7 Common and Surprising Things That Can Ruin Your Teeth

7 Common and Surprising Things That Can Ruin Your Teeth

We’ve all heard over and over that sugar is bad for your teeth, but there’s a long list of other things that can harm your oral health – and some of them are surprising. 


Here are seven other obvious – and not so obvious – things that can ruin your smile: 

  • Biting things that aren’t food: Do you ever use your teeth to rip open a plastic bag? Or bite your nails? How about chewing on ice? They may seem harmless because your teeth are quite sharp, especially ice because it’s just frozen water, but they’re not. Biting your nails and other nonfood items can cause gingivitis and tooth loss, because the tips of your teeth that you use to bite are the thinnest and weakest part. They’re more susceptible to chipping and breaking. 
  • Sticky foods and fruit smoothies: Peanut butter, gummy vitamins and marshmallows are tempting for kids and grownups alike, but dentists recommend limiting your intake of sticky foods and even gummy vitamins. Sticky substances stay on your teeth longer, and then they break down and become acids that can erode your enamel. And fruit smoothies? They’re increasing in popularity as a healthy option, but they’re high in sugar – and high in acid. And as we just mentioned, acid erodes your tooth enamel. If you’re not willing to limit your intake of smoothies, sip them through a straw and drink lots of water after to rinse the acid out of your mouth. 
  • Too much brushing and flossing: Can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? In the case of brushing and flossing, yes. If you’re using a hard-bristled brush and pushing down hard on your teeth, you’re doing it wrong. You could be wearing down your enamel and maybe even causing your gums to recede. Opt for a soft toothbrush next time you’re at the pharmacy, and be careful not to press down too hard on your gums while flossing. 
  • Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw: You may not even know you’re doing it, but do you ever wake up with a sore jaw or face? That’s a sign you’re grinding your teeth at night. It could be from stress or from other conditions, but whatever the cause, it’s obviously not good for your teeth. Consult with a dentist if you’re having this problem. They might recommend a mouthguard or something else. 
  • Drug abuse: You may have heard of “meth mouth,” or the rapid deterioration of teeth for people addicted to crystal meth, but meth isn’t the only drug that can cause problems for your teeth. Cocaine, ecstasy, heroin – and even marijuana – can harm your oral health. 
  • Alcohol: Just like caffeine, alcohol lessens the amount of saliva that flows in your mouth. Prolonged abuse of alcohol can lead to tooth decay, and even worse, oral cancers. 
  • Ignoring tooth pain: It may seem like just a little ache, but if you don’t see a dentist soon after, that toothache could turn into something more serious. What starts as a tiny cavity can quickly evolve into infection, which can cause tooth loss or worse. 


Don’t let these habits ruin your beautiful smile. Contact Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office today for a checkup.  

5 reasons to schedule your dental appointment in time for the new year

5 reasons to schedule your dental appointment in time for the new year

Dentists and oral care experts across America recommend that you see your dentist for a cleaning and checkup twice a year, so why not start your new year off right with a visit to your favorite dentist’s chair? The time to schedule your new year appointment is NOW!


Here are five reasons why a trip to the dentist early in the year is so important: 

  • Cleaning off all the plaque build-up from the holidays: Even if you brush twice daily and floss every night, plaque still happens to everyone, especially if you’ve been indulging in sweet treats and other not-so-great for you food items from the holidays. Who wouldn’t want to start off the new year with a set of clean and plaque-free teeth? 
  • Early detection of gum disease: If you don’t want to stroll into the new year with gingivitis or other gum disease, then schedule your checkup sooner than later. Gum disease can be very harmful to your overall oral health. It can lead to tooth loss and other infections. An early trip to the dentist can prevent the fallout from gum disease. 
  • Cavity prevention and detection: Do you know how cavities are formed? Cavities are the holes in your teeth that form as a result of tooth decay. When cavities go untreated, it can cause pain and tooth loss. Who wants to start the new year with cavities? No one!
  • Bruxism: Have you heard of Bruxism? It might sound scarier than it actually is, but it’s still important to be diagnosed and treated if you have it. Bruxism is grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth unconsciously, either when you’re sleeping or when you’re awake. If it’s a severe case, it can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and more.
  • Early detection of oral cancer: Oral cancer is found more in people who are older than 45, but it can happen to anyone at any age. Did you know that people with poor oral hygiene — i.e. people who don’t take care of their teeth — are at a higher risk for oral cancer? An early dentist appointment can detect oral cancer – and a trip to the dentist can also educate you on how to properly care for your teeth so you’re not at an increased risk for oral cancer. 


If you want to stroll into the new year with a healthy smile, call Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office to schedule your appointment today!

Keto Diet and Oral Health - dr chauvin lafayette la

Keto Diet and Oral Health

The keto diet — an extremely low-carb, high-fat eating plan — has quickly become one of the most popular weight loss fads around. The effect it produces — ketosis — burns fat in your body to produce energy, instead of glucose. 

And while many people have found a lot of weight loss success in the keto diet, they’ve also discovered a few unwanted side effects, among them: ketosis breath


Why does the keto diet cause bad breath? 

When your body begins to burn fat instead of glucose, it converts your fat cells into three kinds of ketones, or fat byproducts. One of them — acetone — cannot be used to store energy. When that happens, your body releases the acetone through your urine and your lungs. 

The acetone is what gives your breath the “ketosis” smell, kind of a sweet, fruity scent. 


Is the keto diet bad for your oral health? 

Although ketosis breath is often an unwanted side effect of the keto diet, dentists counter that overall, the keto diet can be better for your oral health. Why? 

  • When you’re not eating carbs, you’re not eating candy bars, cookies and other processed sugars, the foods dentists say are the worst for your teeth and gums. 
  • Reducing your sugar intake has long been touted as one way to fight cavities. 
  • Low-carb diets are also believed to help with inflammation, which contributes to gingivitis. 


How to combat ketosis breath 

If you don’t like the keto breath, but you like the results you’re seeing with the keto diet, here are a few ways to combat the smell: 

  • Eat more leafy green vegetables and whole grains, but continue to shy away from refined carbs (think white bread, white potatoes, etc.)
  • Drink plenty of extra water. 
  • Chew sugar-free gum. It helps to stimulate your saliva and makes your breath smell better. 
  • Keep mouthwash handy. 
  • Supplement your water or tea with fresh herbs, like clove cinnamon, mint or fennel. All of them are known to be natural breath fresheners. 


A cleaning is a cleaning, right_ - dr chauvin lafayette la

A cleaning is a cleaning, right?

Going to the dentist for teeth cleanings and checkups twice a year may not be the most fun thing on your calendar, but failing to do so can result in even more inconvenient — and more painful — trips to the dentist down the road. 

The longer you go without regular cleanings, the greater your chances for having to get a deep teeth cleaning. Although many people think “a cleaning is a cleaning,” a deep cleaning is much different than a regular cleaning. Here’s how. 


What is a deep cleaning? 

Dental professionals often refer to deep cleanings as scaling and root planing. The process involves not only removing plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, but also from the “pocket” between your teeth and gums. 

How can a hygienist tell if you need a cleaning? He or she will use a probe and measure the area around your teeth. “Pockets” occur when bacteria has built up in between your teeth and gums. 

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, a “pocket” occurs when the space between your teeth and gums is five millimeters or more, but ideally those “pockets” won’t be more than three millimeters. These bacteria-filled pockets can lead to gum diseases or other more serious periodontal issues. 

If it’s found that you need a deep cleaning, you’ll have to get it done in two separate appointments, and it typically will involve a numbing agent. The deep cleaning will be done with an electric ultrasonic instrument — or a manual scaling tool. 

Sometimes, the dentist will have you return for a follow-up appointment after your deep cleaning to make sure those “pockets” are healthier than they were before they were scaled. If the deep clean didn’t eliminate the bacteria, then you might have to see a periodontist 


What if I don’t need a deep cleaning? 

If your dentist concludes that you don’t need a deep cleaning, then you’ll sit through a regular cleaning, which is less invasive. Here’s what to expect: 

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Whether you need a regular cleaning or a deep cleaning, it’s something you don’t want to put off until later. Your oral health depends on it!

Contact Dr. Tim Chauvin’s office today to schedule an appointment. 


The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping - dr chauvin lafayette la

The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping

Do you ever stop and think about what rests on your tongue? No? Maybe it’s time for you to start. 

Tongue scraping has become an increasingly popular addition to oral health regimens across the globe. It’s a quick and easy way to remove particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue — and help with bad breath. It’s no substitute for twice-a-day brushing and daily flossing, but it’s a good extra step in caring for your mouth. 

A dental hygienist said it best to the Cleveland Clinic: “Think about it this way — if your carpet is dirty and you scrub it, the dirt’s going to get embedded down in there,” she explains. “But if you scrape it, it’s going to come right off the surface.”


How does tongue-scraping help your overall oral health? 

Over time, dead cells, bacteria and food particles can accumulate on your tongue. All of these things can lead to bad breath. 

Using a tongue scraper — a metal or plastic tool that does exactly what it says it does — has several oral health benefits, including: 

  • Helping your sense of taste: Researchers have said that if you scrape your tongue twice a day, your taste buds could be better equipped to differentiate between spicy, salty, sweet and sour. 
  • Get rid of that white buildup: Sometimes, excessive buildup on your tongue can cause a white coating to appear. White tongue is caused by an overgrowth and swelling of the fingerlike projections (papillae) on your tongue’s surface. Using a tongue scraper can help to eliminate the buildup – and thus the white coating.
  • Eliminate bacteria: The two most common bacteria in your mouth that are widely known for causing bad breath and tooth decay are called Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli. If you scrape your tongue twice a day, research has shown that these two types of bacteria will be reduced in your mouth. Good news for people who suffer from bad breath!


How to add tongue-scraping to your oral health regimen

If you’re thinking about trying tongue-scraping for the first time, here’s how to do it effectively: 

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, then floss and rinse just like you do every day. 
  • Next, stick out your tongue and lightly run the scraper across the entire surface once or twice. You should start at the back of your tongue and scrape forward. 
  • This should not be painful, and it should not damage the tongue in any way. If it does, let up on the pressure. 
  • Rinse the scraper with warm water in between each scraping. Then, when you’re finished scraping, rinse it again — and then rinse your mouth to wash out all the crud you scraped. 
  • If your tongue is still white after scraping sessions, or if you’re seeing other discoloration (like black or red spots), you should call your dentist. 

Do you have other questions about how to properly care for your teeth, gums and tongue? Call Dr. Chauvin’s office today for an appointment!


Dental Floss vs. Water Floss_ Which is better_ - chauvin dental lafayette la

Dental Floss vs. Water Floss: Which is better?

Do you floss your teeth every day? If you’re not flossing, you should be. Flossing, whether you’re using conventional dental floss or a water irrigator (water floss), is important for removing plaque and debris between teeth and along the gum line.

Flossing properly and daily can reduce your risks for developing dental caries and periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, brushing only cleans about 70% of oral surfaces when performed correctly, so it is important to perform daily Interdental cleaning to safeguard your oral health.

If you’re on the fence about what kind of floss to use, read on for a breakdown on these two Interdental cleaning methods.

Traditional Dental Floss

Flossing with traditional dental floss is effective at removing surface debris from leftover food and daily plaque deposits. Dental floss is thin but strong enough to clean deep between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. If you floss correctly, you can control plaque accumulation, disrupt the formation of bacterial colonies at the gum line, and remove food particles lodged in hard-to-reach areas.

Traditional dental floss comes in two varieties: unwaxed and waxed. Many people find that using waxed dental floss is easier and more comfortable.

Water Flossing/Water Irrigators

Water flossing involves using a handheld device that emits pulses of water streams. These streams of water help flush the spaces between teeth and along the gums. Water floss can remove plaque and debris from food but some dentists disagree on whether this form of Interdental cleaning is superior to conventional flossing.

Some people choose to use water irrigators in conjunction with conventional flossing and brushing. Others with braces or prosthetics like bridges may choose to use a water irrigator because it is more convenient. Those with fixed and implant-supported bridges benefit from using water flossers to clean underneath their prosthetics.

Floss Like a Professional

Flossing is important and the techniques with which you floss can make a difference in reducing your risks for common oral diseases. Improper flossing will not remove bacteria and plaque as thoroughly as using proper flossing technique. Moreover, the quality of the tools you use for Interdental cleaning matters. Always look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance when purchasing any oral hygiene products.

Dental Floss: Tips and Tricks

Dentists and dental hygienists are experts at making the most of dental floss. Their technique for flossing, even with conventional dental floss, is effective at cleaning hard-to-reach areas in the oral cavity. When you mirror the technique of the pros at home, you take charge of your oral health.

First, begin with about an 18-inch strand of floss. Wrap dental floss around each index finger or middle finger (whichever is more comfortable). Leave a section of one to two inches of floss between your fingers. Your thumbs can come in handy for directing floss between your upper set of teeth. Use a clean one- to two-inch section of floss for each space between teeth. Using clean floss for each section is important because dirty floss can lodge unwanted food and bacteria between teeth.

Be sure to floss gently and slowly. Vigorous and improper flossing could cut into the gums, increasing your risks for gingival irritation and inflammation. With practice, you can floss like a pro and strengthen your oral health in the process.

Water Floss: Tips and Tricks

Many people enjoy using water flossers because it is easier to use. Instead of threading conventional floss between teeth, you will hold a handheld device over each section between teeth and along the gums. This device will send a gentle yet steady stream of water that helps remove food particles and plaque.

Water flossers are very helpful for cleaning behind the archwires and around the brackets of braces, too. Some people find cleaning underneath prosthetics like bridges with water irrigators convenient as well. You can also use your water irrigator to dislodge food from the pits and fissures of teeth. This is a handy method for ensuring that the molars at the back of your mouth are clean.

When buying a water flosser, be sure to consult with our Lafayette, LA dentist for product recommendations. You can also look for the ADA seal of acceptance on water floss packaging to ensure that you’re buying a quality product.

Our general and restorative dentist is happy to make recommendations for oral care products and provide additional tips for effective oral hygiene practices. We serve patients throughout Lafayette, LA. Call our practice to schedule an appointment for a cleaning or checkup.

Eat These Foods for Optimal Oral Health - chauvin dental lafayette la

Eat These Foods for Optimal Oral Health

Making healthy dental choices can seem daunting and befuddling. Grocery stores are cluttered with processed, unhealthy items. News outlets consistently report that tried-and-true favorites are not considered unhealthy according to new research studies. It’s no wonder that people are confused about what to eat and why they should eat it.

Adding further insult to injury is the fact that some things that are promoted as healthy for weight loss are unhealthy for our teeth and gums. If you’re wondering what to eat for optimal oral health, here’s a list to help you get started in the right direction.


Calcium and Phosphorus for Strong Teeth

Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals that help keep hard tissue like teeth, strong. These minerals strengthen tooth enamel and facial bones like the jaws, which support the roots of teeth.

Dairy sources like low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt are great at giving our mouths and bodies the calcium they need. If you’re dairy-free, almond milk, kale, broccoli, and calcium-set tofu are great options for increasing your calcium intake from plant-based sources.

Phosphorus helps support calcium’s job of strengthening hard tissue like teeth and bones. This mineral can be found in eggs, seafood like tuna and shrimp, beef, and cheese. For those who prefer getting their minerals from plant-based sources, you can eat lentils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and nuts.

Vitamin C for Immunity

Millions of harmful and helpful bacteria call our mouths home. This is why it’s important to protect your oral health by eating immune-boosting foods. If we eat foods high in Vitamin C, we can help our bodies fight infections, including those that occur in the oral cavity such as gum disease.

Citrus fruits are great sources for vitamin C but they also contain strong acids, which can erode tooth enamel. If you need a boost of vitamin C, consider adding leafy greens, bell peppers, and kiwi to your daily diet.


Vitamin A for Healthy Gums

Vitamin A is great for keeping all soft oral tissue healthy, including mucous membranes, the linings of lips and cheeks, and the gums.

You can find Vitamin A in organ meats, egg yolks, and fish. There’s also abundant sources of Vitamin A in vegetables like leafy greens and orange-colored vegetables like carrots and pumpkin, too.

Don’t Forget Water

Water is the best drink you can consume for your oral health. Staying hydrated with plain water helps our bodies and our mouths. Water keeps soft oral tissue moist—as it should be. It also helps dilute strong acids and rinse away debris from leftover food particles

For optimal oral health, drink between eight and ten glasses of water each day. Fluoridated tap water is best, too because fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that replenishes tooth enamel.

How to Eat for Great Dental Health

Eating healthy foods for great dental health is half the battle. You also need to know how to eat. Snacking between brushings is a no-no. This is because the bacteria in our mouth feed off sugar and starches. It’s best to reserve eating for meals but if you must snack, choose items like vegetables and nuts instead of sweet snacks.

It’s important to read food labels as well. Many “healthy” items like granola, for instance, have sugar added to them. Eliminating sneaky sources of sugar from your diet is wise and your oral health will thank you.

When it comes to drinking items other than water, avoid drinks like soda, lemonade, and sports drinks as these types of drinks contain unhealthy levels of sugar along with strong acids.

If you need caffeine, drink unsweetened tea or coffee in moderation. You can add milk or unsweetened almond milk to your coffee if you’re hooked on lattes and cappuccinos.


Receive Routine Checkups and Cleanings

Even if you practice perfect oral hygiene and eat a mouth-healthy diet, you still need to commit to receiving frequent checkups and cleanings. Oral health concerns like tooth decay and gum disease only worsen when they go undetected and untreated. Having frequent dental checkups and cleanings can help keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible.

Our gentle Lafayette, LA dentist offers general, restorative, and cosmetic dental services. If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, give our office a call to reserve an appointment.


Super Summer tips for Healthy Teeth _ chauvin dental lafayette la

Super Summer tips for Healthy Teeth!

Summertime in the South means fun in the sun, late nights at the ballpark, barbecues and trips to the beach.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your teeth healthy while you enjoy those long summer nights with family and friends.

    • Try to avoid sugary snacks and sugary drinks: When it’s hot outside, it can be tempting to reach for lemonade, soda, a sno-ball, or even a sugary sports drink if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Not only are those drinks bad for your waistline, they’re also bad for your teeth. Sugar attaches itself to your teeth, and then the bacteria in your mouth find the sugar and start to eat it. But when the bacteria eat the sugar, it produces an acid that will eventually erode the enamel on your teeth, making them more brittle. Sugary drinks are one of the most common dietary reasons for tooth decay. Dentists recommend moderation and replacing those sugary beverages with water or milk.
    • Drink lots and lots of water: It’s widely known that drinking plenty of water has plenty of health benefits, but did you know that adequate water consumption also helps your teeth? With every sip, your mouth gets cleaner, washing away all the residue and crumbs left in your mouth after a meal. Not only that, water helps to dilute the acid that bacteria creates in your mouth. Drinking water also helps to prevent a dry mouth, and when your mouth is dry and your saliva runs low, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay. You should still brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes and floss regularly, but drinking water will also aid in your healthy smile. If water isn’t your thing, you can also try unsweetened green tea as an occasional substitute. A study concluded that green tea can help fight the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay, and can also help to fight gum disease.
    • Add tap water to your daily water intake: Fluoride is a natural mineral that’s also known as “nature’s cavity fighter.” It fights tooth decay by helping by making your teeth more resistant to the acid that’s produced by bacteria in your mouth. It also helps to reverse early signs of tooth decay. You can find fluoride in most toothpastes, but another good source of fluoride is tap water. Fluoride has been added to water systems for about 70 years specifically to help with tooth decay.
    • Drink through a straw: If you can’t avoid the sugary or acidic beverages, consider drinking them through a straw. Why? Because using a straw lessens the contact these beverages have with your teeth. Professionals also recommend finishing the drink quickly instead of sipping it slowly.
    • Get your summer checkup! Don’t wait until summer is over to schedule your dental check-up. Scheduling you or your children’s appointments at the beginning of summer can go a long way in preventing problems down the road. And hey, our office is has air conditioning–so you know you can always schedule your appointment during the hottest part of the day, rest your feet, and cool off!




Dr. Tim Chauvin and associates have been helping South Louisianans flash their best and brightest smiles for years. Contact their office to schedule your appointment today.

Learning About Athletic Mouth Guards

There are many different types of Athletic mouth guards available in the market today, however ensuring you have one that is custom made to fit your own unique mouth structure is highly recommended. With a properly fitted athletic mouth guard, you will be comfortable when wearing it, and you won’t have to worry about causing any injury to the delicate lining of your inner mouth.

Mouth guards are literally mouth protectors and make up an essential part of an athlete’s equipment. The mouth guard is designed to help cushion any direct impact to the facial area. If there is any direct impact due to contact sport sessions, the mouth guard is supposed to help minimize any injuries sustained to the face, such as broken teeth, and cuts to the lips, jaw and tongue.

Athletes who use the athletic mouth guards in Lafayette, usually have a choice of three different styles:

  •  Custom fitted – these are generally made only for the user and by their personal dentist. Although this version may seem a little more expensive, it does ensure the fit is completely comfortable and highly functional as a protective tool.
  • Available stock – these are usually readily available either online or in stores. Although considered to be quite functional, they don’t fit as perfectly as the custom fitted option.
  • Boil and bite – these are usually very basic mouth protectors and are boiled to soften the texture and then bitten into, to create a sort of mold that will function as an adequate protector.

Ideally, you should try to have the custom version if you want the best protection. If you play contact sports, then you need this very important protection. The athletic mouth guards created by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Chauvin all come with high quality standards and are a popular choice for many people.

Dentists often recommend the use of athletic mouth guards for patients who have had some bridge work done or if they are wearing braces. This is a great way to keep their teeth safe if sporting activities are a part of their routines. The athletic mouth guard will act as a protective barrier between the braces and the inside of your mouth. An impact to the facial area while wearing braces can cause a lot of cuts if the mouth isn’t protected.

Caring for your athletic mouthguard

Caring for any athletic mouth guard is quite simple and hassle free. It only requires a few easy to follow steps:

  • Either rinsing before and after use, or brushing with a toothbrush, should adequately keep the athletic mouth guard clean and safe for reuse
  • Storing it in a sturdy container with adequate holes for ventilation is recommended
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and hot water
  • Replace when there are significant wear and tear signs

Athletic mouth guards are fast gaining popularity in Lafayette as most people now understand their usefulness and importance. Need a custom mouth guard? Give us a call!

tooth fairy note

Lessons from the Tooth Fairy

tooth fairy noteDoes your child believe in the Tooth Fairy? I’m sure most of us excitedly tucked our lost teeth under our pillows (or in my case mostly notes because losing them seems to be easier) and woke up to a shiny quarter the next morning.  The tooth fairy’s existence is well accepted in America, although these days a quarter doesn’t seem to be the going rate for a tooth anymore. According to the recent 2014 study, the average going rate for a tooth is $5.74, thats a 27% increase from 2013 (geez inflation).  Approximately 81% of home got a visit from the tooth fairy last year and nearly all participants professed either neutral or positive perceptions of the tooth fairy, so apparently the practice lives on.

How did the Tooth Fairy come to exist?

In the times of witches, it was thought that if a witch got your tooth it could gain control over them.  This made disposal of baby teeth a serious matter.  The teeth were typically buried, thrown into a fire, or given to a rodent as quickly as possible. As time went on the fear subsided and a variety of customs emerged. In other parts of the world parents would plant the baby tooth in the garden to encourage growth of the adult teeth.  Even the mighty Viking warriors made necklaces out of baby teeth believing this would bring them luck in battle.

To most people an image of a white-winged female comes to mind, illustrations of the Tooth Fairy over the years.  The tooth fairy in her present common form only came into being in the 20th century.  A three act play for children called “The Tooth Fairy” came out in 1927; the first known written work to use that title was printed in 1947. The legend spread during the 1950’s becoming as commonplace as the Easter Bunny in the United States.  Coincident with this was an increase in commercialization, with tooth fairy banks, pillows, and so forth appearing in the marketplace.

 In early America, money was left as a reward or compensation for the pain of losing a tooth, although it wasn’t until just before the Great Depression in 1927 that a three act play was written using the name of the Tooth Fairy.  Not long after, a story written at the end of the Second World War mentioned the Tooth Fairy. However, she didn’t become popular until about the 1950’s along with the Easter Bunny.  When the baby boomers were being born, both myths really began to take hold.  Some cynics say it has to do with the commercialization of the time period, but we like to think it was just really great timing. 

Using The Tooth Fairy as a Teaching Tool

Here at Dr. Chauvin’s office we encourage parents to talk about the Tooth Fairy’s visits as a way to discuss good oral health even before a child loses their first tooth. After all, there’s nothing that makes the Tooth Fairy happier than healthy teeth! You can alway remind them when they do not want to brush or floss that the Tooth Fairy is only looking for healthy baby teeth, not teeth with cavities. This will help get kids excited about taking care of their teeth. Whether it’s their first, second, or tenth tooth we have a couple of good suggestions to assist in the next tooth fairy visit!

  • Leave a note reinforcing good habits –  A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be nearly as exciting for kids as the gift itself. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year.
  • Give oral health gifts –  Consider opting out of cash and reinforce good oral health habits by providing a new toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or fun-flavored toothpaste. How about a new book? There are several children’s books about Tooth Fairy adventures that can add to the Tooth Fairy excitement.


The tooth fairy is a great way to divert attention it’s still important to scheduling regular checkups. Dr. Chauvin and his team will help your children maintain good oral health and catch small issues before they cause serious dental problems.