Preventive Care

Preventive Care is the foundation for your dental health.

We want to be your partner in helping you keep your teeth and gums in top health. Your mouth is the gateway for both your oral and overall health. Therefore, good oral hygiene supports both dental and overall health. Gum disease is largely preventable.

Here are some suggestions from the ADA for good dental health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Eat a balanced diet, and limit soft drinks and between-meal snacks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.

We offer the following preventive services:


Oral examinations allow us to gather information about your oral health. The extent of the exam you’ll receive depends on a number of factors, including whether you are a new or returning patient, the length of time since your last dental visit and whether you are returning to have a specific dental condition checked.

Oral health is integrally connected with your general health. Regular check-ups are important because some diseases or medical conditions have symptoms that can appear in the mouth. Diabetes, nutritional and vitamin deficiencies and hormonal irregularities are some examples. If you wear dentures, it is important to have them checked for proper fit and to look for oral lesions. Although they were made to fit precisely, dentures can become loose due to naturally occurring changes to your gums and bone.

Brittany McLaughlin examining a patient

Cancer screening

During a dental examination, both Dr. McLaughlin and her hygienists, will screen for precancerous changes in the oral tissues and thus help detect cancer at a stage when it can be more successfully treated. We check your oral tissues for lumps, masses, growths, red or white patches or recurring sore areas. This is included with every check-up appointment.

Digital x-rays

In our practice, we pride ourselves on utilizing the latest most advanced technology possible to provide you, the patient, with the safest and most diagnostic radiographs available. Digital x-rays are designed to expose patients to much less radiation than with traditional x-ray technology. The images provided are much clearer, save time, and offer several advanced imaging options.

Prophylaxis (cleanings)

Both tooth decay and gum disease can develop when a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque, is allowed to build up on the teeth. While brushing and flossing your teeth will help remove a great deal of plaque, its nearly impossible to remove all of it. In time, plaque can harden into tartar, or calculus, especially in hard-to-reach areas near the gumline and between teeth. Once plaque has hardened into calculus, the only way it can be removed is through professional teeth cleaning at the dental office.

During the cleaning, the hygienist will remove the hardened deposits with manual scalers or an ultrasonic machine. Loose particles are removed with a stream of water. After the hard deposits have been removed, the teeth may be polished with a mild compound. Professional cleaning also helps remove many of the food, beverage or tobacco stains that cannot be removed with regular brushing.

Let Dr. McLaughlin help you to create and maintain optimal dental health.

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Call 479-452-1738 to make an appointment today for Fort Smith dental care or consultation or fill out our contact form.