Cosmetic Dentist Plymouth

Questions About Family or Cosmetic Dentistry?

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call and our team at Mondale Dental will be happy to assist you.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Most dental conditions will worsen with time, don't wait for small problems to become more complicated and costly to treat. New equipment and techniques allow us to catch disease at very early stages. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss at least once daily.
An electric toothbrush can greatly improve the effectiveness of cleaning your teeth. They are great for people who are hard brushers, have poor dexterity, people with arthritis, or children who have difficulty brushing for the full two minutes.
Flossing is the only way to clean between your teeth, there are no toothbrushes or mouth rinses that can replace flossing. Periodontal disease infections most commonly start between the teeth because that is the most commonly neglected area in home care.
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.

1. Make sure to use a extra soft or soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

2. Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.

3. Use gentle pressure tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.

4. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

5. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

6. Finally, don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.

An electric toothbrush can greatly improve the effectiveness of cleaning your teeth. They are great for people who are hard brushers, have poor dexterity, people with arthritis, or children who have difficulty removing plaque when they brush.
What is the proper way to floss?
The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.

1. Take 18" of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand .You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.

2. Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.

3. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well. Repeat this for the other tooth.

4. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.

Remember, flossing is the only way to clean between your teeth! There are no toothbrushes or mouth rinses that can replace flossing. Periodontal disease infections most commonly start between the teeth because that is the most commonly neglected area in home care routine.

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, whitish film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease

 Periodontal Disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss.

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occures when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, bone loss and eventually tooth loss. With careful cleaning the effects of gingivitis can be completely reversed. More advanced gum disease can be controlled, however it is rarely cured. The sooner the disease is managed the more controllable it will be.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • gums that bleed while brushing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting you dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth. For a more detailed description of periodontal disease click here.

Oral Health Care For Mother & Baby
Pregnancy myths
It is a myth that calcium is taken from the mother's teeth during pregnancy. The calcium for the baby is provided by the mother's diet. However, if dietary calcium is lacking, your baby will provide this necessary mineral from stores in your bone. An adequate intake of dairy products (the primary source of calcium) or the supplements your obstetrician may recommend will help ensure that you and your baby are getting enough calcium.
Pregnancy related decay
During pregnancy many women have the desire to eat between meals, and this is normal. However, be conscious on what you are choosing to be your "go-to" snacks. Frequent snacking on carbohydrate-containing foods can lead to a higher risk of tooth decay.
The decay process begins with the plaque bacteria layer that is constantly forming on your teeth. The bacteria convert sugar and starches that are allowed to sit on your teeth after eating into acid that attacks the tooth's enamel. The longer these carbohydrates, sugars, and starches are in the mouth, the longer the acid attacks. After repeated attacks over a period of time, tooth decay can result.
Try to make heath-concious snacking choices such as raw fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Following your physician's advice regarding your diet is your wisest choice.
Pregnancy gingivitis
During pregnancy, your body's hormone levels rise considerably. Gingivitis may cause red, puffy, or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush and/or floss. This sensitivity is an exaggerated response to plaque and is caused by an increased level of progesterone in your system. The dentist may recommend that you have more frequent cleanings during your second or third trimester to help avoid problems. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, please come see Dr. Mondale.

Even though brushing may be sensitive or create a gag-reflex it is still very important to keep up with your at home oral care. 
Nutrition needed for teeth development
Eating a balanced diet is essential for both mother & baby's health. Your baby's teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth month of pregnancy, so it is important that you receive enough essential nutrients - especially calcium, protein, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, and D.

Oral care for your baby
- Never allow your baby or toddler to fall asleep with a bottle containing any substance other than water.

- Never allow your baby or toddler to suck on or fall asleep with a pacifier dipped in sugar or honey.

- Begin oral care early. Even before any teeth are present wipe your baby's gums with a wet washcloth or a clean gauze pad after every feeding.

- Be cautious of what you let your children snack on, frequent snacking or drinking of juices can lead to decay.

- Check your child's teeth regularly. As soon as the first tooth comes in, check their lips, cheeks, tongue & teeth to make sure that there are no sores present or any white or stained areas on the teeth. If there is anything out of the normal, take your child to the dentist.

- Schedule your child's first visit to the dentist no later than their second birthday. This can help establish a positive relationship between your child and the dentist. In addition to checking for decay or other problem areas, you can also learn how to properly clean your child's teeth.
Teeth Whitening
How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only "touch ups" are required to maintain the whiteness.
Other Common Questions
Insurance & payment
We gladly accept most insurance plans, please contact our office to verify that we accept your particular insurance plan. Here at Mondale dental we will gladly electronically file your insurance claims for you. We accept cash, check, and credit card payments. We also offer payment plan options including CareCredit. Please see our front desk for CareCredit details.
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath, so that you can take steps to elminate it.

Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups  will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.
Where is the sugar in my diet?
There are "hidden sugars" that people are not always aware of in their diet. Sugars are extremely hard to avoid because they are in a lot more foods and drinks than people are aware of.

Here is a list of other names for sugar:

  barley malt

  beet sugar

  brown sugar

  buttered syrup

  cane-juice crystals

  cane sugar


  carob syrup

  corn syrup

  corn syrup solids

  date sugar




  diastatic malt

  ethyl maltol


  fruit juice

  fruit juice concentrate


  glucose solids

  golden sugar

  golden syrup

  grape sugar

  high-fructose corn syrup


  invert sugar


  malt syrup





  maple syrup

  natural sugar

  natural sweetener

  raw sugar

  refiner's syrup


  sorghum syrup



  turbinado sugar

  yellow sugar

Here is a list of common "hidden sugar" areas that people aren't always aware of:

  Coffee additives (creamers, sugars)
  Breath mints
  Cough drops
  Juice drinks
  Sports drinks
  Energy Drinks