Exams & Cleanings

As a holistic dental office, we advocate a preventive approach to oral and systemic health. The goal is to optimize health now and keep problems from arising in the first place.

At Smiles by Shields, we see regular dental appointments – every 6 months, or more often if you have gum disease – as an opportunity to contribute to your total wellness. We make it our priority to ensure your mouth is in excellent shape.

Home Hygiene Is Important but Not Enough

Dental cleanings are important for stopping the growth of harmful bacteria and stemming the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease – a/k/a gum disease.

Both gingivitis and periodontal disease have been scientifically linked to a wide range of other inflammatory conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers.

At your 6-month visits, we look for any signs of developing oral disease or other dental problems, and talk with you about options for addressing them, whether through ramped up home care, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, or corrective dental treatment.

The other component of these visits is cleaning – or, to use the clinical term, prophylaxis. There are three big benefits to a professional cleaning.

  • Plaque removal. Tartar and plaque can build up above the gum line and unseen below it, ultimately leading to periodontal disease. Even when you brush and floss regularly at home, it can be impossible to remove all of the debris and bacteria that cause this. Our hygienists are specially trained to locate and remove this harmful buildup that can damage your health.
  • A healthier looking smile. Even with brushing and flossing at home, food and beverages can stain teeth over time. Coffee, tea, red wine, and foods can all contribute to brown or yellow tooth stains. Dental cleanings help remove them so your smile looks brighter and whiter.
  • Fresher breath. Some bad breath (halitosis) can’t be controlled at home, especially when gum disease is involved. Bacteria builds up and food particles decay below the gum line. Prophylaxis removes all of this debris so your breath is refreshed.