How to help a teething baby


Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 11.44.15 AMWhether you’re a new or seasoned parent, teething can be a hair-graying experience. Crying, whining, drooling and overall crankiness are often a normal part of the process when a baby’s teeth are on the brink of breaking through the gum tissue.  When a baby begins teething, there is no set pattern on when it will begin, how long it will take and how painful it will be.  For one baby teething might happen overnight without pain, while another child might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience.  You may sometimes visibly see a rise or lump in the gum for several weeks, while sometimes there may be no visible clue at all until the tooth actually appears.

Which teeth come in first and how many teeth come in?

In total there are twenty primary teeth, which is twelve less than the full set of thirty-two permanent teeth adults have. Each of the baby teeth slowly emerge from the gum over a few weeks or months.  Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are around two or three years old. The teeth can seem very spaced out at first but it’s nothing to worry about; as the full set comes through, the teeth will move into a more normal position.

 These teeth usually last until about the age of six, when the teeth that were first to appear become loose and fall out as the second teeth begin to push through the gums.  The primary teeth continue falling out until roughly the age of twelve.  The following is the most common pattern for baby teeth to appear.




6 to 7 months


Two central bottom & Two central top teeth.

7 to 9 months

Two more incisors

Top & bottom; making four top & four bottom teeth in all.

10 to 14 months

First molars

Double teeth for chewing

15 to 18 months


The pointed teeth or “fangs”

2 to 3 years

Second molars

The second set of double teeth at the back



How will you know if your baby is teething?

Teething symptoms vary from child to child. Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething so it might make it more difficult to determine what is the exact cause.This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth shows, and they disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Many babies don’t seem to be affected by teething. 

Irritability:   The pain and discomfort is most often worse during the first teeth coming in and later when the molars come in because of their bigger size

Drooling:  Your baby start drooling more often than normal because teething stimulates drooling

Chin rash:  The constant contact with saliva can cause the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated

Biting & gnawing:  A baby that is teething will gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get their mouth around.  The counter pressure from biting on something helps relieve the pressure from under the gums.

Cheek rubbing and ear tugging:  Pain in the gums may travel to the ears and cheeks particularly when the back molars begin coming in

Diarrhea:  It is believed that the most likely cause of this is the extra saliva swallowed, which then loosens the stool

Not sleeping well:  With teething pain happening during the day and night, you may find your child wakes more often at night when the pain gets bad enough

Coughing:  The extra saliva can cause your baby to occasionally cough or gag

How can you help teething pain?

There are plenty of things you can try before resorting to pain relief products or teething gels. Giving your baby something cool to bite on can relieve the pressure and ease the pain. You could try the following: 

  • Rub a clean finger over your baby’s sore gums to numb the pain temporarily.
  • Give your baby a teething ring. Solid, silicone-based teething rings are better than liquid-filled products, which could leak and can’t be sterilised. You could try putting the teething ring in the fridge for a while before giving it to your baby. Don’t put it in the freezer, as this could hurt your baby’s gums.
  • Offering your baby a cold bottle of water can also help.
  • Teething gels.

If you have any questions about teething contact Dr. Chauvins office today.


Follow this nightly dental routine and be cavity-free for your next checkup

We all know this much: cavities are bad.

Not good.

No bueno.

When the dentist lets you know that you have one, your heart sinks a little bit.


Because for some it kind of feels like they just got a big fat F on their dental exam, and nobody likes bad grades. For others, it seems like a reflection of their character or dedication to dental hygiene.

But here’s the thing – most people get a cavity or five in their lifetime, and you’re not awful if you have to get one filled every once in a while.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid them. You just have to have some discipline!

Your new nightly dental routine


  • Brush your teeth…for a while


Yes, this is step number one for a reason. It’s incredibly obvious, but brushing your teeth for a good amount of time is one of the best ways you can prevent acids and sugars from eating away at your tooth enamel and causing decay.

The real key, though, is to brush them for long enough. Dentists recommend a whole two minutes. This will most likely feel like a very very long time at first, but it’s necessary to keep your pearly whites, well…white.

When you brush, use short, gentle strokes over the surfaces and gumlines, taking care to pay equal attention to the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces.


  • Floss twice a day


Flossing is definitely not a fan favorite, but how else are you supposed to remove all that food debris from between your teeth ?

Trust us. If you don’t already floss, you might be disgusted (read: fascinated) to see how much food gets lodged in the cracks.

And do you know what happens to that food? It decays. It damages your enamel.

It also doesn’t smell great.

Floss using either a waxed or unwaxed floss, or turn to some other cool flossing tools we talked about in a previous blog.


  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste


Fluoride is a great thing.

It is a mineral that works wonders in the cavity fighting department, and it prevents mineral loss and the resulting damage to enamel.

Here are a few types of toothpaste that have been approved by the American Dental Association

Click here for more products approved by the ADA.
So there you go.

It’s not a breakthrough in dental hygiene, but these are three things that you can do every night to greatly improve the likelihood that you will survive your next teeth cleaning cavity free!

As always, visit Dr. Chauvin in Lafayette for a easy (and judgement free) appointment.

boy make bubble with chew

Why sugarless gum is good for your teeth

Gum gets a bad rap.

We tell our kids not to chew it in school and ban it from the mouths of braces-wearing teens. Blowing bubbles is seen as rude, and snapping, cracking, and popping your gum is generally frowned upon.

We make gum into the bad guy, but is that fair to the chewy substance?

Turns out our preconceived notions about gum might be a little wrong. In fact, this post is all about correcting the misunderstanding that all gum is a treat-like candy. We want to give gum the credit it deserves!

Because get’s not all blow pops and Hubba Bubba. The right kind of gum is actually great for your teeth, and even ancient civilizations enjoyed a good chew sometimes (though theirs was made of various tree saps…yum).

We’re mind readers, so you’re probably now wondering “okay – what is the right kind of gum?”

Fantastic question! We’re getting there.

The short answer is sugarless gum is the right kind of gum. This gum is sweetened with sugarless sweetener like aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol that completely lack the large amounts of sugar that help plaque acid grow.

Not only does sugarless gum lack the bad, plaque growing properties of sugar-containing gum, the act of chewing the gum itself is beneficial to your teeth.

The motion of chewing gum increases the flow of saliva to the mouth, which in turn has some great effects:

  • Increased saliva-flow displaces food debris stuck in small nooks and crannies in  between teeth
  • Saliva neutralizes the harmful acids found in the mouth after eating foods like citrus fruit and juices – these acids break down tooth enamel and facilitate conditions for tooth decay
  • Saliva contains calcium and phosphate that strengthen tooth enamel by replacing minerals depleted by the eating process (which is why dentists recommend chewing sugar free gum roughly 20 minutes after a meal)

What’s chewing gum made of?

A few different things, but in general they contain:

  1. Gum base
  2. Artificial sweetener (like the ones listed above)
  3. Softeners (glycerin or vegetable oil products)
  4. Flavor and color

Which gum should I buy?

The American Dental Association approved kind! This means that the ADA has evaluated the brand to make sure that it is safe and effective at cleaning your teeth. This means that it is an effective plaque-reducer, mineralization agent, cavity reducer, etc.

Here is a list of ADA approved gums for you to try out:

  • 5 Sugarfree Gum
  • Bazooka Sugar Free Bubble Gum (original & blue razz)
  • Eclipse Sugarfree Gum
  • Extra Sugarfree Gum
  • Icebreakers Ice Cubes
  • Orbit for Kids Sugarfree Gum
  • Orbit Sugarfree Gum
  • Stride Sugarless Gum
  • Trident Sugarfree Gum


But don’t forget…

Chewing sugarfree gum can never replace the acts of brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s a fantastic habit to get into, but only as a supplement to a pre-existing healthy dental routine.

And NOTHING replaces coming in to see Dr. Chauvin or your own dentist for yearly cleanings. Give us a call at (337) 234-2186 today to schedule your next appointment!

how to tell if you have bad breathe

How to tell if you have bad breath

Having bad breath is a special kind of torture.

It the kind of affliction that you really can’t detect in yourself with any kind of certainty, and you won’t meet too many people who are willingly going to tell you “hey, you’re kind of stinky.”

Well, you might, but they’re either really good friends or very mean strangers.

Secret bad breath might only be a secret to you, causing people to avoid close talk and whispered conversations of any kind. You might have noticed this, and labeling the resulting feeling as “embarrassing” is a massive understatement.

So, you might be asking, is there a way to tell if I actually have bad breath?

The answer is yes!

There are a few different ways, some more discrete than others, but we’ll start with the first, sure fire way for you to get an answer.

Ask a Friend


Absolutely not.



The most reliable way to get the answer you need is ask a close friend you trust. If you can get over the initial embarrassment of asking them to confirm or deny that the air that you breathe out of your mouth is offensive, then this is a great strategy.

The fantastic thing is that even if they tried to lie, their face would probably reveal some mild distaste if your breath is truly bad.

And yes – this will probably lead to some embarrassment for a moment, but then you know you have something to visit your dentist about.

You’ll be on the road to fresh breath in no time!

The Lick Test

The following two “tests” are less reliable, but definitely more discrete.

If your stomach turns at the thought of asking someone for the honest truth, then maybe you should try out these simple methods that involve just you…

Make sure that your wrist is dry and free of any sort of lotion, perfume, or cologne.

Now, lick your wrist.

Wait 10 seconds.


Is it bad? Good? Neutral?

Chances are, if the smell on your wrist is not good, then your breath might need some work.

The Q-Tip Test

This test is similar, but it involves a cotton swab.

Take the Q-tip and run it along the inside of your cheeks and tongue.

Remove the Q-tip, and let it dry for several minutes.

Sniff, check, evaluate.

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, the only way to REALLY know if you have a problem is to try out method #1 and ask a friend.

The reason is this: we can’t really smell our own breath.

This is because our brains acclimate to the smells around us to help us better detect new smells. It’s a pretty cool trick, but not when it comes to our inability to tell if our house smells like cat pee or our breath might ruin our next date or a job interview.

Luckily, we’re here to help. If you are even a little self conscious about the scent of your breath, come see Dr. Chauvin in Lafayette. We’ll help you determine the cause and figure out an easy, effective way to get it minty fresh.



Biggest dental hygiene mistakes

We’re going to venture a guess here and say that dental hygiene is no one’s favorite pastime.

There’s something about brushing and flossing that pales in comparison to literally everything else, and we know that. Why do you think dentists are so necessary?

The good news is that most of us work past that distaste and get the teeth cleaning into our schedules, but how good of a job are we really doing?

News flash: 15 seconds is not long enough to get those puppies clean.

Get this – not only could you be doing a lackluster job, you might actually have some habits that are actively BAD for your teeth. That’s right. You could be putting in the time and effort to do some little thing the internet or your best friend told you was dental magic, and you’re actually making a huge mistake.

So what are the most common dental hygiene mistakes you might be making?

Check it out.


  • You listen to the internet


We know – it’s a great place. It opens up doors to information and opportunities those before us couldn’t even fathom, but some things are better left un-fathomed. For example, DIY braces crafted from store-bought rubber bands, or the newest teeth whitening method that calls for swishing straight peroxide around your mouth until your teeth are glistening! Or just eroded down to nubs.

The problem is that while some advice online is great and harmless, there are too many Pinterest dentists whose methods might leave you in worse shape than you started. Our advice is to only use materials that are ADA approved, or just come ask us what we think.


  • You brush right after you eat


Logic might tell you to brush right after you eat to remove the remnants of whatever food you just ate.

In that case, logic would be wrong.

Turns out that when you eat, the acids and sugars from the food you just chewed actually break down and weaken the enamel on your teeth. If you get right in there and brush your teeth with fervor, then you might be doing more damage than good. Those furious back and forths are removing the already weakened enamel, and this habit could cause premature deterioration.

In most cases, wait 30 minutes before brushing. If you’ve just eaten something high in sugar or acid, swish some water around your mouth to rinse away any significant residue.


  • You’re brushing too hard


You might feel like your teeth will thank you, but they really won’t. Brushing too hard or using a brush with hard bristles leads to the erosion of your enamel. According to a 2011 study published by the Journal of Periodontology, hard-bristled toothbrushes are great at removing plaque, but they’re also more likely than soft brushes to cause gingivitis and damage tissue.


  • You’re not brushing enough


Twice a day, 2 min each. You might be SHOCKED at how long that feels, but we promise it’s worth it.


  • You’re a boring brusher


Don’t take this personally, it’s not judgement, but you might just be a boring brusher. If you start in the same place every day, then your natural “brushing path” might leave some areas well taken care of while others are neglected.

You also might only be brushing your teeth which is no good. The tongue collects a great deal of bacteria, so give it a good brush for better breath and a cleaner mouth.

If you’re feeling like striking a good balance might be hard, you’re right – but it’s not impossible! Establishing fantastic dental hygiene is all about getting in good habits, and we think you’re on your way there.

Coming to see Dr. Chauvin in Lafayette can’t hurt, either! Make an appointment today.


Why are people afraid of the dentist?

Why are people afraid of the dentist?

For countless people, going to the dentist is a wildly stressful event. This anxiety can range from a minor discomfort to a full on phobia. In fact, Colgate Oral Center estimates that about 9 to 15 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to this fear. That translates to about 30 to 40 million people who will put up with painful, infected, and decaying teeth because they are so scared of what might happen in the dentist’s chair.

Whether you are on the low or high end of that anxiety spectrum, your fear might result in the avoidance of important appointments that are vital to your oral health. The negligence of a painful tooth could ironically result in much more discomfort than any procedure you will encounter in a dentist’s office.

So what’s behind the fear? And what can you do to move past it?

The Causes

Are we just born with an innate fear of the dentist, or is there a more specific cause? Peter Milgrom, DDS, director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle says that the majority of the fear is a result of a bad experience that took place at a past dental appointment. The remaining people feel this crippling anxiety as a symptom of other anxiety disorders, like post traumatic stress disorders related to domestic violence, abuse, combat, etc.

But what about those of us who just feel….slightly uncomfortable?

It’s not unusual, explains psychologist Ellen Rodino of Santa Monica, California. When you’re in the dentist’s chair, you are incredibly exposed. You are tilted backwards, mouth open, and another human is above you. For added discomfort, they talk to you while there are tools in your mouth.

So what does this amount to? For many, it’s a feeling of complete and total vulnerability and a lack of control.

Dealing with the Fear

Believe it or not, there are ways for people with even the most crippling fear to move past the phobia and get the dental treatment they need.

Here are some of the ways that great dentists help patients feel a stronger sense of control:

  • They tell the patient exactly what they will feel and the duration of that feeling
  • They ask the patient if it is okay to continue to the next step
  • Patients have a cue they can give the dentist if they need the procedure or examination to stop
  • Time is set aside for breaks

Another great way that dentists are helping nervous patients is by creating an environment that is less like a classic dentist’s office. Instead of decorating the waiting room with tabloids and unnerving photos of damaged teeth, dentists are creating a warmer environment that is much less “clinical.”

Jack Bynes, DMD, is a great example of a dentist committed to making people feel more comfortable. His office is in a historic building where guests can enjoy a waiting room with a fireplace and beautiful photography. The treatment room overlooks a waterfall, and the doctor himself chooses not to wear scrubs.

Well, we don’t have a waterfall here, but we do have some strategies we recommend that might help you get over that hurdle of anxiety:

  • Bring someone with you to your appointment! This could be a friend or family member – just someone you trust
  • Allow yourself to be distracted while you sit in the examination chair by listening to music or checking out our TV on the ceiling!
  • Take deep, slow breaths to help calm your heartbeat and relax your muscles


At Chauvin Dental, can promise that we will make our best effort to make you as comfortable as possible. Our job is to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile, and we take that seriously. Give us a call today, and we can talk about making your next visit an anxiety-free experience.


how to floss the right way chauvin dental lafayette

How to Floss the Right way

Pretty much everyone knows that brushing your teeth is important. If you don’t make this oral hygiene process part of your routine, close talking might lead to friend loss, but flossing doesn’t seem to carry the same importance for many people.

According to the American Dental Association, only four out of ten Americans floss at least once a day, and two out of ten never floss.

Flossing is vital to your oral health. Using floss helps to remove plaque build-up, food debris, and stimulate gum health. It has an abundance of pros, very few cons (other than being slightly annoying), and those who don’t make it a routine are putting themselves at a higher risk for cavities, halitosis, gum disease, and more.

Let’s say you decide it’s time to make flossing your newest consistent habit. How do you know if you’re even doing it right? In this post, we’ll let you know the dentist-recommended flossing techniques for scaring away all the no good teeth maladies.

Make sure to do the following:

  • Take about 18 inches of floss, wrap each end around the middle fingers, leaving a little hanging at the end so you can adjust your hold
  • Using your thumb and index finger, hold the floss until it is taut and place between teeth, moving slowly up and down
  • Make sure to move the floss along the base of each tooth going beneath the gumline
  • Do NOT use floss that makes a “snapping” sound when put between the gum and the tooth. This could cause damage.

What Floss is the Best?

This depends on the type of teeth you have and your gum sensitivity. Flosses that are waxed and resemble “tape” are often good for going into tight spaces between your teeth, though some people fare just fine with unwaxed floss.

Others prefer to use flossing tools…

  1. Water flossing tools (like “Waterpik”) – this is a tool that pushes water into the spaces between your teeth at high speeds in order to remove debris. These tools are great for people with braces as they get to those hard to reach crevices that hold food and plaque that cause major problems.
  2. Flossing picks – these little tools are made of a plastic and already have floss attached to the head of the device. The benefit is that those hard to reach molars in the back are easier than ever to get to – without putting your whole fist in your mouth.
  3. Threader Floss – this tool is designed specially for those with braces. Though using the threader isn’t exactly time efficient, it may be necessary to get the thread between the wires and metal.

If the fancy stuff isn’t for you, just go with the old original string floss! There are plenty of coatings and minty flavors to make the whole event a little more enjoyable.

So do yourself a favor and be in that 40 percent of Americans that floss once a day…your gums, dentist, and friends will thank you.

Good and bad food for breath

Good and bad food for breath

Bad breath might very possibly be the most loathed and feared non life-threatening condition people deal with today. Nobody likes bad breath, least of all those who have to smell it on the uncomfortable close talker or the colleague whose egg salad stuck around hours after lunch ended. Almost everyone fears that they have it, and almost no one knows when they do.

If you are at least lucky enough to know that halitosis (the fancy name for bad breath) is a problem that you need to deal with, then there are two main courses of action to remedying the problem:

  1. Improve your dental habits (brushing, flossing, etc)
  2. Improve your diet

Most people know that better dental habits are a key to improving breath, but people are less aware of the potential impact diet has on the scent you give off. Though there is no conclusive evidence that specific foods results in horrendous breath, we can at least talk about some of the most widely believed causes of “dragonbreath.”

Foods Linked to Bad Breath:

  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Citrus juices (i.e. orange juice)
  • Alcohol
  • Foods high in sugar

There are a few problems that the above foods tend to cause. One issue is that some of them slow saliva production which is your body’s natural mechanism for flushing out bacteria and food residue. Other foods, like onions and garlic, are pungent and linger in the mouth long past the time they are eaten. Another issue is that foods high in sugar or with high acidity create an environment favorable to bacteria growth, also contributing to bad breath.

Foods Linked to Good Breath:

  • Water
  • Sugarless gum
  • Apples and other food with crunch!

Increasing your water intake or chewing gum increases the amount of saliva the body produces, and this saliva is what helps to clean out your mouth and naturally remove bacteria. If you aren’t taking in enough water or producing enough saliva, then it is possible for that production to slow and for bacteria to build up and result in foul breath. That is why your breath in the morning is not pleasant – the body slows saliva production during the night, allowing for the build up of many unpleasant smelling bacteria. Another good habit is to eat foods with a crunch. For example, eating an apple can help remove the leftover food particles stuck in between the teeth whose decomposition never smell nice.

Overall, if you pay attention to the foods you eat and the care you take in the morning, throughout the day, and at night, then you should be on the path to fighting bad breath and ensuring general dental health. Bad breath shouldn’t be a barrier to your success or to your relationships, so do your best to figure out the best way to deal with the problem and live confidently!

Tooth Decay Is Crying With Emotions Sugar Coated Chocolate On Th

Why is sugar bad for your teeth?

Yeah yeah, we know sugar is bad for our teeth. Mom said it, dad said it, Mrs. Haverman in the first grade said it. Sugar’s role as our mouth’s archnemesis is not new information, but have you ever stopped to consider WHY it’s so bad for you? Well, we’re here to tell you that unfortunately, the adults in your life didn’t make up the horror stories just to keep you away from the joy of a Snickers bar. There’s really some annoying science behind it…

First of all, we should note that it’s not really the sugar’s fault, it’s the reaction the sugar triggers in your mouth. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (and probably any other person with a scientific background) your mouth is home to a host of bacteria – some good and some bad. They’re a part of the environment of your body, but sometimes what we put into our bodies disturbs the equilibrium of our natural ecosystem.

When you eat sugar, some of the bad bacteria in your mouth recognize a new food supply. They pig out on the molecules left on the surface of your teeth from your last lollipop or cookie, and when they do, they produce an acid that can destroy the tooth enamel. The acid does this by dissolving minerals on the surface of your teeth. While saliva helps to replenish these minerals (such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride), they can’t do their repair work fast enough if you are consuming one sugary substance after another.

Eating too much sugar and not giving the repair process time can create cavities which work from the outside in. They begin on the tooth’s surface and slowly eat through the dentin (soft layer under your enamel) until they reach the pulp of the tooth where your blood vessels and nerves are stored.

Result? Discomfort, pain, and a trip to the dentist.

The good news is that there are some pretty simple ways to prevent this nasty sugar situation from occurring:

  • Keep the saliva flowing
    • Chew sugarless gum
    • Drink water
    • Eat high fiber fruits and veggies
  • Eat foods with tooth-strengthening properties
    • Cheese, yogurt, and dairy (contain phosphates)
    • Green and black tea (suppress oral bacteria)
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • Avoid excessive sugar consumption

Though sugar is not the only culprit when it comes to cavity development, it is a troublemaker. Take care to brush, floss, and consume foods that will limit potential damage to your pearly whites.

denture adhesive

What is denture adhesive and do I need it?

Dentures. They really get a bad rap, don’t they? The truth is that dentures are a fantastic way to improve the look of a smile that has lost a few team players, and they don’t have to leave you speaking with an awkward, toothy lisp or whistle.

Dentures are custom made to completely create a set of teeth or partially fill in missing spaces. They are typically made from resin or porcelain after impressions are taken of your mouth and sent to a laboratory.

In order for dentures to stay in place and appear as natural as possible, they technically only need to have been made correctly. However, over time the fit of the dentures may alter due to natural changes in the mouth. For example, if you have teeth removed and are then immediately fitted for dentures, the healing process and recession of the gums might result in a changed mouth shape no longer completely fitted to the dentures. If this is the case, you might need to look into an adhesive. Even for those whose dentures are fitted correctly and do not technically need an adhesive, the extra confidence that their teeth will stay in place makes its application worthwhile.

Why is denture adhesive better?

Adhesives can be pastes, powders, and pads, and all need to be used with care and caution. Using too much adhesive can change your bite and result in jaw problems that can hurt both your mouth and the dentures you’ve paid for. Some are more easy to work with than others. For example, adhesive pads need to be cut to perfectly fit your dentures while powders are applied simply by mixing with water. Though most manufacturers have eliminated it from their products, watch out for zinc in your adhesives as it has resulted in nerve damage in hands and feet when over-ingested.

In general, be careful not to overuse adhesive in an attempt to ensure day-long hold. This can actually result in improper function of the material. Again, if you get your dentures from an experienced dental provider and your mouth shape does not drastically change, your dentures should stay in place without the help of adhesive. If you do not think this is the case, consult your dentist about what time of adhesive would be the best for you.

Main Takeaways:

  • Good dentures don’t need adhesive to stay on
  • Adhesives should be used sparingly
  • Watch for harmful ingredients
  • Consult your dentist if you think you need adhesive (a larger problem with the fit might be uncovered)