At Fort Dental Health Group, we love educating patients about oral health!

To help answer some of your commonly asked questions, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs below. Simply click on a question below to display the answer. If you have any additional questions about your oral health, we would be happy to help – give our dental office a call by calling (780) 998-7165.

Q: What causes bad breath?

A: Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition, however, it’s nothing to be ashamed of! Everyone experiences bad breath from time to time, especially in the mornings due to lack of saliva flow overnight – our natural cleaner. There are various causes of bad breath. In healthy individuals, the major source is microbial deposits on the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduces bad breath by as much as 7%.

Here some other causes of bad breath:

Morning breath: Saliva in the mouth is a natural cleaner. However, when your saliva flow stops almost completely during sleep and this allows bacteria to grow causing bad breath.

Certain foods: When you eat certain foods containing strong odor-causing compounds, such as onions and garlic, they enter the blood stream. This transfers to the blood tissue around your lungs resulting in “bad breath” where they are exhale.

Poor oral hygiene habits: When you don’t brush or floss those pearly whites, food particles that sit between your teeth, under the gum line, or remain on the tongue promote bacterial growth which causes bad breath.

Periodontal (gum) disease: When colonies of bacteria and food debris reside under inflamed gums, this can lead to gum disease causing bad breath.

Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances: Cavities and improperly fitted appliances can also contribute to bad breath due to the growth of bacteria leading to decay.

Dry mouth (Xerostomia): Dry mouth can be caused by several factors including certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing. These factors prevent the regular flow of saliva in the mouth which introduces the opportunity for bacteria to breed and causes bad breath.

Tobacco products: Tobacco usage can also cause dry mouth leading to bad breath.

Dieting: When dieting, certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat, which can lead to bad breath.

Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals: Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away leading to better breath.

Certain medical conditions and illnesses: Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.

Q: What can I do to prevent bad breath?

A: There are several things you can do to combat bad breath:

Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas of your mouth. Try and replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.

Visit your dentist in Fort Saskatchewan regularly: It’s recommended that you visit your dentist every 6-12 months and have your teeth professional cleaned at least once every 3-9 months. Keep in mind that your dental exam and hygiene schedule will be individualized for you, based on your unique dental needs. For example, if you are currently, or have previously suffered from periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.

Stop smoking/chewing tobacco: Ask your dentist for recommendations to help you quit smoking.

Drink water frequently: Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.

Use mouthwash/rinses: Some over-the-counter mouthwashes provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. For a solution that will help address the problem, ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath but also kill germs.

In most cases, your dentist should be able to treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, and bad breath remains persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

Q: How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

A: That’s a great question! Brushing and flossing your teeth is an important step in helping to control plaque and bacteria buildup in your mouth. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed from your mouth, they begin to destroy the gums and bone which causes periodontal/gum disease.

Brushing: We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with a soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended – they are easy to use and remove plaque efficiently. Rinse your mouth with water after brushing and after meals if you are unable to brush.

Flossing: Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, but it can also disrupt plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

A: Over the years, there has been some concern about the safety of amalgam (silver) dental fillings. Amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin, and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.

The America Dental Association (ADA) states that silver dental fillings are safe, and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder. The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe; however, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels. For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them such as tuna fish. With respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.

Alternatives to amalgam fillings

There are numerous alternatives to silver fillings. At Fort Dental Clinic in Fort Saskatchewan, we use composite (tooth-colored), porcelain fillings. There are many reasons we opt for composite fillings, the most significant being the ability to closely match the resin material to the colour of your existing teeth allowing it to blend in discreetly with the natural aesthetic of your tooth enamel. Because composite fillings are colour-matched to your teeth, they are more aesthetically suited for use on front teeth or more visible areas of the mouth.

Q: How often should I have a cleaning and dental exam?

A: Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential to preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.

We suggest having your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every 3-9 months. It’s important to remember, however, that everyone’s oral hygiene routine is different, and will be customized for you based on your dental history and the current state of your mouth. With your help, we will put together a hygiene plan that works best for your needs.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend visiting us every 6-12 months for a dental checkup; however, just like your professional teeth cleaning regime, your examination schedule will be customized to meet your unique dental needs.

Q: How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

A: Did you know that four out of five people have periodontal (gum) disease and don’t even know it?! Most individuals are not aware of it because gum disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have gum disease without any noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations at our dental office in Fort Saskatchewan is very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

Here are some signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Red and puffy gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • New spacing between teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus around the teeth and gums (a sign you may have an infection)
  • Receding gums
  • Tenderness or discomfort

If you have any questions about gum disease, contact our dental office for a consultation - (780) 998-7165.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

A: Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces but may not catch these particles in between the teeth. Daily flossing is the best way to clean between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, but it also disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Q: Does Fort Dental clinic offer teeth whitening/bleaching?

A: We sure do! Fort Dental clinic offers one-hour, in-office Zoom! Whitening appointments and Zoom! Take-Home Whitening kits. The in-office Zoom! Whitening System can be completed within one hour, and will be administered by our dentists under professional supervision. The results for in-office teeth whitening and take-home whitening can bring you on average of up to eight shades lighter. However, results will vary for each individual based on the current state of your teeth, and the level of staining. For the at-home bleaching treatment, patients administer the whitening gel and trays independently – this treatment runs over the course of two to four weeks. Call us today to learn more about our teeth whitening procedure - (780) 998-7165.

Q: What are porcelain veneers?

A: Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are durable and stain-resistant, making them a popular procedure in cosmetic dentistry.

You may be a good candidate for dental veneers if you have:

  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Slight tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large

If you’d like to learn more about porcelain veneers, or other cosmetic procedures offered at our dental clinic, give us a call - (780) 998-7165.

Q: What are Fort Dental’s hours of operation?

A: Fort Dental Health Group is open:

Mon: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Tues: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thurs: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Fri: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sun: Closed

To book an appointment, click here.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to give our office a call - 780.998.7165!

Dental Office Hours


Clinic Address

Dr. Patricia Kenny
Dr. Jordan Rattai
Dr. Lindsay Patterson
Dr. Payal Kumar

201 - 10010 88 Ave.
Fort Saskatchewan, AB
T8L 0A8