Flossing chauvin dental lafayette la

Why Do You Need to Floss?

A few years ago, flossing was removed from the government’s latest dietary guidelines. Many different studies were cited, and the results can be boiled down to the following: “The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal.”

We respectfully disagree. Flossing is a very important component of proper oral hygiene!

From our experienced dental team here at the office of Dr. Chauvin & Associates, here’s why you need to keep flossing.

1. Flossing affects longevity

Flossing can actually help you live longer! We all know that oral and heart disease are closely linked: an unhealthy mouth is going to negatively affect cardiovascular health. Flossing is actually recommended by the geriatrician who created the Living to 100 Life Expectancy calculator.

The Leisure World Cohort Study also determined that flossing affected longevity. After following over 5,600 older adults for a decade, they found that adults who didn’t floss had a 25% – 29% higher risk of death than those that did floss.

2. Flossing helps with bad breath

Every time we eat, food particles get stuck between our teeth. And the best brushing in the world will never remove it all. If the food isn’t removed, it begins to decay. There are thousands of bacteria in our mouths, and when we leave food between our teeth, we’re just leaving them lunch! When certain bacteria eat, they also produce noxious gases. Between the two, a person’s breath could get pretty nasty.

3. Flossing prevents gum disease

Flossing is essential for preventing gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

When you don’t floss, plaque builds up between your teeth and along your gumline. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can irritate your gums and lead to inflammation. If left untreated, this inflammation can damage the tissues supporting your teeth, eventually causing them to loosen and fall out.

Flossing helps remove plaque from between your teeth and below the gumline, where your toothbrush can’t reach. This helps prevent the buildup of plaque and reduces the risk of gum disease.

Contact Dr. Chauvin to schedule your next appointment!

Flossing is still very important. You can use traditional floss, a water flosser, an interdental brush, or a floss pick, as long as you’re flossing! Although we recommend regular floss, anything is better than nothing at all. Only using mouthwash isn’t going to cut it. If you don’t know how to floss properly, or have more questions, call Dr. Chauvin’s office! We’ll be happy to show you the right way to floss!

Why are my teeth so sensitive?

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you’re not alone: tooth sensitivity is one of the most common dental complaints we hear from our patients. Maybe your teeth hurt when you drink cold water, eat hot foods, or even just when you take a deep breath and the air hits them. Whatever the cause of your sensitive teeth, it’s likely we can recommend a treatment and care plan that will lessen or eliminate the sensitivity.

From our team at Tim Chauvin D.D.S. & Associates, here’s what to know.

Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity

First, it may be helpful to understand the basic structure of your teeth. You probably know that a strong layer of enamel is what protects the surface of your teeth. Underneath the enamel is another layer called cementum, and under that is a layer called dentin. Dentin is made up of many tiny tubes, and if you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, it means the protective covering of your teeth has been compromised and these tubes are allowing sensations to travel to the nerves in your teeth.

Some potential causes of enamel breakdown include:

  • tooth decay,
  • a cracked tooth,
  • worn fillings,
  • improper oral hygiene, and
  • gingivitis (early gum disease)

It could also be that you have a cavity that needs to be treated, or maybe you’re experiencing a reaction to at­ home bleaching or whitening products. Because there are so many different causes and it’s important to directly treat the cause of your issue, you should schedule a visit with your dentist before starting any self ­treatments.

In more serious cases, you may require surgery like a root canal or gum graft.

Can You Prevent Tooth Sensitivity?

It’s possible to prevent or limit tooth sensitivity by using these tips:

  • Practice proper oral hygiene. Floss and brush twice a day; brush your teeth in a gentle, circular motion.
  • Use a soft­ bristled toothbrush.
  • Limit acidic foods and drinks (examples: soda, oranges). If you’re going to drink them, use a straw to limit the exposure to your teeth and drink water after to re­balance. Don’t brush your teeth directly after consuming acidic foods or beverages, as this can contribute to enamel breakdown.
  • Use a desensitizing toothpaste as part of your oral regimen.
  • If you grind your teeth, get a mouth guard to protect teeth from unnecessary wear and tear. These are available over ­the ­counter, or visit us to be professionally fit for one.

Contact Our Lafayette Dentist Today!

One of our dentists at Chauvin Dental will be able to examine your teeth, diagnose your problem, and then recommend an appropriate plan of treatment. Depending on what’s causing your sensitive teeth, the dentist may recommend at­ home or in ­office topical treatments or a procedure like a filling or crown. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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.

How Pregnancy Affects Dental Health

Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life that brings many changes along with it. While symptoms such as morning sickness and swollen feet are more widely publicized, pregnancy can also affect dental health in different ways. If you think or know you are expecting, it’s best to tell your dentist as soon as possible so that together, you can plan your care accordingly.

Pregnancy causes a surge in hormones, which can allow plaque to build up faster than usual and increase a woman’s chances of developing gum disease. Another issue many pregnant women experience is gum tenderness or sensitivity, or gums that bleed easily. This is also referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Pregnant women are at a higher risk for dental problems and in some cases, issues with teeth or gums can cause babies to be born preterm. It’s important to treat problems appropriately to avoid the risk of affecting the baby’s health.

From Lafayette dentist Dr. Chauvin, here’s what to know about dental health during pregnancy.

Professional Dental Care

If you need dental work while pregnant, the ideal time to have it is during the second trimester. Your baby is developing rapidly during the first trimester, and it’s best to postpone dental treatments until after, if possible. However, don’t delay in seeking emergency care if you have a true dental emergency.

It’s absolutely safe to continue your standard cleaning appointments with your dentist. While optional dental work should typically be postponed until after pregnancy, ask your dentist if you have questions.

At-Home Dental Care

If you’re experiencing morning sickness, try to swish afterward with water and a teaspoon of baking soda. This will help counteract the acid exposure on your teeth. Avoid brushing right after vomiting so as not to destroy your teeth enamel – try to wait about an hour before you brush.

Continue to follow your at-home dental care plan, which should include brushing gently twice a day and flossing once a day. If you don’t use a mouthwash already, you may want to consider adding one to your routine.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Your baby’s teeth begin to develop around the end of the first trimester, and your diet plays a big role in your baby’s health. Evaluate what you eat, and try to especially limit or avoid sugary foods. Sugar is the main cause of dental decay and gum disease.  Good sources of nutrition to consider include: fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy protein choices. Talk to your doctor about taking a prenatal vitamin, and remember to drink lots of water.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Chauvin

With a little bit of planning, you can help ensure your teeth are the least of your concerns during your pregnancy. As always, come see us at Chauvin Dental if you have any questions during this exciting time in your life!


Is over brushing your teeth possible?

Have you ever heard of “toothbrush abrasion?” If you think that sounds like a complicated way to say “you’re brushing too hard,” you’d be right! Proper brushing technique is very easy, but a lot of us put way too much force into it. It is possible to have too much of a good thing!

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

Are you over brushing?

Most people don’t even realize that they’re over-brushing. Here are some tips for proper brushing technique:

  • Don’t think of toothbrushing as scrubbing, think of it as massaging
  • Use a soft bristle brush (that you change out as soon as the bristles fray or become discolored, usually around 3-4 months, although some dentists recommend changing your brush every four weeks)
  • Have the bristles at a 45 degree angle from the gums, and if the bristles splay out, you’re applying too much pressure
  • Make small, circular motions – instead of just moving back and forth
  • Brush for a full two minutes

Many people don’t actually brush for this long, trying to compensate for the shortened time by applying more pressure. This does not work. In fact, brushing too hard can cause the following:

  • Wearing down the enamel of the teeth – ultimately resulting in sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums (which open the door to things like periodontal disease, cavities on the roots, etc)
  • Other damage to the tooth structure

In reality, plaque is very soft and could be removed with a rag! However, with all of the nooks and crannies in our teeth, it would be impossible to completely clean the surface, which is why we need toothbrushes.

How does over brushing damage the teeth?

If you were to take a new toothbrush and look at it under a microscope, you’d see that the nylon bristles (which have sharp jagged edges normally) have been rounded at the ends. This makes them way less abrasive. Over time, those rounded edges are worn away. Between those jagged edges, and the extra pressure, you are essentially sanding down your teeth. That’s why it’s so important to replace your brush often and use minimal pressure.

Contact Dr. Chauvin’s dental office in Lafayette today

Our teeth do not heal. The enamel does not grow back. If your teeth get damaged, a dentist is the only person that can fix it. That’s why it’s so important to take proper care of your teeth, and to maintain regular dental check-ups. A dentist will notice if problems start to develop long before they get serious, as long as you see them when you’re supposed to. So come in for an exam and let’s make sure everything is on the up and up!

How Smoking Affects the Teeth, Gums, and Tongue

At this point, it’s no secret that smoking is bad for you: even a pack of cigarettes comes with a boldly printed warning label saying as much. Although smoking does seem to be on a slow decline as far as people who are regular smokers, there are still a vast number of Americans who do smoke. According to the CDC, in 2015 almost 18% of Americans smoked. That’s over 42 million people! Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and is currently responsible for about 20% of deaths.

Nicotine is an incredibly addictive substance that, combined with the many other chemicals in tobacco products, can have some extremely powerful and negative effects on a person’s health. Most commonly, smoking causes lung cancer, but did you know it has strong effects on a smoker’s oral health too? Smoking, or using any tobacco products, does impact the teeth, gums, and tongue.

So how does smoking affect your oral health, specifically?

When we talk about smoking in this article, we are referring to tobacco products in general, including all smokeless products.

Tobacco consumption in general is harmful and can cause the negative side effects listed below:

  • Increased buildup of plaque
  • Yellow or discolored teeth
  • Stained tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Bone loss in the mouth/jaw
  • Gum disease that is more severe and harder to treat than in non-smokers
  • Poor results or healing with dental surgery/procedures, such as dental implants
  • Higher risk of gum disease and oral cancer
  • Gum irritation or sensitivity
  • Inability to taste foods
  • Tooth loss
  • Leukoplakia, or thick white patches in the mouth


If you are a smoker, share that information with your dentist and doctor. Your dentist may want to see you more often than twice a year to monitor your teeth and gums for any issues.

Although you may lessen the negative effects on your oral health by reducing the amount you smoke, the best thing to do is to quit smoking. Even if you have smoked for many years, you can still reap a multitude of health benefits by quitting now. There are many resources, medications, and over the counter products available through your doctor or community if you choose to quit.

And as always, whether you smoke or not – and perhaps it is of particular importance if you do – be sure to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist at least twice a year for your scheduled cleanings.

Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dentist & Dental Anxiety - dr chauvin lafayette la

Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dentist & Dental Anxiety

What to Expect at Your Dental Check-Up - dr chauvin lafayette la

What to Expect at Your Dental Check-Up

Are you dreading your regularly scheduled visit to the dentist? If you are, you’re not alone, but fear not: a visit to the dentist’s office isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. 

Dental offices like Dr. Chauvin’s office will do everything they can to make you more comfortable, and even if there’s somewhere you’d rather be, your mouth will thank you later. 

Before the visit

It’s a good idea to ask your dentist’s office how long the appointment will last, then add some extra time to that. You don’t want to feel rushed or stressed while you’re in the dentist’s chair. Plus, if it’s been a long time since your last visit, the check-up could take longer. 

Another thing you should do — if you have dental insurance — is to make sure that your dentist is part of your insurance network. Check with your dentist’s office beforehand to see if you will have to pay a copay or other fees when you get there. 

The check-up 

Arrive early at your dentist’s office to fill out paperwork, and also to make sure the staff has everything they need to complete your visit. 

Here’s what will typically happen during the exam: 

  • A dental hygienist will use a set of ultrasonic tools to clean your teeth. He or she will work to get rid of plaque and tartar on your teeth and along your gum line. 
  • The hygienist will also floss in between your teeth. If you feel pain or discomfort at any time during the cleaning, let the hygienist know. 
  • If you haven’t had a cleaning in a long time, you might need a deep cleaning, in which case your dentist will likely have to inject novocaine or something similar to numb the gums. 
  • The hygienist will also polish your teeth and then give your mouth a good rinse. 
  • After the hygienist is done, you might get X-rays done, depending on the last time your mouth was X-rayed. 
  • The final person inspecting your mouth will be the dentist, who will inspect your teeth and gums and rate the strength of each tooth and search for any pockets or gaps in between your teeth and gums. Sometimes, this causes mild pain, discomfort, or slight bleeding. Don’t be alarmed – this happens to many people.
  • If there are no problems detected, you’ll probably schedule your next check-up and call it a day. If the dentist finds any issues, he or she will discuss them with you and determine the next course of action. 

Schedule Your Next Appointment with Dr. Tim Chauvin

If it’s time for your next check-up and cleaning, don’t hesitate. Your oral health depends on it! Contact Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office today. 

What is tooth contouring - dr chauvin lafayette la

What is tooth contouring?

Everybody wants a perfect smile! If you’re displeased with the shade of your teeth, you can have them whitened. If your teeth are crooked, you can get braces. But what do you do if your teeth are in an odd shape, or have small chips in them? The simple solution to it is tooth contouring!

What is tooth contouring?

Tooth contouring is an easy procedure that dentists use to adjust the shape of a person’s teeth. Your dentist will take some x-rays to see where the pulp is and then work with either a laser or a drill. Misshapen areas will be trimmed, teeth that are too long or badly shaped will be adjusted, and then everything is smoothed out and polished.

It can cost anywhere from $50-300 per tooth and may only require one 30-minute dentist appointment. And if the defects are due to an injury or accident, your insurance may cover some of the cost!

Another possible component of contouring is bonding. This is when the resin is applied to the tooth to fill in any chips or gaps, to add shape, or to improve the color. The tooth is etched so that the resin adheres properly. Your dentist may use a special conditioning liquid that helps the resin stick better, and then a light is shined on the resin to cure it. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

What are the benefits of tooth contouring?

Although it’s a cosmetic procedure, there are some dental health benefits from having your teeth contoured, chief among them being the cost. Contouring is much cheaper than braces! In some cases, contouring may eliminate the need for braces since it makes teeth look straighter and removes any overlaps.

Another perk of contouring is that it’s painless. Since all that is being removed is enamel, there’s typically no pain, which means no anesthesia is necessary! Tooth contouring also removes places where teeth overlap and other slight imperfections that ordinarily allow for plaque buildup, which lowers the risk for gum disease and tooth decay.

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg since tooth contouring opens you up to many benefits such as:

  • Enhances your appearance by modifying your teeth’s size or shape.
  • Fixes the alignment or any cracks or chips in the teeth
  • Enables easy cleaning of spaces in the teeth
  • The entire process takes less than 60 minutes
  • Simple and painless process
  • A permanent procedure that does not need a further treatment
  • Improves the issues that are due to the grinding teeth
  • You don’t have to visit the doctor again and again since it is a one-time procedure

Are there any cons to contouring?

The biggest risk with contouring is weakened teeth. Since enamel is removed, reshaped teeth have higher chances of chip or staining. A vital recommendation is that you don’t chew on fingernails or pens, eat hard food, or open packages with your teeth to preserve your repairs.

Moreover, not everyone should go for this procedure since it only helps fix small imperfections with your teeth. Besides that, there is nothing more to worry about, but you can consult doctors regarding it for any questions.  

Contact a Dentist today for Tooth Contouring

Tooth contouring is a great way to ensure teeth in odd shapes or include a small chip in them can get into the right shape. With the right dental services, you can know about the steps before and after tooth contouring.

Therefore, Tim Chauvin, DDS & Associates, offers you high-quality services to patients in the vicinity of Lafayette and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (337) 234-2186 or book an appointment to enjoy a beautiful smile after tooth contouring. 

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

Learn the causes of a coated tongue

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

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

Why is my Tongue White?

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

What is the Root Cause of a Coated Tongue?

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

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

Some serious conditions that can cause the coated tongue include:

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

Treatment of Coated Tongue

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

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

Prevention of White Tongue

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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