Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some tips from our team for keeping your dental health at its absolute best.

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Bad breath, also known as halitosis, affects almost everyone at some point. It can be an embarrassing condition, however, in the majority of cases the halitosis clears up by making slight adjustments to the patient’s oral hygiene regimen. The n of bad breath is caused by bacteria on the tongue or trapped below the gumline. In rare cases, it can be indicative of a more serious problem. It is important to discuss any concerns about bad breath with your dental professional so that they can provide you with a thorough examination as well as tips on how to improve halitosis based on your unique situation.


Flossing is an important part of maintaining oral health. Floss at least once a day, thoroughly and with care. If plaque is left to harden and become tartar, the risk of cavities and gum disease greatly increases. Speak to your dentist about proper flossing technique and for recommendations on the right brand of floss for you.

how frequently should i schedule my dental exam and cleaning?

It is recommended that you schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning every six months. This is so that any plaque and tartar buildup can be removed, and so that your dentist can monitor and changes to your oral health.

how safe are my old silver fillings?

Amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings”. In recent years there has been some concern about mercury vapours being released into the body from these fillings. In dental amalgam, the mercury is bound in an alloy, so only minute amounts of mercury vapour are released from amalgam while eating or drinking. Mercury is a naturally occurring substance in air and food and for the majority of people it poses no health risk in such small amounts.

what are the benefits of porcelain veneers?

For people who have yellowed, chipped, broken or misaligned teeth, porcelain veneers can immediately transform their smile. Porcelain veneers are lightweight and mimic the look of natural teeth, while being resistant to stains and strengthening the underneath tooth. To apply a veneer, a thin layer of the underlying enamel is removed and the porcelain veneer is bonded to the tooth. The majority of the tooth is left intact and the presence of the veneer is almost undetectable for a natural, but enhanced look.

How frequently should i brush & floss?

Having an oral hygiene regimen which includes regular brushing and flossing is an essential part of maintaining oral health, in addition to scheduling regular dental check ups. It is recommended that you brush twice a day (always before bed) and floss at least once. This is important as plaque left on teeth for more than 24 hours can harden and turn into calculus (tartar) which can then only be removed at the dentist’s office.

how can i diminish stained and discoloured teeth?

The tooth enamel can become discoloured after consuming beverages such as coffee and red wine, among other drinks and foods. Teeth can become stained through normal wear and tear. It’s a good idea to rinse the mouth with water after consuming caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, and to brush after each meal to minimize discolouration. There are many whitening products available today, however it is always best to consult your dentist if you are interested in whitening procedures, as some at-home kits can contain abrasive ingredients that may weaken the tooth enamel or irritate the gums and insides of the mouth. Okamura dental offers safe, gentle and effective teeth whitening treatments.

how does gingivitis and periodontitus (gum disease) present itself, and what do i need to know about the condition?

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease which causes redness and inflammation of the gums. It is most often caused by inadequate oral hygiene practices. In fact, some patients do not have noticeable symptoms at all. If left untreated however, gingivitis can lead to the more severe condition known as periodontitis. This is one of the reasons that it is crucial to maintain regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist, so that gingivitis can be caught and treated in its early stages before progressing. The best way to prevent gingivitis and gum disease is by brushing and flossing at least once every 24 hours to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.

when should cosmetic dentistry be considered?

A person who has badly misaligned, broken, or discoloured teeth may feel embarrassed about smiling and showing their teeth. In some cases, having misaligned teeth can lead to other problems such as TMJ, which causes pain in the jaw joint areas. Minor cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening can be done fairly quickly; procedures such as veneers or bridges may require multiple visits. If braces are required to fix the alignment of the teeth, the patient will need to see an orthodontist, and this can require an investment of time and finances. The patient should speak with their dentist about any cosmetic procedures they are interested in and formulate a plan which fits their budget and circumstances.