Is Your Child a Thumb Sucker?

In order to ensure your child’s oral health remains in peak condition, you must wean them off of any bad habits that seek to destroy their teeth. At the top of the list is thumb sucking, which can cause multiple oral ailments and even affect permanent teeth that have yet to grow in.

Thumb sucking is known to hinder the natural growth of teeth. Not only will it affect the growth of their baby teeth, but it can hinder the growth of their permanent teeth that are yet to come. Thumb sucking can also lead to an increase in infections and tooth decay, due to the risks of bacteria newly entering the mouth.

Most thumb sucking is done by children as a defense mechanism, so you should use positive reinforcement methods to help them break the habit. This includes rewarding them for good behavior whenever they stop sucking their thumbs. For additional treatment methods, their pediatrician can use alternative methods, including placing undesirable substances on their thumbs to discourage thumb sucking.

Come speak with Carl Gonsoulin to learn which thumb sucking treatment is right for your child. To schedule an oral exam with Dr. and our team at our pediatric office in Lafayette, Louisiana, simply give us a call at 337-232-0689. Thanks for visiting with a smile!

You Can Help Protect Your Child’s Back Teeth from Cavities with Dental Sealants

As your child grows up, his or her primary teeth are gradually replaced by the set of permanent teeth that will be needed for many long years ahead. Preserving the health and integrity of these teeth when children are young will go a long way toward maintaining their healthy mouth throughout adulthood.

Many times, the permanent premolars and molars in the back of the mouth develop with pits and fissures in the tooth enamel. These are not aberrations in the tooth, rather it is a natural adaptation to help the teeth chew and grind tough foods efficiently. Unfortunately, there are times when deep textures in the biting surface of the tooth enamel can come to trap material. When this occurs, their chances of suffering significant tooth decay problems, rise dramatically.

To prevent this from happening, the dentists at Carl Gonsoulin’s Lafayette, Louisiana clinic will often recommend applying dental sealants to your child’s permanent molars and premolars.

This comes in the form of a dental-grade resin material that their dentist carefully applies the biting surface of each molar and premolar. Once it has been cured by a special ultraviolet light it will form an invisible barrier preventing bacteria from direct access to the underlying tooth enamel.

It’s important to remind your son or daughter that the dental sealants only protect the textured biting surfaces of the back teeth. They will still need to brush and floss regularly to maintain the health of the teeth and prevent gum disease. The sealants are durable and can withstand regular wear and tear for up to two years.

If you live in the Lafayette, Louisiana area and you’re interested in protecting your child’s back teeth you should call 337-232-0689 to schedule a checkup and dental sealants at Carl Gonsoulin’s clinic.

Common Questions About Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

In addition to the myriad of other dangers that can affect your young children, so too are their teeth vulnerable to the dangers of the world. Even their baby bottles can cause harm to their teeth, including a condition called baby bottle tooth decay. Listed below are some common questions about baby bottle tooth decay:

What is baby bottle tooth decay?
a.) Tooth restorations designed to benefit children
b.) Missing or lost teeth in children
c.) Tooth enamel damage in children, often caused by exposure to harmful ingredients like sugar
d.) All of the above

What are some prevention methods for baby bottle tooth decay?
a.) Avoid filling your child’s bottle with sugary drinks like juice, sugar water, or sports drinks
b.) Don’t let your child sleep with a bottle in their mouth
c.) Ensure your child’s teeth are kept clean of debris and harmful bacteria
d.) All of the above

True or False: Pacifiers dipped in sugary sweets can harm your child’s teeth.
a.) True
b.) False

True or False: Baby bottle tooth decay is preventable.
a.) True
b.) False

Answer Key: c, d, a, a

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you would like to book an oral exam for your child with Dr. at our pediatric office in Lafayette, Louisiana, please call us at 337-232-0689. Our team at Carl Gonsoulin looks forward to bringing your child’s smile back to its fullest.

Your Child’s Health and Dental Care

If you are beginning to teach your child how to brush and care for their teeth, you should also let them know how important oral health care is to the rest of the body.

Although anyone can develop cavities regardless of age, cavities have more of a detrimental effect on children. Chewing with a cavity can be a painful thing for a child, causing them to improperly chew food before swallowing. Nutrients from improperly chewed food aren’t properly digested, and can, therefore, cause your child to lose weight. Because of this, it is important to help your child brush and floss their teeth until they are at least old enough to tie their shoes.

Following a healthy diet is another good way to help your child avoid cavities. Your child may want candy or sodas, but too much of these things only promotes the right conditions for cavities to grow. Also, a good diet will give your child the proper nutrients they need to grow and be healthy. In addition, these lessons may become habits they will be likely to keep as they grow into adulthood, and beyond.

If you have questions about pediatric dentistry in Lafayette, LA or want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carl B. Gonsoulin, give Gonsoulin Dentistry a call at 337-232-0689 today!

Baby Teething Remedies

Seeing your child get their first tooth can be exciting. Usually, their first tooth erupts above the gumline when they’re between four and six months. Their last tooth usually erupts when your child is about two. However, while getting their teeth is a natural part of their development, it can be painful. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more comfortable.

One thing you should do is to give your children something to bite on. You could choose a teething ring or a cold waffle. Biting down when their teeth are coming through can relieve pain and break down the tissue of the gums, making it easier for the tooth to erupt. Cold teething rings can also help because they can numb your baby’s gums, providing more comfort.

There are also over-the-counter medications that can provide relief. Usually, these medications are gels that will numb the sore area. However, be aware that using too much of this gel could numb their entire mouth. If these medications don’t work, you can get a prescription from your pediatrician. If you aren’t interested in using medication, vanilla extract is a good substitute.

When your child is teething, it can also be hard for your baby to eat or drink. We recommend giving them soft foods. Adding flavor to water may also be enough to convince them to drink. Lastly, distracting your child is one of the best ways to help your little one deal with the pain of teething. Playing with your baby or watching videos with them could help.

If you would like to learn more about dealing with teething in Lafayette, Louisiana, please feel free to contact Carl Gonsoulin at 337-232-0689. Our dentist, Dr. , will be happy to answer any of your questions. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Not-So-Sweet Treats for Your Orthodontic Braces

Your dentist, Dr. Carl Gonsoulin and Dr. Joseph Porter care for you and your smile, and we want you to have the best orthodontic experience possible. However, it would be tough to have a positive experience if you frequently break your appliance and delay your treatment time. So, it’s important to avoid doing these things and take care of your braces. You can do so by avoiding eating the following three treats:


Caramel is a dangerous treat for your smile because of its stickiness. When you eat the caramel, it sticks to your braces and to your teeth. This makes it extremely difficult to clean, which generally results in tooth decay. Caramel can also break your appliance by sticking to the brackets and pulling them off the teeth. This can severely delay your treatment time.

Saltwater Taffy

Saltwater taffy is another sticky candy that can also get stuck between your teeth, gums, and braces. For many of the same reasons to avoid caramel, it’s best to refrain from eating saltwater taffy as well. If you keep from eating this sticky treat, your treatment will remain on track and your smile and appliance will not be harmed.


Popcorn is dangerous for your braces because the kernels tend to get stuck in your appliance and cause further complications when you bite down on them. The kernels can also break your brackets, which will delay your treatment time and prevent the shifting of your smile.

If you avoid eating these treats, you will be on the right track toward success. If you need to talk to us about any of your questions or concerns regarding your braces in Lafayette, Louisiana, we encourage you to call Gonsoulin Dentistry today at 337-232-0689 and talk to a member of our friendly team. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carl Gonsoulin or Dr. Joseph Porter if you have any issues that need fixing. We look forward to your call!



Why You Want to Enlist the Tooth Fairy’s Help with Your Child’s Oral Health

Parents throughout the world have welcomed helpers to motivate children, not to mention making parenting fun. Even mythological helpers can help make the job of parenting more festive and in the case of the Tooth Fair, productive. As a matter of fact, the Tooth Fairly has been making children smile for decades, along with Santa and the Easter Bunny. Unlike Santa and the Easter Bunny, however, the Tooth Fairy visits children throughout the year, as a child loses up to 20 baby teeth before their permanent teeth come in!

Today, dentists often use the idea of the Tooth Fairy to help your child’s budding awareness of oral health. The Tooth Fairy promotes this awareness with rewards for a toothy treasure, especially when you suggest that the Tooth Fairy values a healthy tooth than a decaying specimen, offering a bigger reward for a nicer tooth. Parents can also leave a note from the Tooth Fairy along with the reward, praising them for their good dental habits, and encouraging them to keep up the good work.

To help your child start out and develop good oral hygiene habits, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises parents to bring in their child by their first birthday, or within six months after their first tooth comes in. You can expect your child’s teeth to begin erupting typically around six months of age.

At Gonsoulin Dentistry in Lafayette, Louisiana, we invite parents to enlist the aid of the Tooth Fairy to inspire your child’s healthy smile throughout the year. Along with daily attention to oral care and bi-annual cleanings and checkups, the Tooth Fairy can help create oral hygiene awareness in your child. To schedule your child’s next visit with Dr. Carl Gonsoulin and Dr. Joseph Porter, please call 337-232-0689 today.

Kids and Cavities

As a parent, making the right health choices for your children can often seem like a huge burden. Some of those choices involve dental problems you’ll need to address, and one of the most common dental issues is that of filling cavities in baby teeth.

Many parents wonder if it’s worth it to fill cavities in teeth that are just going to fall out anyways. The truth is, it’s something that needs to be done.

They hurt

Even in a baby tooth, cavities hurt. You don’t want your children constantly complaining that their teeth hurt; this can lead to them not eating as much as they should, which is never good. In addition, it can be much more difficult to convince them to brush their teeth if brushing the cavity hurts as well.

They’ll infect adult teeth

If you let a cavity in your child’s mouth go untreated, it can actually eat away the entire baby tooth and start infection the adult teeth residing below the gums. That’s obviously not something you want to happen, as it’s a painful, difficult experience and causes even more oral health problems down the road.

If your kids need cavities filled, please don’t wait to contact us today at 337-232-0689 to schedule an appointment.

Help Kids Enjoy the Dentist

Sometimes kids don’t like visiting the dentist. For whatever reason, getting your kids to our office at Carl Gonsoulin in Lafayette, Louisiana may be a bit of a challenge.

That’s why our staff here put this list together of ways to help your kids enjoy their visit with their dentist.

Don’t talk about pain

Little kids don’t like pain, and sometimes dental appointments hurt. When you’re taking the kids to see their dentist, don’t mention anything remotely related to pain. That’ll help kids relax and see the dentist as an adventure instead of something to be scared about.

Talk about the toys

Most dentists have a toy box for younger children, to help incentivize good behavior while they’re in the chair. Make sure to tell your kids they’ll get a toy if they’re good in the chair, and the dentist has a lot of great ones from which to choose.

Take them to lunch after

After the dentist appointment, promise your kids lunch or a treat. Of course, make sure it’s tooth-friendly and not high in sugar. But doing something like this for your kids after their appointment gives them another thing to look forward to, and eventually they’ll start to want to go to the dentist.

Getting your children to enjoy their dental appointments is far easier than you might imagine. If it’s time for them to come see the dentist again, call us today at 337-232-0689 to schedule an appointment.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

You and our pediatric dentist should each take part in making sure your child’s first dental appointment is a positive experience. Be aware that any anxiety displayed by you, the parent, will be picked up by your child. Also, if a dentist is unfriendly, unnecessary fear can be caused in the child.

Your Role in Your Child’s Visit
There are several things you can do to help your child’s dental visit go more smoothly, including:

1. Avoid saying words like “hurt,” “shot,” or “painful.”
2. Do not tell your child about unpleasant experiences you’ve had that the dentist.
3. Tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job is to help them have healthy teeth and gums. Stress the importance of oral health.
4. Do not promise a reward for going to the dentist.
5. Tell your child about dental visits, but limit the details you give. Answer their questions with short, simple answers. Let Dr. Gonsoulin answer the more complex questions. Our dentist is trained to describe things in a way that is easy to understand and nonthreatening.

The Dentist’s Role
It is normal for children to be nervous or fearful of visiting the dentist. A child may fear separation from their parents, the unknown, or being injured. Our pediatric dentist knows how to ease your child’s fears, using techniques like:

1. Using a friendly voice that may become firmer if necessary.
2. Explaining procedures in simple words.
3. Our dentist may tell stories to engage the child in conversation in order to draw their attention away from the procedure.
4. Dr. Gonsoulin uses body language, like a simple smile or a frown, to reinforce positive behavior and discourage negative behavior. Your child will also be praised and complimented for good behavior.
5. If necessary, our dentist can use sedation to help your child relax and be more comfortable. Oral sedation or nitrous oxide may be used.

It is imperative that your child has a positive experience at the dentist in their early years so that he or she does not develop dental fears in the future. For more information about your child’s first dental visit in Lafayette, Louisiana, and to schedule an appointment, contact Carl Gonsoulin.