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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.

Age

Teeth

Position

6 to 7 months

Incisors

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

Canines

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.

What is sedation dentistry ?

 

sedation dentistry

What is sedation dentistry

If you’re afraid of the dentist, you’re not alone. But did you know there’s a way of conquering the fears that may have kept you from visiting your dentist for necessary treatment? Using the techniques of sedation dentistry,  your favorite Lafayette Louisiana dentist, Dr. Chauvin can ease your apprehension, and even make the entire experience pain-free. How? By administering a combination of anxiety-relieving and pain-blocking drugs.  

With sleep dentistry the patient can be put in either a conscious sedative sleep state or an unconscious sedative sleep state. With sedation dentistry you can visit your dentist with peace of mind of knowing that it will be a relaxed, pain-free, and anxiety-free visit. If you have long been someone that either fears the pain of dental work or you don’t like having personal space invade then it might be time for you to consider a sleep dentist. 

How does sedation dentistry work?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Chauvin can help you determine which type of sedation medication would work best for you based on your medical background, dental procedure, and current health. Dr. Chauvin offers two types of sedation dentistry in his office – Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation

 Nitrous Oxide 

  • Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas,  is inhaled by the patient right before and during the procedure. The patient wears a mask that delivers a combination of nitrogen and oxygen, creating a relaxed state of mind.
  • One reason nitrous oxide is a popular form of sedation is because the effects last only as long as the patient is wearing the mask. Within a few minutes of removing the mask, the patient will feel “back to normal.”

Oral Sedation 

  • With oral conscious sedation, the patient takes a medication in pill form in the hours leading up to the appointment, and possibly again immediately before the procedure begins. The medication makes the patient feel very relaxed but does not put the patient completely to sleep. He or she will be able to communicate with the dentist and will remain alert, but will experience relief from anxiousness and nervousness.
  • Unlike nitrous oxide, which fades very quickly, the effects of oral conscious sedation can last several hours after the appointment. Therefore, patients will need a ride home from their appointments if they have undergone oral sedation.

Who should have sedation at the dentist?

Sedation is best for people with a real fear or anxiety that is preventing them from going to the dentist.

Sedation dentistry can apply for people with:

  • have a low pain threshold
  • can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
  • have very sensitive teeth
  • have a bad gag reflex
  • need a large amount of dental work completed

 

 

Sleep Dentistry is a still relatively new procedure and something that most people do not take advantage of. For most people seeing the dentist is just another part of everyday life but for others sedation dentistry has made a world of difference. These people are no longer forced to visit their dentist in extreme fear or completely avoid getting the oral care they need. 

People of all ages can experience dental anxiety, which is why Dr. Chauvins strives to make your visits with us as comfortable and worry-free as possible. Please share your feelings and concerns with us so we can help you receive the dental treatment you need at a pace that makes you feel comfortable. Every member of our team has a gentle touch, and our treatment rooms are equipped with TVs and massaging dental chairs to keep you comfortable and entertained throughout your visit. Life can be stressful, but going to the dentist doesn’t have to be!

So, contact us today to set up an appointment! Wether its a routine teeth cleaning or a root canal, everyone deserves a beautiful healthy smile.

What is dry socket?

Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is known to happen following a tooth extraction or wisdom teeth extractionThis blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The clot provides the foundation for the growth of new tissue and bone. 
In some cases, though, the clot doesn’t form properly or is physically dislodged before complete healing. With the clot gone, bone and nerves in the socket are exposed to air, fluids and food. This can cause intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the ear and eye on the same side of your face. 
The precise cause of dry socket remains the subject of study. Some researchers suspect that several issues may be at play, including:

Causes of Dry Socket

  • Bacterial contamination of the socket
  • Severe bone and tissue trauma at the surgical site due to a difficult extraction
  • Very small fragments of roots or bone remaining in the wound after surgery
  • Drinking from a straw, smoking, or any sort of similar sucking action
  • Exercise
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Swishing with water
  • Drinking carbonated beverages (soda, beer, sparkling water etc.)

Symptoms of Dry Socket

  • Severe pain within a few days after a tooth extraction
  • Partial or total loss of the blood clot at the tooth extraction site, which you may notice as an empty-looking (dry) socket
  • Visible bone in the socket
  • Earache
  • Eye pain
  • Bad breath or a foul odor coming from your mouth
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes around your jaw or neck
  • Slight fever

 

Treatment of Dry Socket

The treatment of dry socket begins with seeking care from your dentist. Dry socket can be diagnosed by a simple examination to determine a treatment plan specifically for you.

Medications as treatment for dry socket

Dry socket is typically treated with prescription pain-relieving medication, often in the form of medicated dressings that are applied to the teeth. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if an infection is present.

Examples of medical treatments for dry socket include:

  • Antibiotics, such as penicillin or erythromycin
  • Over-the-counter pain-relieving and fever-reducing medications
  • Prescription pain relievers or medicated dressings. These dressings may need to be changed every day for several days, either at home or by your dentist.

In addition to medical treatment, your dentist will inspect and clean the dry socket. If you are experiencing severe pain, a local anesthetic may be used. Getting prompt treatment and completing all the medication prescribed by your dentist are important in preventing complications or recurrence.

What you can do to improve your dry socket

You should contact your dentist if you had a tooth extraction and think you may have a dry socket. Before seeing your health care provider, you may be able to reduce the discomfort associated with your dry socket by:

  • Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or pain relievers prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon following extraction
  • Using ice packs on the cheek next to the dry socket to decrease pain and swelling

Dry Socket Prevention

After your dental procedure your dentist will go over these things with you but an extra reminder never hurts!

  • Activity. After your surgery, plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Resume normal activities the next day, but for at least a week, avoid rigorous exercise and sports that might result in dislodging the blood clot in the socket.
  • Beverages. Drink lots of water after the surgery. Don’t drink alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated or hot beverages in the first 24 hours. Don’t drink with a straw for at least a week because the sucking action may dislodge the blood clot in the socket.
  • Food. Eat only soft foods, such as yogurt or applesauce, for the first day. Start eating semisoft foods when you can tolerate them. Avoid hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck in the socket or irritate the wound.
  • Cleaning your mouth. Following surgery, you may gently rinse your mouth and brush your teeth, but avoid the extraction site. After the first 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water every two hours while awake and after meals for a week after your surgery. Mix 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) of table salt in 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of water.
  • Tobacco use. If you smoke, don’t do so for at least 48 hours after surgery. If you chew tobacco, don’t use it for at least a week. Any use of tobacco products after oral surgery can delay healing and increase the risk of complications.

If you have any further questions feel free to contact Dr. Chauvin’s office today!

Choosing the right mouthwash

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 12.15.39 PMOk. We’ve talked toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss – but what about mouthwash? If you’d like to add a mouthwash or rinse to your oral care routine, it’s important to be aware of just what a mouthwash or rinse does. Some freshen breath, others provide an anti-cavity benefit from fluoride, while others contain germ-killing ingredients to help prevent plaque buildup.

You have many options, and the right mouthwash or rinse for you is the one that meets your dental hygiene needs for the health of your teeth and gums, and taste preference. Of course, mouthwash should be used along with other oral hygiene practices, but when used together with flossing and brushing, it can help to keep the entire mouth healthy. However, it can often be difficult in choosing the best mouthwash for you and your oral needs. Dr. Chauvin and his team in Lafayette Louisiana,  can offer some suggestions for choosing a correct mouthwash.

Types of mouthwash and what they do:

  • Fluoride mouthwash:
    • Recommended for those who are cavity prone. In the United States, the tap water contains small amounts of fluoride in order to promote dental health for society as a whole. However, for those who need extra protection, a fluoride mouthwash can create a protective film over the teeth.
  • Antibacterial mouthwashAlcohol Mouthwash:
    • contain chemicals to help fight against gum disease and other infections. Mouthwashes made specifically to fight bacteria can be a great preventive method from developing infections in the mouth. However, if an infection is already present, a dentist can prescribe a more powerful antibacterial mouthwash to treat the infection and prevent it from spreading.
  • Alcohol Mouthwash:
    • This type works as an antiseptic. It clears the mouth of germs and some viral infections (that’s where the burning sensation comes from). However, if you have issues relating to dry mouth, alcohol can exacerbate the problem. If this is the case, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. This will free your mouth from the drying effects of the alcohol base.

Remember that mouthwashes are to be used as one part of an entire oral hygiene program. Visiting Dr. Chauvin twice a year, brushing and flossing daily, along with using a mouthwash are all necessary aspects of a full oral hygiene program. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

What’s the difference in cold sores and canker sores

difference in cold sores and canker soresAt doctor Chauvin’s office, we know many people have experienced some form of mouth sores or irritation. Some mouth sores are harmless and go away on their own after a few days, while others are more serious and should not be ignored. Mouth sores occur for many different reasons, but bacterial infections, viruses, or funguses often trigger them. The best way to tell the difference between cold sores and a canker sores is that canker sores occur inside the mouth while cold sores occur on the outside the mouth.

What is a canker sore?

A canker sore is an open sore inside the mouth or along the tongue. It can also be referred to as an aphthous ulcer. They can cause some discomfort and are normally white or yellow in color along with a red area in the middle. A canker sore is not contagious and therefore cannot be spread with any mouth-to-mouth interaction such as kissing or sharing food and drink.

What is a cold sore?

A cold sore is normally associated with the herpes simplex virus and appears along the lips and side of the mouth. These sores are small but painful and red in color. They can also be called fever blisters. A cold sore can tend to leak fluid and scab at times. Unlike canker sores, a cold sore is highly contagious and can be spread from kissing, sharing food or by touching the sore.

Causes for canker sores

Although there is really no one cause for getting a canker sore, there are some things that doctors  and dentist relate canker sores to include the following:

  • Stress
  • Poor Diet
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Food Allergies
  • Menstrual Period
  • Hormones

Causes for cold sores

Canker sores can be brought on easily with stress or spicy food, but a cold sore is very different. Cold sores are normally only brought on by the herpes simplex virus from a person who is already infected with the virus. If a person shares their saliva with another person while kissing or sipping on the same glass, this can easily get someone else infected with the virus and therefore bring out a cold sore.

How to detect a cold sore and a canker sore

Knowing which type of sore you have is imperative so that you know what type of treatment you need. Luckily, there are many ways to determine which type of sore you have just by simply looking at your symptoms.

Cold sores offer specific symptoms which include:

  • Pain around the mouth or effected area
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Clear leaky fluid from sore
  • Scab over the blister

Canker sores have their own set of symptoms and can sometimes be confused with cold sores because they can be very similar. Some symptoms of canker sores can be:

  • A small painful sore or an open ulcer
  • White or yellow in color
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands

The biggest difference between a canker sore and a cold sore is where they are on the body and what they look like. While a cold sore is usually red and sometimes leaks a clear fluid, a canker sore is usually yellow or white. Both can cause a fever, but normally a canker sore only causes fevers, fatigue or swollen glands in very severe cases.

Treatment for cold and canker sores:

The pain from a canker sore usually lessens within a few days and the sores heal without treatment. If the sores are large, painful and persistent, your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse or ointment to relieve the irritation. It is also suggested that you avoid foods that irritate your mouth such as citrus fruits, acidic vegetables and spicy flavors.  Be sure to brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily, which will keep your mouth free from irritating food particles.

Cold sores also typically heal on their own.  However, if they are painful or you are embarrassed by their appearance, over the counter topical ointments and creams can be used. The virus that causes the cold sore, unfortunately, can not be cured.

Thankfully, though they are both annoying and painful mouth sores, neither are life threatening and can happen to anyone.  If you think you have one of these mouth sores and need advice on treatment, call our office today to schedule a quick appointment so your dentist can help treat your mouth sore.

The dangers of ignoring an abscessed tooth

No one wants to think about a tooth abscess let alone have one.  They are wildly uncomfortable and often lead to dental procedures that don’t exactly spark a cause for celebration. If an abscessed tooth is left untreated it can cause problems that extend well passed the problem tooth.

What is an abscessed tooth?

An abscessed tooth is a painful infection that is usually located at the root of the tooth or between the tooth and gums. Generally, abscessed teeth are caused by serious dental decay, but they can also be caused by trauma, gingivitis or gum disease. When your tooth abscesses, bacteria infect the center of the tooth, causing rapid decay and intense pain. Abscesses in teeth can spread to surrounding bone and cause life-threatening complications. 

When the decay manages to crack your tooth’s enamel, it lets in bacteria into the pulp of your tooth. When the pulp gets infected, your immune system tries to fight it with white blood cells. This results in pus and tissue accumulate in a small area. If left untreated, the infection will end up spreading until it reaches your gums, increasing the pain even more. The only way to address the pain is to visit a reliable Lafayette Louisiana dentist like Dr. Chauvin and undergo treatment. In some cases, dentists will be able to save the tooth with a root canal treatment, but may need to be pulled depending on the condition of the tooth.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth

A severe and continuous toothache with a throbbing pain is a very good indicator that you may have an abscessed tooth.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Foul smell to the breath
  • Swollen neck glands
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
  • An open, draining sore on the side of the gum

 

Treating an abscessed tooth

A abscessed tooth won’t just go away without treatment. Even if the abscess disperses, bursts or drains and the pain stops, you still need professional dental treatment. 

Common treatments by Dr. Chauvin for tooth abscesses consist of the following:

  • Draining the abscess, eradicating and stopping the spread of infection, preserving the tooth (whenever possible) and preventing complications.
  • Antibiotics to kill the germs responsible for tooth abscesses, helping the body to repair the tooth and bone. Dr. Chauvin usually prescribes tooth abscess antibiotics after X-rays have been reviewed to confirm that you have an infection. Tooth abscess antibiotics normally are effective in controlling the abscess; most of the symptoms will be alleviated within two days, and the tooth abscess typically will heal after five days of antibiotic treatment.
  • If an abscess erupts by itself, warm salt-water rinses will soothe, help clean the mouth and encourage drainage until you are able to see your dentist. Your dentist also may recommend them during the treatment recovery time to alleviate discomfort and promote healing.
  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen help alleviate discomfort while the area is healing.
  • Root canals
  • Extraction of infected tooth

The best way to avoid getting an abscess is by practicing great dental hygiene, and having regular dental cleanings and check-ups.  But even though you may have the most awesome, dental hygiene, things happen and there just may be no way to avoid it. 

Just remember, if you are having a toothache, please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Chauvin’s office.  Even if the toothache has gone away, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of the woods.  We would love to help you get rid of your pain.

How does dry mouth affect your smile?

Dry mouth is medically known as Xerostomia.  Having Xerostomia can be perfectly normal every once in a while. Though the name doesn’t sound casual and common, it is. Xerostomia is defined as dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow. Maybe it happens when you are nervous, upset, stressed or plain old thirsty. So what? Who cares? No big deal. Well, if you are dealing with a dry mouth on a consistent basis, you should take it seriously and find a solution to the problem.

Dry mouth and your oral health

Decreased saliva can make speaking, chewing, and swallowing more difficult. Saliva reduces the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth and helps prevent tooth decay. It also keeps oral tissue healthy. Without saliva, your teeth will decay faster, and you will be more likely to lose teeth. If you have a persistent dry mouth, you may also be at greater risk for fungal or viral infections in your mouth. These ulcerations may also develop from trauma caused by friction of oral tissues against denture clasps, appliances or edges of worn or defective dental restorations.

Signs and symptoms of dry mouth

  • Increased need to sip or drink fluids or excessive thirst
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Burning or sore sensation in the mouth
  • Diminished or altered sense of taste
  • Increased susceptibility to oral infections
  • Sleep interruptions due to thirst
  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis
  • Stale or bad breath

Causes of dry mouth

If you take a prescription medication every day, you might be suffering from dry mouth a side effect. Medication is the number one cause of dry mouth. For example, sinus medications inhibit salivary gland production, thus causing dry mouth. So while you’re downing Benadryl or Claritin like your life depends on it to put an end to that stuffy or runny nose, you might be stopping saliva from cultivating and lubricating your mouth. Ugh. Seems like you just can’t win… But you can!

Treatment for dry mouth

In less severe cases, there are a number of things you can do on your own to treat your dry mouth. As mentioned earlier, sipping water or chewing on sugar-free gum can help stimulate the production of saliva. You may also find over-the-counter saliva substitutes at your local pharmacy. Other at home treatments include:

  • Sip room-temperature water throughout the day and night and carry a water bottle with you at all times.
  • Avoid drinking lots of water at an extreme temperature (very hot or very cold).
  • Only drink sugarless drinks and avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Include a beverage like water during meals. Drink water before, during and after the meal.
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to stimulate salivary flow.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Both alcoholic beverages and smoking dry out the mouth and make you more susceptible to gum diseases and oral cancer.
  • Select an alcohol-free mouth rinse if you’re in the habit of using a mouthwash. Read the label and make sure alcohol is not listed as an ingredient.
  • Try using a nighttime humidifier to moisten room air.

Dr. Chauvin will examine your smile and review your medical history, including any medications that you’re currently taking. He’ll discuss the cause of dry mouth, which is impaired function of the salivary glands. This impairment can result from a variety of factors. 

For more information about treating dry mouth and other dental care issues, be sure to contact Dr. Chavin in Lafayette today. We look forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent dental health.

How to choose the right toothbrush

How to coose the right toothbrushWhere ever you shop, it’s safe to say the toothbrush isle is overwhelming and a little out of control. It might be tempting to go for the light up toothbrush, the superhero toothbrush, or 20 pack of tooth brushes (so that you don’t have to go down that isle for a while) but there is actually a lot more to the picking process. We spend over 1000 hours in our lifetime brushing our teeth, so it is important to know what to look out for when purchasing a brush. The most important factor is brushing twice a day and doing it throughly. Dr. Chauvin and his team want to make sure you have all the information to help make your smile bright and happy for years to come.

Types of toothbrush bristles

The most common types are Soft, Medium, and Hard. Most dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes, and extra-soft bristled toothbrushes for anyone who has sensitive teeth or gums, or is recovering from a dental procedure. Some people simply prefer soft bristles. But many people who don’t have sensitive teeth or gums prefer firmer bristles because they believe them to be more effective for removing plaque and stains from the teeth, though that is not the case. Effective toothbrushing can be accomplished with soft and extra-soft bristles. 

A hard toothbrush bristles do not necessarily equal cleaner teeth, but they can instead scratch your enamel and irritate your gums. Over time, this can cause gums to recede prematurely. Often people assume with a hard bristles toothbrush they are brushing more of the grim off, when in fact a soft bristled toothbrush does the best job. 

 

Toothbrush sizes

A toothbrush with a small head is better than one with a larger head. No matter how big your mouth is a toothbrush with a small head can access narrow, inaccessible areas of your mouth. Most importantly, your molars.  Angular placement of bristles on the head means you can clean teeth from all directions. This can help in prevention of plaque, which can accumulate if not cleaned on time.

 

Electric or manual toothbrushes

This part of picking the right toothbrush does not come with a wrong answer. If you are brushing the right way, for the right amount of time, and have no complaints with a manual toothbrush – then stick with that. On the other hand, if you have a hard time committing to oral health, have arthritis, or do not trust that you are brushing correctly the electric toothbrush might be for you.

Electric Toothbrush: These come with a ton of technology and features, electric toothbrushes provide the many oral health benefits. Some can even enable you to improve your brushing habits. 

  • Modes specialized for sensitive teeth or gum-massaging action
  • Pressure sensors that let you know when you’re brushing too hard
  • Very easy to use, all you need to do is place the toothbrush at a 45° angle and let the toothbrush do all the work.
  • Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your mouth and removing plaque and gingivitis.
  • More fun to use for children
  • Built in timer that stops the toothbrush once two minutes are up
  • Reminders to replace your brush head
  • Rotating bristles 

Manual Toothbrush: While ordinary toothbrushes don’t nearly provide the benefits and features of electric toothbrushes, the technology featured in their brush heads, bristles and handle designs can be quite advanced, for example:

  • Crisscrossed, extra-long or multi-level bristles
  • Polished or rounded bristle tips
  • Textured bristles
  • Easy to travel with
  • No batteries or charging
  • Inexpensive and often free whenever you make a trip to your dentist
  • Cupped-bristle design for whitening benefits
  • Ergonomically designed handles with special grips
  • Tapered or angled brush head
  • Gum stimulators
  • Tongue cleaner pads

How often should you replace your toothbrush?

The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush or brush head about every three months. This is more because of the wear on the bristles rather than germs. 

Bristle wear is the main reasons for replacing your brush, but they also harbor bacteria. If not cleaned properly, microscopic bacteria can live on your toothbrush. After time and several uses, toothbrushes will lose their effectiveness. Once the bristles begin to wear down, they are not as efficient at cleaning plaque and removing food and other debris from your teeth. It is also suggested that you change your toothbrush after any type of illness, such as a cold, the flu or any type of mouth sores. 

You should always rinse your toothbrush after use and let it air dry in an upright position. If you are really worried about germs and bacteria, you can soak your toothbrush in alcohol, or mouthwash as it is also an antiseptic. Another option would be to dip your toothbrush in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds. Never put your toothbrush in the microwave or the dishwasher, as both these methods will damage your brush. 

When in doubt, talk to your dentist!

Your favorite Lafayette Louisiana dentist, Dr. Chauvin serves as a valuable resource for anything pertaining to your oral health. If you want to choose a toothbrush that targets your specific issues, you can ask your dentist for advice the next time you go in for a teeth cleaning.

What’s in toothpaste and how should I pick?

 

whats in toothpaste and how do I pick

whats in toothpaste and how do I pick

Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You also have a choice of an array of colors and flavors. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth. Dr. Chauvin and our amazing Lafayette Louisiana team are here to help!

When it comes to dental care products, toothpaste is one of the most important components of proper dental hygiene for kids and adults. It cleans and polishes your teeth and removes bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease, dental decay, and bad breath. Toothpastes contain various ingredients that work in different ways. Detergents produce foaming action to better remove plaque and food particles. Abrasives help remove stains, and fluoride strengthens and protects teeth. The toothpaste you choose should reflect your personal dental care needs.

Types of toothpaste

  • Fluoride Toothpaste –  The most common ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride.  It aids in cleaning the teeth and strengthening the enamel.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste – Contains active ingredients such as potassium nitrate or arginine that assist in blocking the nerve pathways from the tooth.
  • Whitening Toothpaste –  Usually does not contain bleaches but contain relatively coarse abrasives which function by abrading the stains on the tooth surface, giving a whitening effect. You may want to keep in mind that whitening toothpaste does not do the job of a professional bleaching – it simply helps to remove minor stains and touch up a faded smile and are often too harsh for the average tooth.
  • Tartar Controlled Toothpaste – These help to prevent any further build up of tarter but cannot reach the tartar that collects below your gum line. However some companies are looking to produce toothpaste which fights gum disease.
  • Smokers Toothpaste –  These are specially designed to remove nicotine and tar stains on teeth caused by smoking.
  • Children’s Toothpaste –  These are fairly similar to the adult versions the only difference being that they will contain a smaller amount of fluoride and have more child friendly flavors.

One very important thing to know about your toothpaste is it’s abrasivity.  Toothpaste makers regularly measure their product’s abrasivity. It’s necessary for FDA approval, and usually is not included in marketing. Abrasivity measurements are given by what’s known as an RDA value which stands for radioactive dentin abrasion or relative dentin abrasivity.

There is an ever changing chart to keep up with the values. Anything below 70-80 RDA is considered low abrasive.

 

RDA Dentifrice brand and variety Source
07 straight baking soda Church & Dwight
08 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder Church & Dwight
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus Elmex
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Church & Dwight
42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide Church & Dwight
44 Squigle Enamel Saver Squigle
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive Church & Dwight
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control Church & Dwight
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive (given as 40’s) Tom’s
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular Church & Dwight
53 Rembrandt Original (RDA) Rembrandt
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint Church & Dwight
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s, Wintermint (given as mid-50’s) Tom’s
62 Supersmile Supersmile
63 Rembrandt Mint (‘Heffernan RDA’) Rembrandt
68 Colgate Regular Colgate-Palmolive
70 Colgate Total Colgate-Palmolive
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive Church & Dwight
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70) Colgate-Palmolive
79 Sensodyne Colgate-Palmolive
80 AIM Unilever
80 Close-Up Unilever
83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength Colgate-Palmolive
91 Aquafresh Sensitive Colgate-Palmolive
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular (given as high 80’s low 90’s) Squigle (Tom’s)
94 Rembrandt Plus Rembrandt
94 Plus White Indiana study
95 Crest Regular (possibly 99) P&G (P&G)
101 Natural White Indiana study
103 Mentadent Squigle
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation Church & Dwight
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening Colgate-Palmolive
106 Colgate Platinum Indiana study
106 Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste Church & Dwight
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection Colgate-Palmolive
110 Colgate Herbal Colgate-Palmolive
110 Amway Glister (given as upper bound) Patent US06174515
113 Aquafresh Whitening Indiana study
117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel Church & Dwight
117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control Church & Dwight
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda (canadian) Unilever
124 Colgate Whitening Indiana study
130 Crest Extra Whitening Indiana study
133 Ultra brite (or 120-140) Indiana study (or Colgate-Palmolive)
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening P&G
145 Ultra brite Advanced Whitening Formula P&G
145 Colgate Baking Sode & Peroxide Whitening (given as 135-145) Colgate-Palmolive
150 Pepsodent (given as upper bound) Unilever
165 Colgate Tartar Control (given as 155-165) Colgate-Palmolive
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint Church & Dwight
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening (given as 190-200) Colgate-Palmolive
200 recommended limit FDA
250 recommended limit ADA

 

The ADA Seal

The most important thing you should look for when buying toothpaste is the seal of the ADA (American Dental Association). According to Dr. Ada Cooper, an ADA spokesperson, “This shows the product has been tested, its claims are legitimate and its ingredients are effective.”

The ADA seal indicates that the toothpaste contains fluoride, an ingredient that removes plaque. One of the biggest threats to your dental health, plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums and can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

You may also want to consider the flavor of your toothpaste. You are more likely to use toothpaste in a flavor you enjoy. If you’re curious about testing a new flavor, but aren’t sure whether you will like it, try a travel-sized tube instead of a full size. Or, ask your favorite Lafayette La dentist, Dr. Chauvin for a sample during your next dental visit!

 

Visiting your dentist

Once you find the toothpaste that is right for you it is important to keep up with good dental hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day and make sure you schedule your routine teeth cleaning every six months with Dr. Chauvin.

Types of Dental Fillings and the Right One for You

dental fillings

Are you curious about what types of dental filling options you have, and what types there are? Lots of people can get confused by what sort of dental filling options they have. Thankfully, Dr. Chauvin, your favorite Lafayette Louisiana dentist is extremely experienced and can help you along this process by offering a great deal of options for your procedure.

 

Your dental options vary depending on your health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of pressure the tooth will have to take while chewing and the type of materials that should be used for your individual needs. Most fillings are used to fill the hole that is left behind when a dentist takes out a cavity. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth, or give new shape to a tooth.

Types of Dental Fillings:

  1. Amalgam Fillings –  These metal fillings are typically made up of mercury and copper. Amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting, but are aesthetically unpleasing. Advantages include: Strength, inexpensive, and can be completed in one visit.  Disadvantages include: Do not blend in, healthy parts of tooth may be removed to make room for filling, can tarnish over time, can crack in temperature changes.
  2. Composite Fillings – These tooth-colored fillings are made of a hard plastic material, making them very safe and strong. The main advantage is that they are made to match your teeth. However, the 5 year lifespan is very short compared to other filling options, so they may not be the first option for people on a budget in the long-term. 
  3. Porcelain Fillings – Also called inlays or onlays, porcelain fillings are custom created in a dental lab and then bonded to the tooth by the dentist. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
  4. Glass ionomers –  These glass and acrylic fillings usually last less than five years, but they are often a good choice for children whose teeth are still changing. Also, they can release fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay.

An Alternative to Dental Fillings: Dental Crowns and Dental Implants

For some patients of Dr. Chauvin, dental crowns may be necessary in the presence of severe tooth decay. Dental crowns are used to protect teeth that are weak from decay and in danger of breaking or cracking. Teeth that are already cracked can also be held together with a dental crown. When there isn’t enough tooth left after a filling has been placed (when the filling is too large), a dental crown can be used to protect and cover the tooth. A dental crown is a cap placed over a tooth to restore strength, shape, and size. Dental crowns may also be used to improve the appearance of the teeth, and once placed, fully encase the entire visible portion of the tooth above and below the gumline. 

If your tooth has suffered so much damage that it cannot be saved, the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced.  Dental implants often offer the most stable, durable, and natural looking tooth replacement option.

Learn More about Dental Fillings

Want to know more? Please contact your Lafayette La dentist Dr. Chauvin. He readily shares his knowledge and expertise with our patients. We would be happy to answer any questions or schedule an appointment for you.

It’s important that you take good care of your teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. And of course, visiting Dr. Chauvin twice a year for your regular check-up. Doing so will ensure that issues with tooth decay are caught and dealt with early and that your teeth remain as healthy as possible.