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. 

How Often Do I Need a Dental Cleaning - dr chauvin lafayette la

How often do I need to get a teeth cleaning?

One of the best things a person can do for their dental health is to prioritize practicing good oral hygiene and keeping routine appointments with his or her dentist.  If you have good oral hygiene habits and good oral health, your dentist and dental hygienist will probably suggest professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year.  For patients with gum disease, dental cleanings may be necessary every quarter.

Dental cleanings are necessary for everyone, including those with great oral health. Even if you brush and floss correctly, you still need to have routine cleanings. A dental cleaning provides much more protection from destructive oral conditions than oral hygiene alone. Cleanings remove substances that cannot be cleaned away with brushing and flossing. During dental cleanings, a dentist or hygienist will measure the depth of periodontal pockets (the space just between the base of a tooth and the gingiva). If these pockets are too wide or deep, it could indicate that a patient has gum disease. Having cleanings every six months greatly improves the chances that a patient’s gum disease is detected in its earliest stages. 

Tartar and plaque form in the mouth at different rates and can lead to periodontal disease that can cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or the bones (periodontitis) that surround and support the teeth. Once these conditions have developed, they can be challenging to treat. The best protection is prevention, with regular teeth cleanings, avoiding smoking, and practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly at home.

What Can I Expect During a Teeth Cleaning?

During a teeth cleaning, a dentist or hygienist will evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene. They will check for any tooth decay, root decay, and gum or bone disease. Any surface stains or deposits of plaque and tartar on your teeth are removed with tools including a tooth polisher and a scaler. Tooth polishers buff teeth and eliminate tiny pieces of plaque. Scalers look a bit like metal hooks and are used to remove calcified plaque (tartar). 

What you can do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay:

There several things you can do to improve your mouth’s health and decrease your chances of dental problems.

  • Scheduling routine checkups and cleanings
  • Brushing 2-3 times a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Using mouthwash once a day
  • Brushing in soft and gentle circular motions
  • Using the correct type of toothbrush—preferably one with soft bristles that is ADA-approved

Every day, your mouth has to battle oral bacteria and the effects of the foods/beverages you consume. As you eat, food particles are smashed in-between your teeth. Acidic drinks such as fruit juice or soda can wear away enamel over time while sugar serves as a food source for bacteria. As bacteria feed on sugar molecules, they release acids, which soften tooth enamel. 

Since our gums and teeth must contend with a hostile environment, it’s imperative that all patients commit to practicing meticulous oral hygiene and receive dental cleanings twice a year. Keeping appointments with your dentist can help detect oral health concerns in their earliest stages, which is when they are easier and cheaper to treat. 

If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, give our Lafayette dental office a call at (337) 234-2186 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chauvin.

How to get rid of bad breath - dr chauvin lafayette la

How to get rid of bad breath

Do you feel self-conscious about your breath? Bad breath might make us feel awkward in social and professional situations, but the good news is that there are simple things you can do to improve your breath in no time. 

Generally speaking, bad breath (also called halitosis), isn’t serious. In many cases it’s caused by poor oral hygiene but it can also be caused by tooth decay, gum disease, and failing restorations. 

Causes of Bad breath

The underlying cause of most halitosis is the growth of oral bacteria and leftover food stuck in hard-to-reach areas. However, there are other common contributors to bad breath, which include:

  • Certain foods and drinks: Strong-smelling foods such as garlic and onions, as well some dairy products like cheese, along with coffee may be detected on a person’s breath for up to 72 hours after digestion.
  • Not flossing: Small particles of food can get stuck between your teeth, just below your gums, and the back teeth that are difficult to reach. When food particles are left behind, they collect bacteria, which in turn causes bad breath and plaque.
  • Oral Bacteria:  The mouth can harbor obscene amounts of bacteria because it is a warm and moist environment. Moreover, bacterial growth on the tongue accounts for most cases of mouth-related bad breath. 
  • Smoking: Smoking leaves particles in the throat and lungs. This is typical of nearly any tobacco product that involves inhaling smoke or rolling it around in the mouth. The smell of a freshly smoked cigarette can linger in the lungs for hours, hence the stale scent associated with smoker’s breath

How to Control Bad Breath

Controlling most instances of bad breath can be accomplished with committing to better oral hygiene and certain lifestyle changes. 

Oral Hygiene

When it comes to cleaning your teeth and gums, it’s important to dedicate plenty of time to brushing and flossing. For example, it takes about two minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth and soft oral tissue. Adequate brushing involves more than just cleaning your teeth. Since bacteria grows anywhere in the mouth, it’s important to gently brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, your gums, and the linings of your cheeks. Flossing, like brushing, is an important component of controlling the growth of halitosis-causing bacteria. We recommend using handheld flossers or waxed dental floss to clean hard-to-reach areas. Patients with bridges and implant-supported dentures may want to invest in a water irrigator to keep the gingiva underneath prosthetics debris-free. 

Dietary and Lifestyle Changes

If bad breath persists after improving your oral hygiene, consider removing foods like onions and garlic from your diet. If coffee is the cause of your unpleasant breath, consider switching to green tea or caffeinated sparkling water for a breath-friendly energy fix. 

Smoking and chewing tobacco greatly contributes to bad breath. Since both of these habits cause a number of serious health problems, quitting as soon as possible makes good sense. 

Tooth Decay, Periodontal Disease, and Failing Restorations

Sometimes, halitosis is caused by common dental conditions and old dental work like fillings, inlays, and crowns. Tooth decay and gum (periodontal) disease could be the cause of your unpleasant breath. If you have old dental work, it might be time to get it replaced. Ensuring that your oral health and restorations aren’t the cause of your bad breath involves keeping routine appointments for dental checkups and cleanings

Our gentle dentist, Dr. Chauvin provides excellent oral healthcare to patients in and around Lafayette, Louisiana. If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, give our office a call at (337) 234-2186.

I lost a tooth: What do I do - dr chauvin lafayette la

I lost a tooth: What do I do?

Losing a tooth to an injury or a disease is devastating and emotionally distressing. On top of contending with the psychological effects of an incomplete smile, tooth loss can have quite a few lesser-known consequences. 

For instance, losing just one tooth puts you at a higher risk for losing more in the future. It also affects the health of your jawbones. One way to manage the stress that accompanies tooth loss is to arm yourself with helpful information. 

Our Lafayette dental practice has rounded up some important dos and don’ts for handling tooth loss. 

Don’t: Wait Too Long to Replace a Lost Tooth

Tooth loss has a number of lesser-known effects on patients. One sometimes surprising effect of tooth loss is bone deterioration in the jaw. The roots of our teeth keep our jaws active and healthy. Without them, the body will resorb bone mass. Your jaws are the foundation of your oral health and your teeth rely on them to stay intact. Bone loss could lead to accelerated aging, problems with your occlusion (bite), and additional tooth loss. 

This is why it is important to act quickly after tooth loss. We recommend scheduling a tooth replacement consultation with our dentist as soon as possible. Treatment options like dental implants can help stave off the effects of jawbone deterioration. 

Do: Wear Mouthguards During Contact Sports and High-Risk Physical Activity

If you play contact sports or participate in high-risk activities without appropriate protective gear, blunt force to your face could lead to tooth loss and severe lacerations to soft tissue. Wearing a mouthguard, chin straps, and/or a helmet can help reduce the risk of injury to teeth and gums. 

To help reduce your risk for painful dental injuries, our practice provides custom mouthguards. These mouthguards are made to fit your unique oral anatomy as comfortably as possible so you get the exercise you love more safely. 

Do: Try to Save a Broken Tooth’s Pieces

Sometimes, a broken tooth’s pieces can be reattached. If you have chipped, broken, or cracked a tooth, try to save its pieces in milk or Save-a-Tooth solution (available at most pharmacies). Avoid placing a tooth in water, however, because it can kill living tissue. You should also take care not to touch the root of the tooth whenever possible. 

Bring your tooth and its pieces to your emergency dental appointment in case it can be reattached. 

Don’t: Eat Sugary or Acidic Food

If you have a broken tooth, eating sugary and acidic foods could increase your discomfort. If possible, try to refrain from eating until your emergency dental appointment. If this is not possible, try to eat something that’s soft, not overly hot or cold, and low in sugar or acid. 

Do: Take Over-the-Counter Medication for Pain

Dental injuries can be uncomfortable. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help control discomfort. Be sure to take any medication exactly as recommended on its packaging. 

Tooth Loss Treatment Options

Tooth loss is stressful but it can be treated. Prosthetics and dental implants can restore both your appearance and your oral function. Our practice offers dental implants, bridges, and dentures to help renew the appearance of your smile and make eating easier. 

If you have suffered from tooth loss, call our Lafayette dental practice at (337) 234-2186 to reserve a tooth replacement consultation with Dr. Chauvin.

Great Oral Health in 2021- dr chauvin lafayette la

New Year, New Smile: Achieve Great Oral Health in 2021

Do you want to take charge of your oral health in 2021? If so, we recommend booking an appointment with our Lafayette dentist for a checkup and cleaning. In addition to providing excellent preventive oral care, our practice offers restorative and cosmetic services that can help repair damaged teeth and give you the smile of your dreams. 

Dental Checkups: What You Need to Know

Dental checkups are thorough. A checkup with Dr. Chauvin could reveal that you have slipped into bad habits with your oral hygiene, developed common oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease, or determine if you’re at risk for a number of dental conditions.

Our team recommends frequent dental checkups because many oral health conditions develop without symptoms. In fact, when noticeable symptoms develop for patients, they have already developed considerable damage to their teeth and gums. 

During checkups, your oral health is evaluated with a physical examination and diagnostic aids like digital X-rays. We assess more than the health of teeth and gums, too. Your checkup is also a screening for bone issues that affect your jaw and potential life-threatening conditions like oral cancer. 

Another important aspect of your checkup is the conversation you will have with our dentist, Dr. Chauvin. This is a great time to bring up any general health changes or diagnoses you’ve had, changes in medications or supplements you take, your stress levels, and lifestyle habits. Oral health is connected to your general wellbeing, so it’s important to have candid conversations with our team so that we can better serve your unique needs. 

How Dental Cleanings Prevent Disease

Keeping appointments for routine professional cleanings is a powerful weapon against the development of oral disease. Our dental hygienists use specialized tools that remove surface debris from teeth and just beneath the gums. Accumulation of surface debris, particularly tartar, contributes to gum disease—a condition that can wreck your oral health if left untreated. 

During dental cleanings, our hygienists can discuss oral hygiene education with you. If our team notices signs of inadequate brushing and flossing, we can discuss your habits at home and provide tips to improve the effectiveness of your home care. This is a great time to ask for product recommendations or learn more about oral hygiene techniques that can help you prevent disease. 

Another bonus to receiving regular cleanings is the fact that removing surface debris and polishing teeth lightens surface stains so that you can enjoy a whiter smile. 

Restorative, Periodontal, and Cosmetic Dental Care

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, there’s a good chance you might need follow-up treatments. These can include:

  • Restorations
  • Periodontal therapy
  • Application of cosmetic enhancements to restore appearance
  • Or a number of other follow-ups

Restorations such as fillings and crowns help protect damaged teeth and when tooth-colored materials are chosen, you can enjoy undetectable dental work. 

Periodontal treatments can slow down the progression of gum disease and improve the health of your gingiva. 

Our practice also offers a number of cosmetic services like professional teeth whitening to help you look and feel your best. 

Our practice is here to help you achieve your oral health goals for 2021. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chauvin, call our Lafayette dental practice at (337) 234-2186.