Trudi

This is just a quick note to say thank you to the unsung hero of our team. The glue that holds us all together, and the calm and steady hand that guides us through the storm. We would be half the team without you 🙂

Sad farewells and new beginnings

How lucky I am to have have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. – Winnie the Pooh

As the last of the winter storms blow the winter clouds from the sky, we look forward to the spring and summer and the hope of the new. The winter isn’t the only thing that is leaving us – Laura our amazing front of house who joined us in the thick of the pandemic has hung up her appointment book and has headed off for pastures new. We are really sad to see her go, but of course wish her well for the future. She isn’t exactly sure what she will be doing yet, but whatever it is we’re sure she will be a success at it.

And stepping brilliantly into the breach is our new front of house Zoë! Zoë was born here in the UK but when she was 3 moved to The Eastern Cape, South Africa. She spent her childhood there growing up on a farm with 2000 sheep and goats, but the lure of the wind and the rain was just too much and in 2006 she decided to move back to the UK.
She has worked at Riverstation and the Clifton Lido in the past and brings a mix of great customer service skills and practical ‘farm’ common sense. Here is a picture of Zoë incase you only get to see her in her mask.

And a big welcome also to Chloe. Chloe not only fulfils our new policy of only employing people who’s names rhyme, but also is a qualified dental nurse since March this year. She has worked in a couple of dental practices in Bristol and has made a great start to life with us. She enjoys, reading spending time with her loved ones, including her two beautiful bengal cats.

to the dental chair that has been with us for the last 15 years, it has assisted us in its
last filling. Unfortunately there was little time for standing on ceremony…. the engineers took it outside the practice ready to put on their van for recycling, and by the time they went out again to load it on the van, it had been nicked!! So we have a brand new chair for you to use when you come in. We think the backrest looks like a pair of lips!

Green News Our waste contractors have started sending our clinical waste to an Energy from Waste plant. For every tonne of waste the plant produces enough electricity to power a three bedroom house for 1 year.

Applogies and thank you It has been a very challenging four months with team members having to isolate with Covid, and sickness bugs. We have had to cancel more appointments than we can ever remember having to do in the past. If you were one of these, we’re really sorry it’s not
something we do lightly, and it’s not the kind of service we want to offer. As a team we would like to thank you for the understanding that you have shown when we have had to do this. Hopefully we are now past the worst and able to continue with our best foot

Thats it for now, good health to you all

How did it get so late so soon?

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer”

Albert Camus

This Christmas period we’re going to make a conscious effort to try and find our invincible
summer! With the government seemingly unravelling around us, COP 26 already out of the
headlines and Covid showing us again that we haven’t got the upper hand, it could feel like a rather bleak midwinter is on the cards. It does seem we’re having to draw upon our reserves of resilience yet again as we will try to find the gems in the mist, treasure our planet and our relationships and focus on the simple things!

To that end, to help us through the bumps and bruises coughs and colds, Nicola has been
working on putting together a package of ethical products she’s been using, championing and recommending for a while now to help support Natural Health and immunity with a focus onWinter Wellness. They’ll all be available from the practice through the winter. The Christmas opening hours are also available on the website now as well here:

And before it’s too late, as we speedily open the advent doors, we thought we’d also share
some links and ideas we love on how to help make our Christmas more nourishing and
sustainable affair! You can find out more here

Finally we would like to say a very big thankyou to our lovely Nurse and treatment coordinator Abbey, who will be leaving us this December. She joined us through the lockdown and has been a important part of the team since her arrival. Best of luck in your new chosen career Abbey from us all, we will miss you!

We really hope you find these a little treasure trove of usefulness and well-being and more
than anything hope you’re wintertime is merry and bright with the promise of a resilient newyear and an invincible 20-22!