Dental Floss vs. Water Floss_ Which is better_ - chauvin dental lafayette la

Dental Floss vs. Water Floss: Which is better?

Do you floss your teeth every day? If you’re not flossing, you should be. Flossing, whether you’re using conventional dental floss or a water irrigator (water floss), is important for removing plaque and debris between teeth and along the gum line.

Flossing properly and daily can reduce your risks for developing dental caries and periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, brushing only cleans about 70% of oral surfaces when performed correctly, so it is important to perform daily Interdental cleaning to safeguard your oral health.

If you’re on the fence about what kind of floss to use, read on for a breakdown on these two Interdental cleaning methods.

Traditional Dental Floss

Flossing with traditional dental floss is effective at removing surface debris from leftover food and daily plaque deposits. Dental floss is thin but strong enough to clean deep between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. If you floss correctly, you can control plaque accumulation, disrupt the formation of bacterial colonies at the gum line, and remove food particles lodged in hard-to-reach areas.

Traditional dental floss comes in two varieties: unwaxed and waxed. Many people find that using waxed dental floss is easier and more comfortable.

Water Flossing/Water Irrigators

Water flossing involves using a handheld device that emits pulses of water streams. These streams of water help flush the spaces between teeth and along the gums. Water floss can remove plaque and debris from food but some dentists disagree on whether this form of Interdental cleaning is superior to conventional flossing.

Some people choose to use water irrigators in conjunction with conventional flossing and brushing. Others with braces or prosthetics like bridges may choose to use a water irrigator because it is more convenient. Those with fixed and implant-supported bridges benefit from using water flossers to clean underneath their prosthetics.

Floss Like a Professional

Flossing is important and the techniques with which you floss can make a difference in reducing your risks for common oral diseases. Improper flossing will not remove bacteria and plaque as thoroughly as using proper flossing technique. Moreover, the quality of the tools you use for Interdental cleaning matters. Always look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance when purchasing any oral hygiene products.

Dental Floss: Tips and Tricks

Dentists and dental hygienists are experts at making the most of dental floss. Their technique for flossing, even with conventional dental floss, is effective at cleaning hard-to-reach areas in the oral cavity. When you mirror the technique of the pros at home, you take charge of your oral health.

First, begin with about an 18-inch strand of floss. Wrap dental floss around each index finger or middle finger (whichever is more comfortable). Leave a section of one to two inches of floss between your fingers. Your thumbs can come in handy for directing floss between your upper set of teeth. Use a clean one- to two-inch section of floss for each space between teeth. Using clean floss for each section is important because dirty floss can lodge unwanted food and bacteria between teeth.

Be sure to floss gently and slowly. Vigorous and improper flossing could cut into the gums, increasing your risks for gingival irritation and inflammation. With practice, you can floss like a pro and strengthen your oral health in the process.

Water Floss: Tips and Tricks

Many people enjoy using water flossers because it is easier to use. Instead of threading conventional floss between teeth, you will hold a handheld device over each section between teeth and along the gums. This device will send a gentle yet steady stream of water that helps remove food particles and plaque.

Water flossers are very helpful for cleaning behind the archwires and around the brackets of braces, too. Some people find cleaning underneath prosthetics like bridges with water irrigators convenient as well. You can also use your water irrigator to dislodge food from the pits and fissures of teeth. This is a handy method for ensuring that the molars at the back of your mouth are clean.

When buying a water flosser, be sure to consult with our Lafayette, LA dentist for product recommendations. You can also look for the ADA seal of acceptance on water floss packaging to ensure that you’re buying a quality product.

Our general and restorative dentist is happy to make recommendations for oral care products and provide additional tips for effective oral hygiene practices. We serve patients throughout Lafayette, LA. Call our practice to schedule an appointment for a cleaning or checkup.

How to Choose a Dentist That’s Right for You - chauvin dental lafayette la

How to Choose a Dentist That’s Right for You

Choosing a dentist can be a daunting task—especially if you have recently relocated, your current dentist is retiring, or if your dental insurance has changed. Our Lafayette, LA dentist understands that finding the right dental provider can be cumbersome. Following are some tips to make choosing a great dentist that meets your needs, easier.

Search Dental Practices in Your Area

The Internet can be a useful tool in the search for an oral healthcare provider. Today, many dentists have websites with helpful information about their services. Insurance networks list general information about a dental practice to help their clients, too.

Many dental practices maintain websites that contain a wealth of information about their dentists, staff, and services.  Some websites might discuss the technological and diagnostic capabilities of a practice along with their mission statements, which detail a dentist’s practice philosophy and approach to oral healthcare treatment.

Dental practice websites as well as information aggregated by local listings, insurance websites, and review sites for patients can help narrow down the search for a dentist in your area. In addition to these resources, you can use the American Dental Association’s “Find a Dentist” search engine. This search engine allows users to find a dentist by location and specialty, if applicable.

Next, make a list of prospective dentists from your initial search. Once you have a working list, you can start looking into specific information that addresses your unique needs.

Inquire about Types of Dental Services and Treatments

The type of dentist you need largely depends on your health history and the current state of your oral health. Moreover, if you are looking for a dentist to treat yourself, a romantic partner, and/or children in your household, you want to make sure that the dentists you search for treat patients of all ages, including children.

A general dentist can offer an array of services including restorative care and some cosmetic treatments. For instance, if you have a loose crown, most dental practitioners can help you. On the other hand, if it’s been a while since you’ve visited a dentist or if you know you need a series of restorative treatments to repair multiple damaged teeth, it is wise to look for a dentist that has extensive continuing education and experience with placing restorations like dental crowns, inlays, onlays, and bridges.

Beyond looking at the services offered on websites, it is a good idea to call practices and ask a practice’s staff for specific information on your needs—especially if you have chronic oral health conditions like periodontal (gum) disease or have old restorations that need to be replaced. Make a list of questions you would like answered ahead of time and look at your notes throughout your phone conversation to ensure that you don’t forget to make important queries. Take note of staff members’ answers to help you narrow your list of prospective dentists.

Ask Which Insurers the Practice Accepts

If a practice meets your specific treatment and lifestyle needs and your subsequent care is contingent on dental insurance coverage, you will want to look into the forms of insurance that practice accepts. You can learn more about dental insurance coverage and whether a practice accepts the policy you have by calling your insurer, visiting dental practice websites, and calling dental practices.

The information you receive will help you narrow down your list of local dentists.

Narrowing Your List

Once you’ve narrowed your list based on your treatment needs, insurance concerns, and whether or not you need a family dentist, then you can rule out potential dentists based on your interactions with their staff. If a practice’s staff is friendly and helpful, be sure to make note of it—especially if this dental practice meets your other needs. Feeling comfortable with a dentist and his/her team is an essential component of establishing a long-term relationship with your oral healthcare provider. It is important that patients feel respected and valued by their oral health team.

Schedule Your First Appointment

Based on the information gathered from your research and from your conversations with local dental offices, rank your narrowed list of dentists. Call the top dentist on your ranked list and request an appointment. Keep your ranked list of dentists in the event that you are unhappy with your experience and want to switch providers.

Our gentle and friendly dentist is accepting new patients. We serve patients in and around Lafayette, Louisiana. Call us today to reserve a checkup and cleaning.


Top 5 Worst Foods for Dental Health - chauvin dental lafayette la

Top 5 Worst Foods for Dental Health

What you eat and drink could destroy your dental health. Many people think about what they eat in terms of weight management but they overlook the importance of dietary habits’ and their effects on teeth.

For example, foods that contain sugar and starch are well-known contributors to oral disease. Sugary and starchy foods activate the oral bacteria in our mouth that feed on these food particles to survive. Once bacteria begin to feed on sugar molecules, they release acids that soften tooth enamel. Well-fed bacteria also colonize to form plaque, a substance that coats the teeth and gums. Plaque accumulation contributes to the development of dental caries (cavities) and periodontal (gum) disease.

Following is a rundown of some of the most dangerous foods to avoid to preserve your dental health.


Read health-oriented articles on social media and the Internet, and many will recommend drinking water with lemon for “detoxing” and “alkalinity”. The truth is that drinking water with citrus fruits like lime and lemon on a regular basis will weaken your teeth.

Citrus contains natural sugars and strong acids. Consuming too much of either is bad for your dental health.

Citric acid can lead to the permanent erosion of tooth enamel, a mineralized protective coating around teeth that prevents tooth decay. When tooth enamel is damaged, it gives cavity-causing bacteria access to the dentin layer of teeth, which cannot protect itself against harmful oral bacteria.

Desserts and Candies

Dessert foods like candy, cake, cookies, and candy bars are tempting but the risks outweigh the pleasure of eating them. These foods are loaded with sugar and when consumed, they give harmful bacteria exactly what they need to thrive and do damage to your oral health.

Additionally, excessive amounts of sugar consumption can affect oral pH. Imbalances in oral pH contribute to overgrowth of bacteria and fungus, which can lead to infections like gum disease and thrush.

If you must satisfy your sweet tooth, opt for berries and low-fat yogurt. Unsweetened or lightly-sweetened dark chocolate is fine on occasion, too. Melting dark chocolate over nuts or berries makes for a delectable and healthier dessert.

Chewing Ice Cubes

Chomping down on ice cubes is a nervous habit. While ice cubes have no sugar or acid in them, repeatedly biting down on hard items like ice will wear down teeth. Chewing ice cubes can do more than wear tiny cracks in tooth enamel, repeatedly crunching ice between your teeth can lead to chips and cracks. Chipped and cracked teeth require restorations to fix them. This type of dental damage might also lead to infected root canals, which requires endodontic treatment or tooth extractions to correct.

Avoid chewing on anything that isn’t food. Breaking this habit now could save you hours in the dental chair for restorations like crowns and endodontic care such as root canal therapy.  

Sodas, Sports Drinks, and Energy Drinks

Sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks have dangerous formulas. These drinks contain insane amounts of sugar and acid.

Regular and diet soda along with energy drinks contain caffeine, which is a diuretic that dries out oral tissue. Dry oral tissue increases the risks for inflammation and irritation, especially along the gingiva.

The marketing of sports drinks and energy drinks is misleading. While these beverages are touted as hydrating and healthy by some, they actually have the power to destroy teeth and gums when consumed frequently.

Your best bet for energy and hydration is plain water—especially if it comes from the tap. Water from the tap contains fluoride, a mineral that is scientifically proven to strengthen tooth enamel.


Sticky, Chewy, and Crunchy Foods

If food is sticky and chewy, chances are it is coated in sugar. The concentration of sugar that makes food have a chewy and sticky consistency is high, and the thick formulas of sugar coating this kind of food can be difficult to remove when brushing and flossing. Thick layers of sugar can coat teeth for quite some time, giving millions of bacteria ample opportunity for prolonged feeding.

Similarly, if food is crunchy it is likely to be lodged in the pits and fissures of teeth. This means that snacking on something like granola or potato chips will leave particles of food stuck on teeth, especially along the molars at the back of the mouth.

If you need something crunchy, consider eating vegetables like celery or bell pepper and unsalted nuts. These items will give you the crunch you crave with the added benefit of essential nutrients that increase your overall health.


Take Charge with Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Protecting your oral health with teeth-friendly foods and drinks can save you time and money spent in the dentist’s office. It will also help you extend the lifespan of your biological teeth. Avoiding unhealthy foods and drinks, isn’t enough. You should practice vigilant oral hygiene and visit your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings.

If you have questions about your diet and dental health, contact our Lafayette LA general dentistry practice to speak with a member of our team. We are accepting new patients. Call us today to reserve an appointment for a checkup or cleaning with our gentle dentist.

Eat These Foods for Optimal Oral Health - chauvin dental lafayette la

Eat These Foods for Optimal Oral Health

Making healthy dental choices can seem daunting and befuddling. Grocery stores are cluttered with processed, unhealthy items. News outlets consistently report that tried-and-true favorites are not considered unhealthy according to new research studies. It’s no wonder that people are confused about what to eat and why they should eat it.

Adding further insult to injury is the fact that some things that are promoted as healthy for weight loss are unhealthy for our teeth and gums. If you’re wondering what to eat for optimal oral health, here’s a list to help you get started in the right direction.


Calcium and Phosphorus for Strong Teeth

Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals that help keep hard tissue like teeth, strong. These minerals strengthen tooth enamel and facial bones like the jaws, which support the roots of teeth.

Dairy sources like low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt are great at giving our mouths and bodies the calcium they need. If you’re dairy-free, almond milk, kale, broccoli, and calcium-set tofu are great options for increasing your calcium intake from plant-based sources.

Phosphorus helps support calcium’s job of strengthening hard tissue like teeth and bones. This mineral can be found in eggs, seafood like tuna and shrimp, beef, and cheese. For those who prefer getting their minerals from plant-based sources, you can eat lentils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and nuts.

Vitamin C for Immunity

Millions of harmful and helpful bacteria call our mouths home. This is why it’s important to protect your oral health by eating immune-boosting foods. If we eat foods high in Vitamin C, we can help our bodies fight infections, including those that occur in the oral cavity such as gum disease.

Citrus fruits are great sources for vitamin C but they also contain strong acids, which can erode tooth enamel. If you need a boost of vitamin C, consider adding leafy greens, bell peppers, and kiwi to your daily diet.


Vitamin A for Healthy Gums

Vitamin A is great for keeping all soft oral tissue healthy, including mucous membranes, the linings of lips and cheeks, and the gums.

You can find Vitamin A in organ meats, egg yolks, and fish. There’s also abundant sources of Vitamin A in vegetables like leafy greens and orange-colored vegetables like carrots and pumpkin, too.

Don’t Forget Water

Water is the best drink you can consume for your oral health. Staying hydrated with plain water helps our bodies and our mouths. Water keeps soft oral tissue moist—as it should be. It also helps dilute strong acids and rinse away debris from leftover food particles

For optimal oral health, drink between eight and ten glasses of water each day. Fluoridated tap water is best, too because fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that replenishes tooth enamel.

How to Eat for Great Dental Health

Eating healthy foods for great dental health is half the battle. You also need to know how to eat. Snacking between brushings is a no-no. This is because the bacteria in our mouth feed off sugar and starches. It’s best to reserve eating for meals but if you must snack, choose items like vegetables and nuts instead of sweet snacks.

It’s important to read food labels as well. Many “healthy” items like granola, for instance, have sugar added to them. Eliminating sneaky sources of sugar from your diet is wise and your oral health will thank you.

When it comes to drinking items other than water, avoid drinks like soda, lemonade, and sports drinks as these types of drinks contain unhealthy levels of sugar along with strong acids.

If you need caffeine, drink unsweetened tea or coffee in moderation. You can add milk or unsweetened almond milk to your coffee if you’re hooked on lattes and cappuccinos.


Receive Routine Checkups and Cleanings

Even if you practice perfect oral hygiene and eat a mouth-healthy diet, you still need to commit to receiving frequent checkups and cleanings. Oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease only worsen when they go undetected and untreated. Having frequent dental checkups and cleanings can help keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible.

Our gentle Lafayette, LA dentist offers general, restorative, and cosmetic dental services. If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, give our office a call to reserve an appointment.


White Strips vs. Professional Whitening Treatments - chauvin dental lafayette la

White Strips vs. Professional Whitening Treatments

A bright, white smile is a coveted asset that we associate with youth and attractiveness. Unfortunately, our smiles dull over time. If you’re unhappy with the appearance and color of your teeth, you might be weighing your teeth whitening options.

Should you try white strips from the supermarket? Or perhaps, you’re considering a visit to your Lafayette, LA dentist for professional teeth whitening treatments.

Following is some helpful information to help you evaluate your smile-brightening options.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Visit your nearest large pharmacy or supermarket and you will find a multitude of whitening products in the oral care aisle. These abundant options might be overwhelming as each product offers different pros and cons.

White Strips

White strips are some of the most commonly known over-the-counter whitening products. You have probably seen them advertised on television and in magazines. Teeth whitening strips are made by a variety of manufacturers. They are thin, pliable strips of a gel-like formula that contain hydrogen peroxide (a lightening agent). Placed over teeth in a sticker-like fashion, they are worn for about 30 minutes or so—depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

It is important to use teeth whitening strips exactly as directed. The ingredients in these formulas can irritate soft oral tissue like the gingiva and linings of the lips. Moreover, overusing or misusing whitening strips can cause tooth sensitivity.

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes clutter the oral care aisles. Many make bold claims but the truth is that most whitening toothpastes only have potent enough formulas to lift a shade or two of surface stains. Overusing whitening toothpastes can lead to permanent tooth sensitivity as many of their formulas contain abrasives. These abrasives are helpful for removing surface stains but if they are used for longer than directed or if a person brushes too vigorously, it could lead to erosion of tooth enamel.

Teeth Whitening Rinses

Teeth whitening rinses are another popular over the counter treatment option. These formulas contain low levels of bleaching ingredients. Like other store bought products, they should be used exactly as directed. Unfortunately, these teeth whitening rinses purchased from supermarkets aren’t very effective. Their formulas do not contain concentrations of bleaching ingredients capable of lightening deep, permanent stains. While these products are easy to use, their lack of results can be disappointing.

Professional Whitening Treatments

Over the counter whitening products can’t compare to the beautiful results of professional whitening systems from your dentist. This is because professional teeth whitening treatments utilize prescription grade formulas. These formulas contain potent yet gentle ingredients that effectively brighten teeth beneath their enamel surface.

Our Lafayette, LA dentist offers two professional whitening options. The first option, an in-office whitening treatment lasts about an hour. After placing protective gauze and liquid dam over soft oral tissue, our cosmetic dentist will then apply the prescription bleaching solution to the outer surfaces of teeth. More whitening solution is applied every 15 minutes in thin layers. The entire process is quick and comfortable. Shade indicators will be used before and after treatment to determine how many shades teeth have lightened. Many people can expect their teeth to lighten about eight shades brighter. If tooth sensitivity occurs with in-office whitening, it should subside in a few days.

In addition to in-office whitening, our practice offers take-home whitening kits. These kits are ideal for patients who want to maintain the results of their in-office treatment or for those who have sensitive teeth. Take-home whitening allows patients to brighten their smiles at their convenience. For instance, many patients enjoy whitening at home while performing household chores or watching television.

Take-home kits include a prescription whitening solution and custom trays. These trays fit comfortably over teeth and prevent the whitening solution from migrating to soft oral tissue, which can be irritating.

Maintaining a White Smile after Treatment

While the results of professional whitening are long lasting, it is important to protect your teeth from developing new stains.

Since dark-colored foods and drinks contribute to staining, it is helpful to consume stain-causing things in moderation. For instance, soda, red wine, and coffee contribute to stains. If you do consume drinks like these, consider using a straw. Drinking with a straw will push liquids with dark particles to the back of your mouth and reduce the frequency that these staining particles make contact with your teeth.

Be sure to maintain vigilant oral hygiene by brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily. Proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing the formation of new stains.

If you have questions about your cosmetic dentistry options, call us to reserve a smile makeover consultation with our caring dentist. We serve patients in and around Lafayette, LA.


Children’s Dental Visits and Oral Hygiene_ What you Need to Know _ chauvin dental lafayette la

Children’s Dental Visits and Oral Hygiene: What you Need to Know

Did you know that tooth decay is the second-most common infectious disease among children in the United States? Since the oral bacteria responsible for dental caries is orally transmitted, cavities are classified as an infectious disease by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association.

In addition to dental caries, children can develop a number of oral health conditions including abscessed teeth, periodontal (gum) disease, and fungal infections. This is why receiving professional oral healthcare, maintaining healthy diets, and conducting daily oral hygiene are so important.

Since issues like cavities and gum disease are preventable, you can safeguard your child’s oral health by visiting a family or pediatric dentist for routine checkups and dental cleanings along with practicing thorough oral hygiene at home.

Our Lafayette, LA dentist offers child-friendly oral healthcare from our welcoming and nurturing practice.

Your Child’s First Dental Checkup

Children’s first dental checkups should occur near their first birthdays or no later than six months after the eruption of their first teeth. This initial appointment with a family dentist is important for introducing your child to our team. Your child’s first dental appointment will involve discussing your family’s health history, your child’s developmental progress, and your household’s lifestyle habits with a family dentist and his or her staff.

Then, a non-invasive physical examination is performed to look for signs of developmental or congenital abnormalities. This part of the dental visit is important for evaluating the current state of oral health by examining soft oral tissue and the emergence of baby teeth.

Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth

Until children have the dexterity to brush and floss their own teeth, parents and caregivers will need to perform daily oral hygiene tasks for them.

Before teeth erupt, parents and caregivers need to wipe their children’s mouths with a clean, damp washcloth. Even if teeth haven’t erupted yet, it’s still important to use a clean cloth to clean the surfaces of the gums.

Once the first tooth erupts, parents can begin using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean emerging teeth.  Brushing teeth and wiping the gums needs to be performed twice a day, every day. Call Chauvin Dental today!

Nail Biting - A Dangerous Habit that You Should Break - chauvin dental lafayette la

Nail Biting: A Dangerous Habit that You Should Break

Do you bite your nails when you’re nervous? While this is a common habit, it can have negative effects on your oral health and general wellbeing.

From damaging teeth to breaking restorations, the consequences of nail biting on oral health are varied. Moreover, chewing on your fingernails can harm gums and expose the oral cavity to harmful bacteria. Biting your nails presents risks to your general health, too by cross contamination along with increased risks for skin infections, the flu, and common cold.

These reasons are why oral health professionals, including our Lafayette, LA dentist encourages patients to break this harmful habit.

What Biting Your Nails Does to Your Teeth

Teeth are incredibly strong but they are not immune to damage. Nail biting can cause permanent damage to our teeth, restorations, and prosthetics. In fact, chewing or biting on anything other than food can increase your risks for developing damaged dental structures.

Tooth Enamel Damage

Tooth enamel is a mineralized layer that surrounds teeth above the gum line. It serves as a barrier that protects the dentin structure of teeth from cavity-causing bacteria and strong acids. Nail biting, especially when this action is habitual, creates microscopic cracks in tooth enamel. Once these cracks form, the softer structures of teeth under tooth enamel are exposed to debris, bacteria, and acid. Worn tooth enamel increases a person’s risk for developing dental caries (cavities) and damage like chips and cracks.

Worn Dentition

The structure under tooth enamel can become worn, too—especially with repetitive actions like nail biting. The general wear and tear on teeth is accelerated when tooth enamel is worn because it’s easier for acid and harmful bacteria to attack teeth.

When nail biting leads to worn dentition, restorations like fillings, crowns, inlays, and onlays may be required to rebuild a patient’s bite and protect biological tooth structure from incurring more damage in the future.

Broken Restorations and Prosthetics

Biting down and chewing on your nails could affect expensive restorations and prosthetics. First, chewing and biting on inedible objects will weaken the materials that bond restorations to teeth. Weakening these bonding compounds can cause restorations and prosthetics to come loose or fall out.

Additionally, chewing and biting on non-food items like your nails can crack and chip the materials, such as porcelain, used to fabricate dental crowns and bridges.

How Biting Your Nails Affects Your Gums

Beyond harming teeth, restorations, and prosthetics, chewing on the sharp edges of your fingernails could lacerate the gingiva (gums) and other soft oral tissue like the lining of the lips. Any lacerations on soft oral tissue increase a person’s risks for developing oral infections. This fact is especially concerning considering that fingernails can harbor dangerous bacteria.

What Nail Biting Can Do to Your Health

As for your general wellbeing, it is important to consider the effects of nail biting on your overall health. Our hands and fingernails can harbor a multitude of germs, including pathogens for viruses like the cold or flu along with bacteria that could make you sick.

Raised Risks for Contracting the Common Cold, Flu, and Food-Borne Illnesses

Consider that our hands contact dozens of bacteria-filled surfaces each day, including as food preparation areas, bathrooms, and door handles. Placing our hands and/or fingernails in our mouth could lead to cross contamination that increases the risks for contracting the common cold and flu along with bacteria, like salmonella and e. coli, that contribute to food-borne illnesses.

Increased Risk for Skin Infections

Nail biting also raises one’s risks for developing skin infections, particularly around the cuticles and underneath nail beds. The sharp edges of our teeth can easily tear the delicate skin around fingernails. Any time there is a laceration of soft tissue, it increases a person’s risks for developing an infection because bacteria take advantage of open sores.

How to Break the Habit of Nail Biting

Most dental professionals, including our Lafayette, LA dentist, encourage patients to break the habit of nail biting. Breaking this habit could save you time and money spent on dental treatments caused by broken teeth and restorations, or treatments for oral infections.

Since nail biting commonly occurs as a response to anxiety and stressful situations, it is helpful to identify and avoid triggering circumstances that might fuel one’s compulsion to bite their nails.

Consider occupying your hands or mouth to break the habit. For example, chewing on sugar-free gum can help you fight the urge to chew on your nails. Playing instruments and engaging in physical activity can help combat stress while keeping your hands occupied, too.

Keeping your nails clean and trimmed along with properly washing your hands will help reduce your risks for skin infections, food borne illnesses, the cold, and the flu.

If it’s time for a dental checkup or cleaning, call our practice to reserve an appointment with our gentle Lafayette dentist.


How to pick the right dental floss _ chauvin dental lafayette la

How to pick the right dental floss

You hear it over and over again: Flossing your teeth is essential for good oral health. But with the growing number of different flosses hitting store shelves, how do you know which type of floss is best?


What types of dental floss are there to choose from?

There are several types of dental floss you might see when shopping for floss. These include:

  • Electric flossers – These are also known as water flossers, or “oral irrigators.” They use high-powered water streams to shoot water in between your teeth, removing loose particles and plaque.
  • Unwaxed floss – This will squeak when it’s against clean teeth as an indicator that the plaque is gone.
  • Waxed floss – This type of floss can be easier to get between teeth, especially if the teeth are really close together.
  • Floss picks – Instead of a roll of floss, if you choose a floss pick, you’ll see a piece of floss attached to a tool that helps you dig in and remove plaque from your teeth. Some people find them easier than wrapping floss around their fingers.


What are the best flosses for plaque removal?

Truth be told, studies show that it doesn’t really matter which type of floss you use, as long as you use it daily and correctly.

A study published in the Journal of Periodontology tested four different kinds of floss — an electric flosser, unwaxed floss, woven floss, and a shred-proof floss — and all four removed much more plaque than using only a toothbrush.

Electric flossers remove the most plaque, but they are also the most expensive flossing option.

But just because all flosses will help remove plaque doesn’t mean that all flosses are right for you. Sometimes, it depends on factors such as tooth sensitivity, the spacing in between your teeth, and other factors like age and past dental work.

Oral B recommends using waxed floss if you’ve got less spacing in between your teeth, or possibly a dental tape if you’ve got larger gaps.

Once again, no matter which floss you choose, it won’t do any good if you’re not using it daily and the right way.


How do you use dental floss correctly?

Here are some tips for flossing your teeth the right way, courtesy of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association:

  • Wind 18″ of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 1″- 2″ length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
  • Keep a 1″ – 2″ length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  • Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. Gently wrap floss around the side of the tooth.
  • Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gumline. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

Now that you know the proper techniques and all the secrets to flossing, there’s no excuse to not floss your teeth daily.

Flossing, along with brushing twice daily and regular cleanings at your dentist’s office, will lead to a healthy mouth. Contact Dr. Tim Chauvin and Associates today for all your dental needs.

tim chauvin dental lafayette la

What’s up with the Burst Sonic toothbrush?

The founder of BURST Oral Care, Hamish, believes that dental and oral care should be something that’s affordable. He founded the company when he was just 19, creating a self-standing toothbrush for kids. Hamish’s team at BURST have changed the way oral care is supplied to the people, as they believe that it should be both accessible and affordable for everyone.


Burst Sonic Features:

Charcoal bristles

Binchotan charcoal is proven to absorb impurities for brighter, whiter teeth

3 Brushing Modes

Find your perfect partner with our 3 brushing modes — whitening, sensitive and massage

Quadpacer Timer

Every 30 seconds you’ll feel a gentle vibrating reminder to move on to another part of your mouth

Powerful, long-lasting Lithium battery

Up to 4 weeks of battery life with just 1 hour’s charging


The rapidly vibrating brush head guarantees a deep clean every time

2 Minute Timer

After you’ve brushed for the dentist approved 2 minutes, your brush will switch off and you’re good to go

And a new head every 3 months

To keep that perfect smile sparkling, we’ll send you a fresh brush head every quarter


How Does It Work?

First, you have to sign up to be a part of their subscription list. The box will be delivered right to your doorstep and you are then able to begin using your own BURST sonic toothbrush.

Cost and Price Plans

The BURST sonic toothbrush subscription box is available for a very affordable price of $69.99. Again, this includes the brush, an extra toothbrush head, as well as a wall socket and USB charger.

You are also able to get replacement toothbrush heads every three months for only $6 each.

Overbite correction and treatment_ tim chauvin dental lafayette la

Overbite correction and treatment

Overbite is a condition in which the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. Overbite is not necessarily a bad thing; most people have some degree of overbite. It’s when the overbite is too little or too large that problems may arise. An excessive or large overbite, also called a deep bite, can cause unhealthy teeth wearing, aesthetic concerns, and in some instances even jaw pain.

Types of Overbites

Vertical Overbite – Where the top teeth significantly overlap the bottom teeth.

Horizontal Overbite –  Occurs when the top teeth protrude over the bottom teeth.

How is an Overbite Caused?

The most common cause of an overbite is the shape and/or size of the jaw or the teeth. This could mean having too much room in the jaw area or too little room for accommodation of one’s teeth size.

Other causes for an overbite:

  • Genetics
  • Teeth grinding
  • TMJ
  • Thumb sucking
  • Excessive pacifier use
  • Overuse of bottle
  • Nail biting
  • Chewing on writing utensils

How to correct an Overbite?

Children and Teens

  • Removal of baby teeth (making room for permanent teeth to grow in straight)
  • Growth modification device (used best during growth spurts) – helps to better position the jaw
  • Braces – slowly moves the teeth to correct the overbite as well as the jaw
  • Retainers – device used post-braces that help to keep the teeth in place


  • Braces – move only the teeth to correct an overbite
  • Teeth removal – dentists and orthodontists try to avoid this procedure but will do this in very severe overbite cases to allow the teeth more freedom to move.
  • Surgery – jaw problems for skeletal-type overbites can only be corrected with surgery for adults.


Schedule an appointment today to discuss potential treatment options that may be suitable for you or your loved one.