Your childs first dental visit and what to expect

A common question that many new parents have is, “At what age do I take my child to the dentist?”

The answer is that your child should see the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. That may seem early, but considering that some children develop cavities before they’re age two, it’s not entirely outlandish. National studies have shown that 1 in 4 kids have a cavity by age 4! And decay in baby teeth actually increases the risk of having decay in their permanent teeth.

Read on to learn more about your child’s first dentist visit from Lafayette dentist Dr. Tim Chauvin.

Finding a pediatric dentist

Pediatric dentists actually have additional schooling beyond the average dental degree. Working with children is completely different than working with adults!

So even if you want to bring your child to your dentist for the sake of ease, it’s better to find a dedicated pediatric dentist in your area. In addition to the specialization, they’ll have a more kid-friendly environment, and the sight of other children may put your child at ease.

What happens at the first dental visit?

The first dentist visit is important because it will evaluate your child’s risk for cavities. There is usually very little treatment. They’ll examine your child’s bite, check for decay, and look for potential gum, jaw, teeth, or other oral issues. If needed, they’ll do a teeth cleaning, and determine whether or not your child needs fluoride.

Depending on the dentist, you may be asked to hold your child or wait in the waiting room. The ultimate goal is to build a relationship between child and dentist – that way they aren’t scared of going to the dentist, a problem affecting up to 75% of adults!

Their dentist will also cover some topics with you, including:

  • How to properly care for your baby/toddler’s mouth
  • How to properly use fluoride
  • Ways to prevent accidents that could damage their teeth
  • What oral habits to watch out for and curb (thumb/finger sucking)
  • Teething milestones
  • The link between oral health and a proper diet

What happens after the first dental visit?

After the assessment, the dentist will set up a schedule for visits. It will depend on the state of your child’s teeth and if they are at risk for any dental issues. Typically, children should be seen every 6 months. As time goes on, that schedule may change.

In between visits, make sure to care properly for your child’s teeth. If they’re under age 8, you should help them with their teeth cleaning.

Contact Dr. Tim Chauvin’s Office Today

 Need to find a dentist for your child? Our team at Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates is here to help make sure your little one keeps their teeth and mouth giving you the beautiful smile you love! Call us today to set up an appointment.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Child’s First Dental Checkup

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

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

Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth

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

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

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

kids at dentist chauvin dental lafayette la

What age should kids start seeing the dentist

It’s a question all parents have, when should you take your kids to the dentist for the first time? And the answer is something a lot of people get wrong. Most children don’t see the dentist for the first time until they’re about two and a half. In reality, they should be seeing one far earlier. How much earlier?

Children should see the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting, or by age one.

You may be wondering why they need to see a dentist so early. Especially since they’re just going to lose the primary teeth anyway. However, proper dental health is crucial, even in young children. They need to learn how to eat, speak properly, and learn good dental hygiene. If they lose teeth too early due to decay or other factors, that can have a serious impact on their development. That’s why it’s so important that children have all of their teeth until they fall out naturally.

Dental visits can be scary.

If you take your child to the dentist around age one, they most likely won’t be very scared. And if they do get scared, regular dental checkups will make the dentist’s office seem like a regular occurrence. A child that’s over two years of age may be substantially more anxious if the dentist is a new thing. There are some things you can do to prepare your child for the dentist:

  • Take them with you the next time you visit so they can see what it’s like
  • Teach them about the importance of healthy teeth
  • Play dentist with your kids – take turns examining each other’s teeth so they get used to the experience

Make sure you take them to a pediatric dentist. While some normal dentists treat children, pediatric offices are much more suited to children. They’ve been trained on how to deal with kids, and there are often toys and games to keep the children entertained.

Their future dental health can be greatly impacted by proactive dental checkups.

Pediatric dental visits, in addition to caring for your child’s current teeth, will make sure your child’s permanent teeth are developing correctly. Their permanent teeth are visible on x-rays, and their dentist will make sure that all of their teeth are forming correctly, and in the right place. And if there’s going to be a problem, the dentist can take steps to prevent it. For example, stubborn primary teeth may need to be extracted to ensure that the underlying permanent teeth come in the right way.

Pediatric dental health is very important, so make sure you take your kids to the dentist when they’re supposed to go. If you are afraid of or dislike the dentist, try to keep that to yourself so you don’t frighten your kids. Oral health is very important, and linked with heart disease, so make sure they take proper care of their teeth! If you’re having trouble finding a pediatric dentist, call our office and we can recommend a good one.

teething baby chauvin dental lafayette la

Healthy tips for soothing a teething baby

Anyone who has ever dealt with a teething baby knows that it is miserable. They’re in so much pain, and you feel helpless while they cry, bless their little hearts. The good news is, there are things you can do to help!

Signs of teething:

First thing to determine: is your baby just being extra moody? Or do they have another tooth coming in? It’s hard to tell sometimes, especially if the tooth hasn’t broken the surface yet. There are other signs to look for that mean your baby is teething:

  • Lots of drooling
  • Crankiness or irritability
  • Chewing on hard objects
  • Tender/sore gums

They may also be extra clingy, or have trouble sleeping. And who can blame them? They literally have a new tooth breaking through their gums, that has to hurt!

Soothing a teething baby:

If you suspect your baby is teething, here’s what you can do to help.

Medication – you can give your baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce the pain and swelling. Always make sure you give them the correct amounts! Check with your pediatrician if you aren’t sure about the correct dosage. Avoid homeopathic remedies, as these have been proven recently to pose a health risk to babies.

Cool them down – cold helps with swelling, so you can use a cold washcloth, teething ring, or spoon, and let them chew on it. Avoid frozen teething rings, as the extreme cold may do more harm than good.

Rub the gums – take a clean finger or soft, clean rag and gently rub your baby’s gums. The pressure does help. If your baby does have other teeth, be careful! When their teeth hurt, they will bite down hard.

Hard food – if your baby has begun to eat solid food, you can give them a carrot, cucumber, or apple slice to gnaw on. Watch them carefully, in case they bite off a piece – as that poses a choking hazard. We recommend the mesh nets that are attached to a teething ring. You can put anything in it, and they can chew safely, without the risk of choking.

Dry their faces – if your child is drooling a lot, try to keep them dry. Wipe their face with a soft clean cloth frequently. Their skin can get irritated from all the drool. You can also use a moisturizer to protect their skin. Just make sure you use one that’s safe for babies!


Why does my child need a tooth extraction- dr chauvin lafayette la dentist

Why does my child need a tooth extraction

Why does my child need a tooth extraction- dr chauvin lafayette la dentistIt may not happen at the same time for every child, but at some point, their primary teeth are going to fall out and the permanent teeth are going to erupt. In many cases, a child will lose their teeth at the right time, and their adult teeth will come in with no dental interventions. While that scenario is ideal, sometimes a primary tooth may need to be removed in the office.

There are a couple of different reasons why your child need a tooth extraction:

  • The tooth won’t fall out on its own

If your child has an adult tooth in place that’s about to erupt, and the primary tooth shows no signs of loosening, the primary tooth may have to be removed. If left on its own the adult tooth may come in crooked, or it may damage the primary tooth on its way out, causing further issues. It’s very important that the adult teeth come in correctly. If they don’t, corrective orthodontic action will be needed further down the line. Far better to nip a dental problem in the bud than wait for it to develop into a bigger issue.

  • Overcrowding

Adult teeth are much larger than primary teeth. It normally isn’t a problem, as the adult teeth come in slowly over time ; the child grows, their mouth gets bigger, there’s more room for adult teeth! If the child has an adult tooth ready to erupt and the tooth it is replacing is already gone, but there still isn’t enough room for the adult tooth, a neighboring tooth may need to be removed to insure that the adult tooth comes in correctly.

  • Tooth decay/Trauma

When it comes to primary teeth, depending on the age of the child, and the severity of the decay, sometimes a tooth extraction is easier than filling a cavity. If it’s a very young child whose adult teeth are a long way off, more than likely they’ll need a filling. A child with a fully formed adult tooth ready to erupt? Extracting the damaged tooth makes more sense than repairing a tooth they’re about to lose. This is also the case for trauma. If a child sustains a dental injury (for example, cracking a tooth during a sports event) they will need an extraction.

If you have questions or concerns about your child needing a tooth extraction, call Dr. Chauvin’s office. We will get you scheduled and see if an extraction is the best course of action for your child!