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. 


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.

How does sugar affect your teeth - dr chauvin lafayette la

How does sugar affect your teeth?

Consuming too much sugar can harm more than your blood glucose and your waistline; it can harm your teeth. Sugar consumption feeds the millions of harmful oral bacteria dwelling inside your mouth. By nourishing these destructive bacteria, you increase your risks for tooth enamel erosion and dental caries. Our gentle dentist, Dr. Chauvin prevents and treats tooth decay in Lafayette, Louisiana. If it’s time to reserve a dental checkup, call Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates to speak with a helpful member of our team. 

What happens to my teeth when I eat sugar?

Eating sugary and starchy food creates a chain reaction in your mouth that harms your teeth. First, once sugar molecules enter the oral cavity, the bacteria that form plaque will begin to feed. As they eat these sugar molecules, they colonize and release acids as a by-product. Acids work in tandem with bacteria to cause permanent damage to teeth. This process will soften tooth enamel and ultimately lead to enamel loss as acids strip away its minerals. 

Your tooth enamel is precious. In fact, it’s the only thing standing between the softer structures within your teeth and cavity-causing bacteria. When tooth enamel is permanently damaged, you will have substantially increased risks for developing cavities. 

Are there “safer” forms of sugar?

Sugar by any other name is still a food source to harmful oral bacteria. Some folks mistakenly believe that blue agave nectar or honey are safer than conventional cane sugar. Unfortunately, the bacteria in your mouth don’t discriminate, so anything that the body breaks down as a sugar compound will serve as a food source. 

When you’re checking ingredient labels on food items, you need to look for more than just the word “sugar”. Following are common names of sugar sources in popular food items:

  • Maltose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Corn syrup including high fructose varieties
  • Fruit juice concentrate

What foods and drinks should I avoid the most?

Some of the most destructive items you can consume are products that contain both sugar and acid. Common examples include soda, citrus, wine, cocktails, and fruit. While some of these items can have health benefits such as vitamin C or anti-oxidants, combining sugar with acidic compounds could spell trouble for your pearly whites. 

One culprit behind tooth decay and enamel loss that people are surprised to learn about are smoothies—even the green varieties. Although smoothies have tons of nutrient-dense ingredients, they are often sweetened with fruit juices like pineapple or orange juice that also happen to be acidic. Since smoothies are blended, particles from these health drinks can settle in between teeth for hours at a time. 

If you decide to consume foods and beverages that are dangerous to your teeth, be sure to drink plain water afterwards. Water assists saliva with diluting harmful acids and with rinsing your teeth. You can also brush your teeth about 30 minutes after consuming something with sugar and/or acid for more protection. 

How are cavities treated?

Since teeth cannot self-heal, cavities require professional treatment from a dentist. Early-stage tooth decay is typically treated with small restorations called “fillings”. Normally, a filling consists of applying a tooth-colored compound in liquid form over the treatment area. Then, the filling compound is hardened with a curing light. Since fillings are made from tooth-colored materials, patients can enjoy undetectable dental work. 

More significant tooth decay may be treated with restorations such as onlays, inlays, and dental crowns. After you’ve been diagnosed with a cavity, our dentist can help you determine the best treatment method to suit your unique needs. 

If you’re struggling with tooth pain or if it’s been a while since your last checkup, call Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates at (337) 234-2186 to reserve an appointment.

What to Do With a Chipped Tooth - chauvin dental lafayette la

What to Do With a Chipped Tooth

Biting down on an olive pit or an accidental fall could easily cause a chipped tooth. If your teeth have developed worn enamel, they are more likely to develop chips. Tooth wear, diets heavy in acidic foods and drinks, and poor oral hygiene could also increase your risks for chipped teeth. The good news is that chipped teeth are very treatable. The scope of treatment depends on the severity of damage, however. 

Make a Dental Appointment ASAP

If your teeth chip, it is wise to schedule an appointment with our Lafayette dentist as soon as possible. Some instances of chipped teeth may be a cosmetic concern that might only require a simple bonding treatment but in other cases, it could require the need for root canal therapy or a dental crown if the chip is particularly deep.

Folks who have chipped teeth may be asked to improve their oral hygiene routine. Our dentist might also recommend fluoride treatments at our office or the use of fluoridated mouth rinses/toothpastes at home to help strengthen teeth. 

Save the Piece(s) of Your Tooth if Possible

When a tooth is chipped, sometimes the chipped portion can be bonded back to the tooth. We recommend saving the chipped portion of your tooth whenever possible. Do not place chipped tooth structure in water as it will kill living tissue. Instead, place the chip in milk or Save-A-Tooth solution, which is available at most large pharmacies and supermarkets. When you arrive for your emergency dental appointment, be sure to bring the piece(s) of your tooth with you.

Treatment Options

There are a few approaches a dentist can take to treat a chipped tooth. The type of treatment you receive will depend on your unique circumstances. Larger or deeper chips may require more extensive care than minor chipping.

Cosmetic Bonding

Small chips can be treated with cosmetic bonding treatments. This type of procedure is a minimally-invasive treatment and is similar to receiving a filling. Bonding involves placing a tooth-colored resin over a chipped area. This resin is very durable and will blend in seamlessly with natural tooth structure. 

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a restoration that covers tooth surfaces above the gum line. Crowns are tooth-shaped, custom-made restorations that can treat deep cracks, chips, and extensive decay. These restorations can be made from a variety of materials including tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain crowns look and feel like biological teeth, which is ideal for maintaining an aesthetically-pleasing smile. 

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are micro-thin cosmetic enhancements that can be used to hide dental imperfections. A veneer could conceal tooth stains, worn teeth, cracks, and chips. Veneers are constructed from porcelain so that they appear very natural looking. Sometimes, patients receive a series of veneers throughout their mouth to achieve a smile makeover. 

If you have developed a chipped tooth, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. We can develop a treatment plan that may include restorative or cosmetic procedures once our team has had a chance to examine your dental injury. 

Call our Lafayette dentist office at (337) 234-2186 to schedule an emergency dental appointment.

Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, and Veneers: Everything You Need to Know - chauvin dental lafayette la

Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, and Veneers: Everything You Need to Know

Cosmetic dentistry makes it possible for anyone to transform their appearance. The days of suffering with yellowed, crooked, chipped, and cracked teeth are long gone. Our Lafayette dentist, Dr. Chauvin offers popular cosmetic treatments like Invisalign, professional teeth whitening, and porcelain veneers. 

Invisalign for Straighter Teeth

Invisalign is a revolutionary approach to straightening teeth. Perfect for adults and working professionals, Invisalign allows for discreet and comfortable orthodontic treatment. This teeth-straightening system can close gaps between teeth, upright crooked teeth, and improve a person’s occlusion. Folks with overbites, underbites, and open bites can see an overall improvement in their occlusions. 

Unlike fixed orthodontia that utilizes conspicuous wires and brackets, Invisalign straightens teeth with retainer-like appliances made from clear, smooth plastic. These appliances, called aligners, are custom made to address your unique oral anatomy and the positions of your teeth. 

Since an aligner is clear plastic, it is practically undetectable to others. This means you won’t have to worry about your appearance in photographs or feel like your orthodontic treatment is distracting others as you navigate your professional and social life. 

One major selling point to choosing Invisalign is the fact that your aligners are removable. Since your orthodontic appliances aren’t fixed, you can take them out for meals and to brush and floss your teeth. Another great advantage to Invisalign treatment is the fact that the smooth surfaces of aligners reduce irritation to soft tissue often seen with conventional metal and wire braces.

The best way to determine if this type of orthodontic treatment is right for your needs is to schedule a consultation with a dentist who provides Invisalign. 

Teeth Whitening for a Brighter Smile

Tough dental stains can make you self-conscious of your smile. Since teeth are porous, most people develop discoloration and yellowing of their teeth with time. While proper oral hygiene can address some surface stains, deep discoloration that forms below the enamel surface of teeth requires professional care. 

Our Lafayette cosmetic dentist, Dr. Chauvin offers two safe and effective options to help restore the color of your smile. Our practice provides in-office teeth whitening and take-home whitening kits. Both of these options utilize prescription-strength lightening solutions that can lift away decades of permanent tooth stains. 

In-office whitening is a great option for those who need results fast before an upcoming event or for those with limited time. Take-home whitening is ideal for people who want to touch-up the results of their in-office treatment or for those who prefer to improve their smile in the comfort of their homes. 

Porcelain Veneers for a Total Smile Makeover

Veneers are a great treatment option for producing a complete smile makeover. When patients suffer with a variety of dental imperfections such as tooth wear, chips, cracks, stains, and even orthodontic concerns, our dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. 

A veneer is a wafer-thin cosmetic enhancement that is cemented over the front-facing side of a tooth. Each veneer is handcrafted to very precise specifications to ensure that it complements a person’s oral and facial anatomy. When multiple veneers are placed over teeth, they can produce the illusion of a white, straight, and healthy smile. 

Receiving porcelain veneers is not invasive but it doesn’t require about three office visits. This is because veneers require time to fabricate since they are custom made. 

Achieving the smile of your dreams can be as simple as booking a consultation with our experienced dentist, Dr. Chauvin. Give our practice a call at (337) 234-2186 to reserve your appointment. 

Do I really need to floss - dr chauvin lafayette la

Do I really need to floss?

We’ve all been told to floss. From television ads advertising oral hygiene products to visits to the dentist, we have been exposed to the concept of flossing. 

The problem is, however, that many people don’t actually floss on a regular basis. Perhaps they believe that brushing their teeth is enough. Or, maybe flossing seems very mundane and cumbersome. Whatever your reason for not flossing is, it’s important to know that this act of self-care is very important to safeguarding your oral health. 

Brushing alone is not enough to protect our teeth and gums. This is because a toothbrush and toothpaste can’t reach all the surfaces in our mouth. In fact, thorough and proper brushing can only clean about 70% of the surfaces of teeth. Having 30% of our mouths uncleaned on a regular basis can lead to the development of serious and destructive oral health concerns. 

What does flossing do?

Flossing helps remove debris between teeth and removes the film of bacteria known as “plaque.” Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar once it is exposed to calculus. Once tartar forms, it can only be removed through a professional cleaning from a dentist or dental hygienist. 

When we forego flossing, tartar will begin to accumulate at the gum line. As tartar builds up, the gums will recede from teeth and become inflamed. Without improved oral hygiene and professional cleanings, tartar buildup will lead to the development of a common condition called “gingivitis.” 

When oral hygiene is inadequate, this bacteria-laden tartar and plaque can spread even deeper below the gum line, causing periodontitis—a more progressive form of gingivitis. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss and can also destroy bone in the jaws. 

Flossing can prevent the accumulation of tartar that leads to gum disease. It also helps control oral bacteria by disrupting its colonization at the gum line. An additional benefit to regular flossing is that it stimulates the gingiva, which has additional protective benefits when it comes to maintaining good oral health. 

When is the best time to floss?

According to the American Dental Association, you can floss either before or after brushing.  

However, if you use dental floss before you brush, the fluoride from the toothpaste has a better chance of reaching between teeth. Unlike brushing, you only need to floss once a day. Although you may choose to do it in the morning or afternoon, many prefer to floss at night to prevent food and debris from remaining in the crevices of the teeth overnight. This could prevent the build-up of plaque too.

What type of floss should I use?

When picking a floss, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how many brands and varieties there are.  There are other types of interdental cleaners such as handheld flossers, picks, and water irrigators, too. 

When selecting oral hygiene tools and products, we encourage you to buy items with the ADA seal of acceptance. You may want to try a few different types of floss and products to determine what works best for your needs. Some folks find that a combination of products—such as waxed dental floss and a water irrigator—provide the best results.

The main objective is to find products that you will use on a daily basis. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help you make product selections. Feel free to call with questions or ask for our recommendations at your next appointment. 

A few helpful tips when choosing:

  • Large gaps between teeth? Try dental tape 
  • Not much space between your teeth? Try waxed floss, which glides more easily between crowded surfaces.
  • Want less mess? Look for disposable flossers 
  • Braces or bridges? A spongy floss is a great option.
  • Wear prosthetics like bridges and fixed dentures? Consider investing in a water irrigator.

Schedule a dental cleaning today

Even if you commit to flossing daily, you will still need routine dental cleanings at our practice. Dental cleanings remove surface debris and tartar with specialized instruments. The ADA recommends that patients with good oral health receive two cleanings a year spaced six months apart. Those who have developed gum disease may require more frequent prophylaxis. 

Give our Lafayette dental practice a call at (337) 234-2186 to schedule your next cleaning and checkup with our gentle dentist, Dr. Chavin.

Should I get my teeth whitened - dr chauvin lafayette la

Should I get my teeth whitened?

Almost everyone desires a bright, white, attention-grabbing smile. Since a beaming smile is such a coveted asset, teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic procedure that dentists perform. 

Professional teeth whitening is also popular because it’s a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t permanently alter dental structures like other cosmetic procedures such as porcelain veneers or tooth-colored crowns. 

Before we can get into the details of how teeth whitening works, it’s important to understand how unsightly stains develop.

How Dental Stains Form

Your teeth are made up of an inner layer called dentin and an outer layer enamel.  Enamel is hard and shiny but is easily stained. Food, and other substances build up on your teeth in the form of a tiny particle layer called a “pellicle film.”  

Brushing your teeth can control the development of pellicle film.  Beyond good oral hygiene, a dentist can clean away this film through teeth cleanings.

The pellicle layer gradually gives way to discoloration in the enamel layer, discoloring it slightly. Over time, these stains appear more noticeable, and that’s why many adults eventually seek out teeth whitening treatments. 

Stains can also form in the dentin layer of teeth—particularly when tooth enamel is compromised by decay, wear and tear, and dental injuries.

Common causes for stains

  • Foods/Drinks: Coffee, tea, soda, wines and dark-colored foods like beets and berries.
  • Tobacco use including smokeless varieties.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Medicine including antihistamines, antidepressants and high blood pressure pills.
  • Age: As you get older, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth wears away, revealing dentin’s natural, yellow color.
  • Genetics—certain folks have thinner tooth enamel, which leaves the innermost structures of teeth vulnerable to stain-causing agents.
  • Exposure to too much fluoride.

Not All Teeth Whitening is Created Equal

Over the counter teeth whiteners typically cannot yield the same results as a professional treatment. 

Adding insult to injury, many of these products can be harmful to your teeth. Since over the counter whiteners have weaker formulas, some products rely on harsh abrasives to remove surface stains. A whitening toothpaste, for example, could permanently damage your tooth enamel and cause long-term tooth sensitivity. 

When it comes to lightening your teeth, your best bet is to work with your dentist. A dentist has access to prescription-grade products and can help ensure that you improve the appearance of your smile in the safest conditions possible. 

How Professional Teeth Whitening Works

In-office treatments will use more powerful formulations and a special high-intensity light that deepens the teeth-whitening process.  

Before a tooth whitening treatment at our office, Dr. Chauvin will clean the teeth, fill cavities, and make sure your gums are healthy. Then he will place a hydrogen peroxide paste on the teeth for several minutes, rinse it off, and may apply it several more times. The procedure can lighten teeth up to eight shades after one 40-minute treatment. 

Patients’ eyes and their soft oral tissues will be protected during the process with goggles, dental dam, and gauze. 

In-home treatments are another popular option. Whitening at home will still utilize clinically-tested, prescription-grade lightening solutions. Our dentist will take a mold of your mouth and make custom mouth trays.  Patients will put a thin layer of whitening gel into the tray and wear it for about 2 hours a day for a couple of weeks. 

In-home treatments are great for maintaining the results of office-based whitening, too. 


Are you looking for professional teeth whitening in Lafayette, La?

Give our family dental practice a call at (337) 234-2186 to reserve a smile makeover consultation with Dr. Chauvin. 

Surprising Foods That Promote Healthy Teeth - dr chauvin lafayette la

5 Surprising Foods That Promote Healthy Teeth

We’ve all been told to avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, but many of us may be unaware of what we can eat that could increase our oral health. It turns out, there’s a number of foods we can add to our diets to promote healthier teeth and gums. While what we eat can’t replace the importance of receiving regular preventive care from a dentist, it can certainly help decrease our risks for common oral health conditions

Below are five foods you should incorporate in your diet to promote healthier teeth and gums. 

  • Eggs

You might be aware of how calcium can strengthen teeth, but you may not know that phosphorus is another important mineral related to dental health. Our tooth enamel consists of many minerals, but two of the most important are calcium and phosphorus. Eggs contain high concentrations of phosphorus. They’re also a source of Vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium. Incorporating eggs a few times a week into your breakfasts could help keep your tooth enamel healthy and strong. 

  • Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is not usually considered a healthy food. However, there are different types of chocolate. Milk and white chocolate are full of sugar. But since it contains tannins and antioxidants, dark chocolate can actually inhibit the growth of bacteria. It also has a chemical called theobromine that can harden tooth enamel and has health benefits for your heart. Dark chocolate’s benefits shouldn’t be misconstrued as a free license to eat candy bars everyday, but coating fresh fruit in dark chocolate is certainly a healthier choice for an indulgent treat. 

  • Alcohol-Based Sweeteners

Alcohol-based sweeteners do not have the same effect as sugar on oral bacteria. One alcohol-based sweetener, xylitol, is actually good for controlling harmful bacteria like s. mutans—the specific bacteria that causes cavities. Xylitol tricks oral bacteria into thinking it is a food source, but unlike real sugar, xylitol starves bacteria. We recommend using xylitol breath mints and/or chewing gum on a regular basis to reap the benefits of this cavity-fighting ingredient.

  • Cheese 

Most people know that dairy is a great source of protein and calcium. One way to increase your calcium intake is to incorporate cheese into your diet. Cheese is a great food to eat for your oral health because it also neutralizes acid, which can help you maintain a healthy oral pH. Cheese does contain fat and cholesterol, however, so it’s wise to consume appropriate portions to avoid unwanted weight gain or potential cardiovascular issues.

  • Kale

Like cheese, kale is a great source of calcium and a number of other crucial nutrients. What is unique about kale is that it requires plenty of chewing. This has the same effect on your teeth that sugar free gums do. The excess saliva production needed to break down kale loosens food particles and neutralizes acid in your mouth. 


In addition to practicing great oral hygiene and receiving routine checkups, eating a healthy and balanced diet can do wonders for your oral health. If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, give our Lafayette dental office a call today at (337) 234-2186 to reserve an appointment with our gentle dentist, Dr. Chauvin.