Is Something Wrong if You don’t have 32 Teeth - dr chauvin lafayette la

Is something wrong if you don’t have 32 teeth

Naturally, an adult has 32 teeth, out of which many remove their wisdom teeth, bringing the total count down to 28. However, some people never develop their wisdom teeth. In other cases, people don’t have their other permanent teeth. 

Well, to be clear, this does not happen due to tooth loss from injury or decay- the teeth just never developed in the first place. 

Is something wrong if you don’t have 32 teeth? This answer depends on the reason for missing teeth. 

Why do Some Teeth not Develop?

The simplest answer is genetics. There is a term that’s used when a person is missing 6 or fewer permanent teeth, hypodontia. On the other hand, when a person is missing more than six permanent teeth, it’s called oligodontia. These are birth defects that are caused by abnormal changes in the genes. Both of these problems are common and can be developed in any child at a growing age. The most important thing to do for both of these conditions is to diagnose and start treatment early. Not only for cosmetic purposes, but they can lead to severe problems in the future. 

Treating Hypodontia and Oligodontia

When a person is missing teeth, several things can happen:

  • Their teeth can shift, causing misaligned bites and other tooth damage
  • Their body can reabsorb the jawbone
  • They may have trouble eating or speaking

These things can have a major effect on a person from a dental and emotional standpoint. That’s why it’s important to catch it early so your dentist can begin a treatment plan for oligodontia and hypodontia. While we can’t force the missing teeth to grow, they can be replaced. Dental implants, dentures, crowns, and bridges can all be used to fill in any missing teeth. If left untreated for too long, the current teeth might shift from their original position, causing misalignment. As a result, the doctor needs to move them back with braces or other means before installing replacement teeth in your mouth.

Missing Wisdom Teeth

Adults start developing wisdom teeth at different ages. You can expect the development of your third molars in your early adult years or late teens, around age 17 to 21. Some people also get their wisdom teeth earlier, while others develop them later in life. But a small percentage of the population never develop some (or all) of their wisdom teeth. This isn’t a bad thing at all! That’s fewer teeth for the oral surgeon to remove. Also, since you will be living with them for several years, you will not notice this change. Missing wisdom teeth are also unnoticeable and don’t impact your oral health. 

Like hypodontia, missing wisdom teeth are the result of a genetic anomaly. Research shows that thousands of years ago, a mutation suppressed the formation of wisdom teeth. Archaeologists have found fossils in China that can be traced back to 300,000 to 400,000 years ago that are missing third molars. Experts predict that this mutation has impacted our ability to develop wisdom teeth. 

Bottom Line

Whether you have missing wisdom teeth or others, it’s important that you get yourself checked. This will help you get an idea of whether they are impacting your oral health. Since it’s nothing that could have been prevented, as it happened on the genetic level, you can treat hypodontia and oligodontia. The important thing is to have the teeth replaced before any other issues develop. Call Dr. Chauvin’s office if you have more questions!

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Your Teeth - dr chauvin lafayette la

How to get rid of white spots on your teeth

White spots on your teeth can be worrisome if you do not know how they got there or how to treat them. On top of that, white spots on your teeth can be unsightly, which can take a toll on your confidence. These spots are typically a cosmetic issue but can turn into a health concern. If it goes untreated, the problem can lead to tooth deterioration.

Causes of White Spots on Teeth

If the spots have been present since you were a child, you may have experienced a disruption in enamel formation as your teeth grew. This is better known as enamel hypoplasia. White spots can also appear in childhood when kids ingest too much fluoride toothpaste, called fluorosis. Both of these causes of white spots on teeth are common in childhood and lead to lasting spots on teeth.

White spots that have formed more recently on adult teeth are often caused by plaque build-up. This can cause hard, scaly spots near the gum line and make the teeth look discolored. The most concerning reason for white spots on teeth can be the beginning stages of tooth decay or cavities, as these problems sometimes look like white spots in the early stages. As bacteria produce acid, it begins dissolving the mineralized surface of a tooth, appearing bright white. Lastly, braces can leave such spots but can be avoided with the proper care.

Treatment of White Spots on Your Teeth

There are various methods by which a dentist can get rid of calcium deposits from your teeth. Your dentist might whiten the teeth to remove calcium deposits by concealing the discoloration. If the whitening process does not work, there are a few more options. There is the air abrasion procedure, in which your dentist will use a device that blows crystal particles towards the calcium deposit. They can fix any remaining spots with filling material. This treatment of white spots is called microabrasion; this is a process where the dentist rubs a mixture of pumice and acid on the teeth to get rid of white teeth spots. However, if the white spots are very large, microabrasion might not be a viable option. In that case, a porcelain crown or a cap is necessary to cover up the spot or spots.

Prevention of White Spots on Your Teeth

If you don’t currently have white spots, you should opt for prevention techniques for white spots. You can start by practicing good oral hygiene. You must brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and visit your dentist after every six months for a regular dental check-up

Do your best to avoid acidic and sugary drinks and foods that can damage your tooth enamel. If you wear braces, you must take additional steps to take excellent care of your teeth so that when the braces are removed to expose your straightened teeth, you don’t have to worry about unpleasant spots.

Bottom Line

At Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates, we know it can sometimes it can be difficult to determine what white spots mean. In these cases, it’s better to visit experienced and qualified doctors who will guide you. 

Too often, it is an early sign of tooth decay that can be handled, but you must visit a dentist. We will be able to assess the damage and recommend treatments that are suitable for your situation. Contact Dr. Chauvin today to make an appointment.

Learn the Causes of a Coated Tongue - dr chauvin lafayette la

Learn the causes of a coated tongue

Have you ever noticed discoloration on your tongue? This can occur due to something you ate or drank, like blue icing on a cake or bright red fruit punch. But sometimes, the tongue can take on a whitish cast, and appear paler than normal or visibly white, known as the coated tongue. In extreme cases, a person speaking to you may be able to see the discoloration on your tongue. 

It can make you uncomfortable and may prevent you from socializing. This problem can occur due to minor issues or severe health conditions. Therefore, it’s vital to get yourself checked after noticing a coated tongue. 

Why is my Tongue White?

When your tongue turns white, it’s because the papillae, the tiny projections that coat your tongue, have become swollen or overgrown. When this happens, your tongue is prone to catching and holding onto dead cells, bacteria, or debris within your mouth. All of these things build up on the surface of the tongue, giving it a white appearance.

What is the Root Cause of a Coated Tongue?

Generally, a coated tongue is not a cause for alarm. It can be something as simple as having dry mouth, or if you have a cold and just aren’t talking that much! There are a number of different things that are responsible for a white tongue. The most common causes of coated tongue include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dehydration
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Alcohol use
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Eating primarily soft/mashed foods
  • Irritation from sharp edges of the teeth or dental work
  • Fever

Some serious conditions that can cause the coated tongue include:

  • Certain medications
  • Leukoplakia
  • Oral thrush
  • Oral lichen planus
  • Geographic tongue
  • Mouth or tongue cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Syphilis

Treatment of Coated Tongue

White tongue or coated tongues, in most cases, is harmless and resolves easily. Simply use a tongue scraper, or brush your tongue when you brush your teeth and drink plenty of water. The combination of agitating the surface of the tongue, along with proper hydration, will break up the coating of debris and bacteria and rinse it away. This will allow the swollen papillae to return to their original condition, as they’re no longer surrounded by bacteria.

If following these steps does not resolve your coated tongue over the course of several weeks, if it hurts, or if you simply want to rule out the risk of serious health problems, talk to your doctor. If you suspect that poor oral hygiene is the reason for your coated tongue, your doctor will give tips on maintaining proper oral health. 

Prevention of White Tongue

You can prevent white tongue by practicing excellent oral hygiene. Make sure to get a checkup every six months from a reputable and experienced dentist in your locality. Try to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Adding more natural foods to your diet and cutting out processed carbohydrates is a good way to improve your oral health. 

If you develop coated tongue problem, then stop consuming tobacco and alcohol, as they are major contributors to poor oral health. Also, people who are struggling with this problem must visit the doctor regularly to rule out underlying diseases.  

Bottom Line

Although coated tongue is a common issue and can affect children and adults, it’s important to determine the cause of the problem. This will help you prevent serious health conditions and even give you clues about what chronic problems you face. 

If you are struggling with white tongue and want to improve oral health, visit Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates. Not only do we offer treatment options, but our doctor, Dr. Chauvin, also helps you determine the reason for this problem. So, don’t wait, and book an appointment to get your oral health back on track!

Can a Sinus Infection be Caused by a Tooth?

Can a sinus infection be caused by a tooth?

We all know that sinus infections can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. They bring a host of unpleasant symptoms and are one of the most common infections a person can develop.

In some cases, they are easy to manage by simple home remedies, but in others, they grow serious and require antibiotic intervention. In any case, a sinus infection can be a serious problem and can flare up due to allergies, weather changes, and toothaches. 

Yes, a toothache can lead to sinus infections. Here’s how. 

What is a sinus infection?

Sinusitis or sinus infection is the inflammation of the sinuses that causes them to become blocked and fill up with fluid. More precisely, there are several different cavities in our skulls. Sinuses are a series of compartments located above and below our eyes and behind the nose. When we breathe in, warm and moist air enters the nasal passage, mucosal glands lining within catch any wayward germs, and for the most part, they keep themselves clean. Occasionally, conditions can change enough to allow the growth of bacteria. This is when we get a sinus infection

Symptoms of a sinus infection 

Here are the symptoms of sinus infections.

  • Scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Pain in the forehead, around the eyes, in teeth and jaws

So how can a tooth cause a sinus infection?

Our lower sinus, called the Maxillary sinus, sits very close to the upper jaw. So close, in fact, that if there is an abscess in the teeth or gums, it can actually expand into the sinus. An abscess is a pocket of infection caused by a trapped food particle or a dying tooth nerve. If an abscess reaches your sinus cavity, the infection can spread into the sinuses, causing a sinus infection.

What do I do if I have an abscess causing a sinus infection?

Consult your dentist immediately when you notice any symptoms of the problem. They will need to take the necessary steps to treat the abscess. Often, they may prescribe antibiotics to reduce swelling and curb the sinus infections in the abscess. Depending on its location and type, the abscess may need to be drained or removed. If the abscess starts within a tooth, a root canal will be required. If left too long, the entire tooth may need to be removed.

Once you take care of the abscess, you may visit your primary care physician to resolve the sinus infection. Once the doctor removes the source of infection, it alleviates the symptoms of a sinus infection. Also, most experts on oral hygiene experts go over all the aspects of the problems that have occurred due to abscesses. This indirectly resolves your main concern and helps you live a healthy and peaceful life. 

Bottom Line

Tooth problems are one of the common causes of sinus infection. Fortunately, you can resolve the problem by consulting an experienced and qualified dentist. 

Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates has a team of qualified experts who have helped many patients improve their oral hygiene. Contact us to determine if tooth problems are impacting your sinus health. 

Note that sinus infections can impact your life significantly. You may have trouble sleeping and completing everyday chores without feeling irritated around your nose, or you might suffer from headaches. So, if you notice any symptoms of infection, visit our clinic. Even if your infection is not related to your tooth, our doctors can guide you.

how can i heal my gums - dr chauvin lafayette la

How Can I Heal My Gums?

Research reveals that periodontal or gum diseases affect 20 to 50% of the global population. Unfortunately, more than 36% of the worldwide population suffers from dental fear or anxiety. 

If you’re one of those 36% people, you’ll be glad to hear you can treat painful or receding gums at home. Let’s discuss simple yet effective ways of healing your gums: 

Top 6 Ways You Can Heal Your Gums at Home 

Here we discuss several ways you can heal your gums quickly and effectively:

  • Trying Warm and Cold Compresses 

An excellent way of reliving painful or swollen gums is by applying hot or cold compresses: 

    • Hot Compress- Start by heating some water and grabbing a clean cloth. Soak the fabric in the warm water and place it on the affected area
    • Cold Compress- Wrap an ice pack in a clean cloth and apply it to the side of gum pain
  • Rinsing with Saltwater

Gargling with salt water is an excellent way of combating potentially harmful bacteria and germs accumulating on your gums. 

Make saltwater rinse to reduce gum swelling or pain:

    • Mix a quarter teaspoon of salt into warm water
    • Take a sip and swish it in your mouth 
    • Gargle before spitting the saltwater out
  • Applying Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide helps fight germs and other oral problems, like gum inflammation and swelling. Here’s how you can use hydrogen peroxide to combat gum diseases:

    • Mix 1:1 part water and hydrogen peroxide
    • Swish the created solution in your mouth for at least 20 seconds
    • Spit the peroxide-water mixture on the sink
    • Rinse your mouth with warm water

Alternatively, you may make hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste. 

  • Swishing Oil 

Oil pulling is another remarkable way of preventing and reducing gingivitis and plaque. Grab high-quality coconut or sesame oil and then follow these steps:

    • Put a spoonful of oil in your mouth 
    • Swish it for about 20 minutes 
    • Spit the oil out 
    • Rinse your mouth with water
    • Brush your teeth 

Swishing coconut or sesame oil helps pull the plaque sticking to your gums.

    • Using Tea Bags

Most tea variants include a specific plant compound called tannins. Tannins help combat gum pain and swelling by eliminating bacteria and germs. 

Green, black, and hibiscus teas contain a substantial amount of tannins. Other variants of teas include ginger or chamomile, which helps combat inflammation.

Here’s how using tea bags can help reduce gum pain:

    • Add a teabag in boiled water
    • Remove it after several minutes and allow it to cool
    • While the tea bag is warm, apply it to the affected area
    • Leave it on your face for about five minutes
  • Creating an Aloe Vera Mouthwash 

Aloe vera effectively reduces plaque, decreases gingivitis, and alleviates gum pain. A plus of making aloe vera juice is that you don’t have to dilute it. 

But before using an aloe vera mouthwash, ensure it’s 100% pure:

    • Swish aloe vera mouthwash in your mouth for about 30 seconds 
    • Spit out the solution
    • Repeat the process two to three times every day 

Ensure that you purchase aloe vera from a reputable source.

The Bottom Line: When Should You Seek a Dentist?

Gum diseases may indicate oral or even heart diseases. If the solutions discussed above don’t offer relief and bleeding or swollen gums persist, consider visiting your local dentist.

Speak to Dr. Chauvin from Lafayette Dentist Chauvin to ensure healthy gums and sparkling teeth. Dr. Chauvin will examine your teeth and gums, review your oral health history, and discuss your dental hygiene goals to offer the best advice. 

At Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates, we offer high-quality services to patients across Lafayette and surrounding areas. Give us a call at (337) 234-2186 or book an appointment to start your journey towards healthier and beautiful smiles.

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

What You Eat Matters: What Are the Worst Foods for Dental Health?

Poor oral health impacts your quality of life, affecting your mental, physical, emotional, and social well-being. 

Research reveals that 53% of people with oral health problems experience self-esteem. Missing teeth, rotting teeth, oral infections, oral pain, and swelling can influence how you: 

  • Eat 
  • Socialize 
  • Talk 

Certain foods can wreak havoc on your mouth and affect your well-being. Give yourself a confidence boost and improve your oral health by limiting the following foods:

  • Alcohol and Wine

It’s no surprise that drinking alcohol is unhealthy. But what many people don’t know is that drinking causes your mouth to become dry. 

A dry mouth means less saliva, which equals unhealthy teeth. Why? It is because saliva helps wash away food particles. It’s also essential for repairing potential signs of tooth decay, gum diseases, sticking food, and other oral infections. 

At the same time, white and red wine is rich in erosive acid and tannins. It means that drinking wine can soften your enamels, dry your mouth, and stain your teeth.

To ensure a healthy mouth, avoid getting dehydrated. Try to limit alcohol intake and drink plenty of water. You may even try fluoride rinses.

  • Dried Fruits

Most people assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. Unfortunately, many dried fruits, including figs, raisins, apricots, and figs, are sticky. 

It means that dried fruits get stuck and cling to your teeth and crevices. If you enjoy eating dried fruits, follow these steps:

  • Rinse your mouth with water or fluoride solutions 
  • Brush your teeth properly
  • Floss 

Moreover, try choosing fresh fruits since they contain less sugar content.

  • Pasta Sauce

While tomatoes are healthy, tomato sauce is acidic. When you pour an extensive amount of tomato sauce over your pasta, you damage your enamel. 

It is because the acidic tomato sauce starts breaking down your enamel while the pasta’s carbs feed harmful bacteria. 

Keep your teeth’ enamel healthy by replacing tomato sauce with cheese. 

  • Popcorn 

Popcorn is an excellent movie snack, but they’re the worst dental offenders. 

It’s unlikely you’ll finish eating popcorn without getting it stuck in your teeth. The thin shell tends to make a home between your teeth and gums. Plus, chewing on un-popped kernels may crack your tooth or cause tooth decay. 

If you’re a fan of popcorn, remember to floss after eating.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is famous for two things: its detoxifying properties and high acidity. It means that drinking apple cider vinegar can erode your tooth enamel. 

If you enjoy apple cider vinegar, add water to it. Ensure that you rinse your mouth and teeth later.

What Foods Should You Eat?

 Here’s a list of delicious food items you can enjoy to improve your oral health:

  • Fluoride-rich foods
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber 
  • Green and black tea
  • Cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products 
  • Sugarless chewing gum 

Ensure a Healthy and Beautiful Smile 

Reduce the risks of tooth decay and diseases by following the ADA-approved tips listed below:

  • Limiting Between-Meal Snacks- If your tummy starts grumbling before dinner, choose something nutritious like a carrot or apple rather than your favorite chips 
  • Eating Sugary Foods with Meals- Since our mouth makes more saliva while eating, it’s an excellent idea to consume sugary foods with meals to reduce the effects of acid production 
  • Drinking Healthy Amounts of Water- Fluoridated water helps reduce the risks of tooth decay, so choose bottled water that contains fluoride content 
  • Following Oral Hygiene- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once

 

Set up an appointment with Dr. Chauvin today

 

Speak to Dr. Chauvin from Lafayette Dentist Chauvin to ensure your dental heath. Dr. Chauvin will examine your teeth and gums, review your oral health history, and discuss your dental hygiene goals to offer the best advice. 

At Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates, we offer high-quality services to patients across Lafayette and surrounding areas. Give us a call at (337) 234-2186 or book an appointment to start your journey towards healthier and beautiful smiles.

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

How to pick the right dental floss

Flossing plays an integral role in maintaining oral health. It cleans the surfaces of your teeth that were unreachable by brushing. Neglecting oral health can lead to severe problems, including gum disease, cavities, and the growth of bacteria in the spaces between your teeth. 

The article focuses on the importance of flossing and things one must consider while purchasing dental floss. 

When should you floss? 

Dentists recommend flossing at least two times a day. However, once during the day, also maintain your oral health. Flossing does not have any particular time. One can floss anytime during the day. However, flossing at night is effective as it removes all the particles left between your teeth during the day. 

It is important to note that floss strands lose their potential after a single-use. Reusing the same strand may cause serious diseases. Similarly, sharing a piece of floss is also an open invitation to bacteria. 

Things to consider before Purchasing A Dental Floss 

Flossing is essential for oral health. It helps in getting rid of the plague and prevents diseases. There are certain things one must consider while purchasing dental floss. Some essential factors to consider before making the final purchase are as follows. 

Decide the Type of Floss

Flosses come in different types catering to a different set of teeth. People with larger gaps must pick an extra thick dental floss. Choosing a thicker floss removes the surfaces of your teeth easily. 

On the other hand, people with crowded teeth must opt for thin flosses. Go for single-strand flosses, as they will effectively clean the surfaces of the teeth. 

Decide Between Flavored or Unflavored

Dental flosses also come in flavors. Flavored flosses make flossing enjoyable and may encourage you to floss often. However, people who do not enjoy flossing their teeth with flavored floss can purchase unflavored floss. 

Choose between Waxed or Unwaxed

People with crowded teeth should opt for waxed floss as it perfectly flosses your teeth. However, people with gaps between their teeth should go for unwaxed floss, as it will effectively remove tartar from your teeth. 

Price

Nylon and monofilament are the two most dominant flosses in the market. Being cheaper than the latter, nylon is a better choice for people looking for less pricey floss. Nylon flosses come in different thicknesses and flavors also. However, monofilament is stronger than nylon but expensive. 

Check the seal

With a wide range of flosses available in the market, it is vital to check the dental association seal before you purchase the dental floss. Do not risk your oral health for money. 

Why is Flossing Important? 

American Dental Association (ADA) reveals that floss plays a vital role in oral hygiene. Skipping flossing means providing an opportunity for particles to stay between your teeth’ spaces. The particles infect your teeth and cause tooth decay and gum diseases with time.

American Dental Association (ADA) has emphasized oral hygiene and highlighted its importance. Following are some reasons how flossing helps you. 

Prevents Bad Breath

People often look for ways to cure bad breath. They carry mint gums or use mouthwash for minty and fresh breath. However, these solutions are only temporary. Flossing helps remove tartar and buildup particles from your teeth that cause bad breath. Flossing twice a day will help you get rid of bad breath and provide the confidence to talk to people without worrying about your breath. 

Reduces the risk of cavities

The buildup of tartar leads to tooth decay, leading to a cavity. Even though it does not happen in hours or days, neglecting your oral health can lead to severe infections. Flossing reduces the chances of tartar, which further lowers the risk of cavities. 

The Bottom Line – Contact a Dentist today

Flossing plays a vital role in removing the plague. It removes buildup particles between the teeth and lowers the chances of gum line diseases. Dentists emphasize flossing regularly to minimize the chances of cavities and other tooth infections. 

At Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates, we offer high-quality services to patients across Lafayette and surrounding areas. Give us a call at (337) 234-2186 or book an appointment to start your journey towards healthier and beautiful smiles.

Are your brushing habits harming your teeth and gums - chauvin dental lafayette la

Are your brushing habits harming your teeth and gums?

If you brush twice a day and never forget to floss, you may think you’re doing everything possible to care for your teeth. But there are a lot of brushing habits that are actually bad for your teeth, and a lot of people are unknowingly guilty of these oral care no-nos. 

From our experienced dentist Dr. Tim Chauvin in Lafayette, Louisiana, here’s what you need to know about brushing habits.

What are Bad Brushing Habits?

  • Sharing your toothbrush: It may seem harmless to use your spouse or partner’s toothbrush if you can’t find yours since you kiss and share so many other things. But sharing a toothbrush is bad. Why? You’re inviting a new batch of germs and bacteria that your body isn’t ready for – and you can spread flu and other nasty viruses through your toothbrush. Not only that, the bacteria that causes cavities is highly contagious. 
  • Keeping your toothbrush for too long: Your toothbrush needs to be thrown away every three to four months. Period. No exceptions! Toothbrushes can preserve germs and other things that are harmful to your oral health. 
  • Not brushing long enough: Dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, but did you know that the average American only brushes for 45 seconds? Are you guilty of this? Not brushing long enough presents two problems: You’re not getting all the plaque and other germs out, and you’re not giving the fluoride in your toothpaste long enough to work in your mouth. Even if you’re rushed to get out the door in the morning, taking time away from your tooth-brushing will only hurt you in the end. 
  • Not cleaning your tongue: Your teeth and gums aren’t the only places where bacteria live in your mouth. Even if you don’t get a tongue-scraper, be sure to include your tongue in your twice-daily brushings. 
  • Neglecting your gums: When you’re running the toothbrush back and forth over your teeth, don’t forget your gums! Just make sure to be gentle. 
  • Brushing too hard: It might seem logical to brush harder to ensure plaque removal, but doing so can actually do more harm than good. Plaque is easy to remove. You don’t need to press down hard to get the job done. 
  • Improperly storing your toothbrush: There’s only ONE way to store your toothbrush: Upright with the brush in the open air. Don’t do it any other way. 

How can bad brushing techniques affect my teeth and gums?

When it comes to brushing, one of the most important aspects of preventing disease is utilizing proper brushing technique. You could purchase the most lauded and expensive toothbrush and still develop tooth decay and gum disease if your brushing is subpar.

Proper technique involves brushing two to three times per day. You should spend about two minutes brushing your teeth and soft oral tissue each time you brush. Bearing down too hard while brushing could wear cracks in your teeth’s enamel and irritate your gingiva.

While you brush, it is important to gently run your brush over all surfaces of your teeth along with your gums, your tongue, and the insides of your lips and cheeks. Soft oral tissue harbors more bacteria than your teeth so it’s important to brush all surfaces in your mouth.

Contact Our Office Today

For more oral health tips, contact Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office today for an appointment. 

Can I get braces as an adult - dr chauvin lafayette la

Can I get braces as an adult?

Orthodontic treatment can help adults and children alike. In fact, record numbers of adults are seeking braces to straighten their smiles. According to the Dental Tribune, more than a million adults get braces each year. Fortunately, today’s patients have abundant options when it comes to braces—with many adults opting for more discreet forms of orthodontic treatment like clear and ceramic braces. If you’re looking to improve the positions of your teeth, we encourage you to speak with our Lafayette dentist, Dr. Tim Chauvin to learn more about your treatment options. 

Types of Braces for Adults

Although adults can and do wear conventional orthodontia such as metal and wire fixed braces, many choose to utilize more discreet treatment methods. Less obvious orthodontic appliances can be made from materials like ceramic and clear plastic. Following is some helpful information on inconspicuous teeth-straightening methods. 

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are very similar to the metal and wire braces we have seen in the past. The difference, however, is that ceramic braces utilize tooth-colored brackets. When brackets are made from tooth-colored materials, they are far less obvious to others—especially in photos. These braces work the same way that conventional ones do by generating gentle but consistent pressure to move teeth to straighter, healthier positions. 

Clear Braces

Unlike ceramic braces, clear braces do not utilize fixed appliances to move teeth. Instead, patients wear removable appliances. One common brand that most people know, Invisalign, consists of patients wearing removable appliances made from translucent plastics.

 Many adults prefer clear braces because of their ultra-discreet appearance and because they don’t impede oral hygiene and meals. With removable braces, eating your favorite foods and performing daily oral hygiene are easy. Typically, braces constructed from smooth plastic are more comfortable than those utilizing brackets. This is because smooth oral appliances won’t irritate soft oral tissue as much as conventional braces. 

Health Benefits of Braces

Orthodontic treatment can benefit more than just the appearance of your teeth; braces can improve your oral health. When our teeth are crooked, overlapped, and crowded, they tend to develop more surface debris because they are difficult to clean. Accumulation of debris like plaque and tartar greatly increases a person’s risks for developing gum disease and dental caries. 

Another way that orthodontic issues contribute to dental health concerns is the fact that misaligned teeth commonly develop excessive wear. Tooth wear throws the entire oral health system off balance. When are teeth are worn down, it places strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMU) and its supportive muscles and connective tissues. This can lead to reduced oral function and orofacial discomfort. Worn teeth can drastically impact your quality of life. Treating worn teeth is also expensive as it typically involves placing custom restorations like dental crowns over affected teeth to rebuild a patient’s bite. 

Preventing risks for tooth wear through orthodontic treatment is a wise investment in your dental health and can save money in the long run. 

How to Find Out Which Braces Are Right for You

Learning online about your treatment options can help you determine which type of braces appeals to you. Those who value inconspicuous treatment will likely favor ceramic and clear braces over traditional metal ones whereas those who have more severe orthodontic concerns may require fixed appliances like metal braces. 

Once you’ve done a little research on your options, we recommend speaking with our dentist, Dr. Chauvin. After examining your teeth, discussing your needs and goals, and reviewing your oral health history, our practice will be able to point you in the right direction. We serve patients from Lafayette and the surrounding areas. Call Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates at (337) 234-2186 today to reserve an appointment.

What's the best type of toothbrush - dr chauvin lafayette la

What’s the best type of toothbrush?

A toothbrush is a powerful tool that can help you prevent oral disease. The selection of available toothbrushes in your local pharmacy or supermarket might overwhelm you. Today’s consumers have access to manual and powered toothbrushes all with different options for bristle texture. While manual and powered toothbrushes effectively clean teeth when used correctly, it is important to select a toothbrush that feels comfortable to you. If you have questions about what type of toothbrush you should use, feel free to speak with our team at Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates. Our staff is happy to provide oral hygiene recommendations to help you safeguard your oral health. 

Manual vs. Powered: Which toothbrush is better?

There is some debate over whether powered toothbrushes are better than manual ones. According to the ADA, if you use proper techniques, either option will help you remove the majority of surface debris on your teeth. 

Powered toothbrushes typically cost much more than manual ones so if you’re on a budget, know that using a manual toothbrush is not an automatic disadvantage so long as you brush long enough with correct technique. Powered toothbrushes can be advantageous if you tend to bear down too hard when brushing or have issues with dexterity. For instance, many people with arthritis or similar conditions that affect dexterity might benefit from choosing a powered brush over a manual one. 

Should I get a toothbrush with soft or hard bristles?

The texture of a toothbrush’s bristles can vary. The most common varieties you’ll see in stores are brushes with soft, medium, and hard bristles. Most oral healthcare providers believe that soft-bristled brushes are best. Medium and hard bristles could harm your tooth enamel—especially if you tend to brush with a lot of pressure and vigor. Both manual brushes and powered brush heads come in soft-bristled varieties. 

How can bad brushing techniques affect my teeth and gums?

When it comes to brushing, one of the most important aspects of preventing disease is utilizing proper brushing technique. You could purchase the most lauded and expensive toothbrush and still develop tooth decay and gum disease if your brushing is subpar. 

Proper technique involves brushing two to three times per day. You should spend about two minutes brushing your teeth and soft oral tissue each time you brush. Bearing down too hard while brushing could wear cracks in your teeth’s enamel and irritate your gingiva. 

While you brush, it is important to gently run your brush over all surfaces of your teeth along with your gums, your tongue, and the insides of your lips and cheeks. Soft oral tissue harbors more bacteria than your teeth so it’s important to brush all surfaces in your mouth. 

How do I care for my toothbrush?

Caring for your toothbrush is important. You should rinse the bristles of your brush after every oral hygiene session. You should also store your toothbrush in an upright position so that leftover water can drain off. Perpetually wet bristles could contribute to bacterial growth on your bristles’ surfaces. 

A toothbrush or brush head should be replaced on a frequent basis. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your brush or brush heads four times per year. Setting reminders on a digital calendar or making a point to replace your brush as the seasons change are great ways to ensure that you don’t use a toothbrush for too long. It’s wise, too, to replace your brush or brush heads after you’re sick with common ailments like a cold, the flu, or a stomach bug. 

The way you care for your teeth at home can have a big impact on your dental health. Our team is happy to help you improve your oral hygiene technique and recommend products. Call Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates at (337) 234-2186 to schedule a checkup or cleaning.