Questions For Our Administrative Team

  • Is Westboro Station Dental taking new patients?

    Yes. Dr. Hwang is happy to welcome all new dental patients. Please contact us at 613-728-8988 to book an appointment.

  • Do you work with my insurance company?

    Yes, we are more than happy to work with your insurer.

    Please note that insurance plans vary greatly and may not cover all necessary procedures. If you are concerned about which procedures are covered, we can help fill out any associated paperwork or send an estimate on your behalf.

    We cannot accept payment directly from the insurance company (a.k.a. assignment of benefits), but we provide electronic submission to your insurer and your cheque is usually in your hands in as little as three days.

  • How does your fee structure work?

    Our fees for routine services such as regular checkups, radiographs, and cleanings are in line with any other dental office.

    Specialized services may have higher than average fees because of the technology, training and expertise required in performing them. We will not compromise on the quality of service we provide and we invest a lot in our training and in our clinic.

Westboro Station Dental Reception area

Questions About Your Oral Health

At Westboro Station Dental, Dr. Hwang and the rest of the staff not only treat you as a patient, but also strive to educate you so that you can have a healthy mouth and smile. If your question isn’t answered below or you would like to discuss any of these options, we’d be happy to help you! Please contact us in Ottawa at 613-728-8988.

  • How often should I brush and floss?

    It’s important to brush and floss your teeth to help control remove the continually growing plaque and bacteria that can cause dental disease. Plaque is a nearly invisible, sticky film that is made up of living bacteria, bits of food and saliva. These bacteria grow and produce acids that can cause tooth decay, and if not removed, the plaque can harden into tartar. Over time, remaining plaque and tartar begin to destroy the gums and bone, and cause gum disease.

    Brushing not only removes bits of food, but also plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Unfortunately, your toothbrush can’t the spaces between teeth, which are very susceptible to decay and gum disease, so it’s necessary to floss.

    How often should I brush my teeth?

    Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.

    How often should I floss?

    Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing breaks up plaque colonies and prevents damage to all areas of your mouth: gums, teeth and bone.

  • What’s the best way to brush my teeth?

    The best way to brush your teeth :
    1. Angle your toothbrush about 45° to your gums and use small, circular motions to brush, making sure that you can always feel the bristles of your toothbrush against your gums.
    2. Make sure you brush all surfaces of each tooth: the outer, inner and biting surfaces.
    3. To brush inside your front teeth, use the tip of your toothbrush head for thorough cleaning.
    4. Finally, remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and to help freshen your breath.

    Dr. Hwang recommends that you use an electric toothbrush since it’s easy to use and can do a better, faster job of removing plaque.  Just make sure to put the electric toothbrush bristles on your gums and teeth, at a 45° angle and let the electric toothbrush make the motion for you.

    Rinsing your mouth

    It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing. If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, it’s still a good idea to water-rinse your mouth. Using an over-the-counter mouthwash or rinse-aid? Check with Dr. Hwang to see if it’s appropriate for you.

  • What's the best way to floss?

    The best way to floss:
    1. Take about one-foot of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, and leave about 2 inches of floss between your hands.
    2. Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and put the floss between teeth, cleaning with a back-and-forth motion.
    3. Make sure to floss around each tooth and get below the gum line, moving the floss up and down to thoroughly clean the side of each tooth.
    4. If you find holding the floss to be too cumbersome or difficult, you may find it helpful to use floss holders instead.

  • How often should I get dental cleanings and dental exams?

    You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year with Dr. Dan Hwang or one of the Westboro Station Dental hygienists. As your dentist, Dr. Hwang may recommend more frequent visits if necessary.

    During your dental visits, your teeth and cleaned and examined for cavities. Other things that Dr. Hwang and the hygienists do at your cleaning include:

    · Medical history review: Reviewing your medical history, recent illnesses, medications and other aspects of your health gives Dr. Hwang insight into your overall health and how that might impact your dental health.
    · Examination of dental x-rays: X-rays are essential for seeing things that can’t be seen in just a dental examination. X-rays help detect tooth decay, cysts, bone loss and more. They also help Dr. Hwang see the positioning of your teeth and roots.
    · Oral cancer screening: Dr. Hwang checks your gums, tongue, throat, and other areas of your face, neck and mouth for any signs of oral cancer.
    · Gum disease evaluation: Dr. Hwang checks your gums and supporting for any signs of periodontal disease.
    · Examination of tooth decay: Dr. Hwang inspects all your teeth surfaces for decay with special dental instruments.
    · Examination of existing restorations: Dr. Hwang inspects your fillings and/or dental appliances to see how well they are holding up, and to see if they need any preventative maintenance.
    · Removal of plaque: Plaque is a nearly invisible, sticky film that is made up of living bacteria, bits of food and saliva. These bacteria grow and produce toxins that inflame the gums, which can signal the start of gum disease.
    · Removal of tartar: Tartar is plaque that has hardened. It forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with dental cleaning by Dr. Hwang or one of the hygienists.
    · Teeth polishing: Polishing removes both stains and plaque that can’t be removed with just brushing and scaling.
    · Oral hygiene recommendations: Your dentist, Dr. Dan Hwang, or your hygienist will review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (for example electric toothbrushes, fluoride rinses, floss holders etc.).
    · Review dietary habits: What you eat plays a very important role in your dental health.

  • Do you use mercury amalgam fillings?

    Dr. Hwang uses white composite fillings 99%+ of the time. We invite you to read more about composite fillings.

    In the rare case that a white filling can’t be placed, Dr. Hwang may advise an amalgam filling or an alternative restorative dental technique. Amalgam fillings are not toxic and are endorsed by the Canadian Dental Association. Only very minute, trace amounts of organic mercury are released from biting a tooth with an amalgam and this amount is insignificant compared to the mercury levels from eating certain fish.

  • What causes bad breath?

    · Morning breath: Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
    · Foods: e.g. garlic, onions, etc.  Foods with odour-causing compounds enter the blood stream, and subsequently get transferred to the lungs, and breathed out of your mouth.
    · Poor oral hygiene habits: Remaining food particles remaining can feed mouth bacteria growth and cause bad breath.
    · Periodontal (gum) disease: Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed can cause bad breath.
    · Dental cavities and ill-fitting dental appliances: Tooth decay and dental appliances that don’t fit well can trap bacteria and contribute to bad breath.
    · Dry mouth or xerostomia: Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing reduces saliva which can cause bacterial growth and subsequent bad breath.
    · Smoking: Cigarettes and other tobacco products dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
    · Dehydration & missing meals: Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes away bacteria that could cause bad breath.
    · Medical conditions: Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.

  • What can I do about bad breath?

    Bad breath (also known as halitosis) can be unpleasant and embarrassing. Everyone has it occasionally, often in the mornings, or after eating particularly pungent foods, and we may not realize it.

    Many things can cause bad breath, but in healthy people, it’s usually because of microbial deposits on the tongue, especially at the back.  A good way to help get to the root cause of your bad breath is to keep a record of what you eat and review any recent illnesses, traumas or current medications with Dr. Hwang. Here are other tips to help you fix your bad breath problem:

    · Stop smoking/chewing tobacco: If you smoke or chew tobacco, it can have grave consequences for all aspects of health, not limited to your breath. Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
    · Practice good oral hygiene: Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Floss at least once a day to remove food remnants and plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line.  Swap out your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  Make sure that if you have any removable dental appliances (e.g. dentures or removable bridges) that you clean them thoroughly before placing them back in your mouth in the morning.
    · Brush your tongue: Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.
    · Drink water frequently: Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
    · Use mouthwash/rinses: Some drugstore mouthwashes only mask bad breath and provide a temporary fix. Dr. Hwang may recommend an antiseptic rinse that kills the germs that cause bad breath.
    See your dentist, Dr. Hwang regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.  If you have or have had periodontal disease, Dr. Hwang may recommend more frequent visits.

    As your dentist, Dr. Hwang can help you get to the root of the problem and treat the cause of bad breath.  If Dr. Hwang finds that your mouth is otherwise healthy, but bad breath is persistent, he may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

  • What causes gingivitis or gum disease?

    As much as 80% of the population has gum disease, and don’t know it, since gum disease is typically painless at the early stages. Regular dental examinations, including inspection of the gums is very important to detect gum disease.

    Gum disease beings with the formation of plaque. Plaque is a nearly invisible, sticky film that is made up of living bacteria, bits of food and saliva. These bacteria grow and product toxins that inflame the gums and can slowly destroy the bone supporting your teeth. This is why it’s important to brush and floss daily, since it helps remove plaque.

    Aside from poor oral hygiene, other factors that may increase the risk of gum disease include:

    · Smoking and using tobacco products: If you smoke or use other tobacco products, you’re more prone to forming plaque and tartar on your teeth.
    · Conditions of your teeth or dental appliances: Ill-fitting dental bridges, worn fillings or crowded teeth can trap bacteria and plaque that contribute to gum disease.
    · Medications: Some drugs (e.g. steroids, blood pressure medication, birth control pills) can increase your risk of gum disease because they have side effects such as reducing saliva. Lack of saliva makes can lead to dry mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to stick to your teeth and proliferate.
    · Hormonal changes: Changes in hormone levels (e.g. such as with pregnancy, birth control pills, puberty or menopause) can cause your gums to become more sensitive to bacterial toxins.
    · Systemic diseases: Diseases such as diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc. can increase sensitivity to bacterial toxins.
    · Genetics: You may be genetically predisposed to more aggressive types of gum disease. If you have a family history of gum disease, you may wish to pay closer attention to the health of your gums.

  • How can I tell if I have gingivitis or gum disease?

    Good oral hygiene, a healthy diet free of excessive amounts of sugars and starches, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

    Signs and symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease):

    · Red and puffy gums: Health gums should never be red or swollen.
    · Bleeding gums: Health gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush vigorously, or use dental floss.
    · Persistent bad breath: While there are can be many contributing factors to bad breath, bacterial overgrowth is often the root cause
    · New spacing between teeth: New, larger spaces between your teeth could be indicative of bone loss.
    · Loose teeth: Teeth that have become loose could be indicative of bone loss or weakened supporting tissues.
    · Pus around the teeth and gums: Pus is a sign of infection of your teeth and gums.
    · Receding gums: Loss of gum tissue around a tooth
    · Tenderness or discomfort: A build-up of plaque, tartar and bacteria can irritate your gums and teeth.

  • Why do wisdom teeth have to be removed?

    If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may have increased risk of recurrent infection, pain and swelling, and it can also cause decay and bone loss in your adjacent teeth. Dr. Hwang recommends having wisdom teeth removed in the late teenage years since they are less likely to be fully formed and the bone is less dense.  Younger patients experience more simple removal, fewer complications and heal more quickly. Risks with wisdom teeth removal can be much greater in patients over 35 years of age.

  • How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

    If you’re feeling self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be your answer to a more beautiful, confident smile. Advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials make having a whiter, healthier smile easier, and more affordable than ever.

    Depending on your needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth makeover.  Ask your dentist, Dr. Dan Hwang how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

    Cosmetic Procedures:

    Teeth WhiteningTeeth can get stained or discoloured due to age, smoking, or because of what your diet, and teeth whitening procedures can help bleach teeth to a health-looking white. Sometimes, teeth can darken because of medication side effects and teeth whitening treatments can still be effective, but can depend on the degree of staining.

    Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings: Composite fillings are also known as ‘bonding’ and are now used more frequently over amalgam fillings for chipped, broken or discoloured teeth that need repair. Composite fillings are useful in filling in gaps and protecting exposed tooth roots caused by receding gums.

    Porcelain Veneers: A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of tooth-coloured material that gets bonded to the front of your teeth to help enhance your smile by correcting the shape, colour or alignment of your teeth. Unlike dental crowns, veneers don’t require much removal of tooth structure to be placed.

    Porcelain Crowns (caps): A porcelain crown is covering that envelops the entire tooth’s surface, and improves a tooth’s shape and size. Dental crowns protect and strengthen teeth that can’t be fixed with other types of dental appliances, making them ideal for teeth that have broken fillings, extensive decay.

    Dental Implants: A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed in the jaw to replace a missing tooth. Multiple dental implants can be used to anchor other dental appliances like porcelain crowns, dental bridges and dentures, making them a durable, permanent solution to removable dental appliances.

    Orthodontics: Orthodontics are more appealing than ever since there have been improvements with more effective brackets and wires, and less-visible solutions, such as the Invisalign system.

How to floss correctly