combat rising cavity ratesA STORY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES earlier this year has left many parents worrying about their young children’s oral health. Why, you ask?

Tooth decay is on the rise, especially in toddlers and preschoolers.

Who wants to rob a child of the fun of Halloween or Easter candy? We have some tips below.

It is true that more and more, dentists like Dr. Randall Brucken & Dr. Lawrence Stubbs are seeing preschoolers with an average of 5-10 cavities at a time. In fact, the article points out that the problem has become so serious that many kids now require general anesthesia during their cavity fillings because they are unable to sit through such extensive procedures when they are awake.
Research shows that oral infection is the number one chronic disease in children, and over 50% of today’s toddlers will have some sort of tooth decay before they are 5.

Teaching good dental habitsSo, what is causing all this decay, and how do we prevent it!?

Severe tooth decay can be caused by a variety of young children’s habits. Here are 7 habits contributing to the problem:

  • Endless snacking
  • Sugar-rich foods
  • Refined foods such as white bread
  • Sweet drinks before bedtime
  • Un-fluoridated bottled water
  • Lack of flossing
  • General abhorrence of oral care

Teaching good dental habitsHALLOWEEN HELP
After the fun of collecting the Halloween candy is over and your family has the big bag of treats, here are 3 ideas for keeping the treats manageable:

  1. Set a time of day when your child gets treats, rather than allowing snacking throughout the day
  2. Make sure to discuss why moderation is important – too much sugar is not healthy and causes cavities
  3. If your child got a lot of Halloween candy, don’t feel guilty if some of it is tossed out

Many parents have to fight with their children to brush their teeth once a day, let alone the recommended “two-minutes, twice-a-day!” This is one battle that is definitely worth fighting. Dr. Brucken has two boys under 10 years old, so he very personally knows the effort it takes to practice what he preaches. Our kids are so worth it!

Check out this teaching guide to help teach good dental habits.


  • Reduce the overload of sugary snacks out of your children’s diets like raisins and fruit roll-ups
  • Make sure you are giving them tap water instead of bottled
  • Help them brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss once until they are 8 or able to write in cursive
  • Bring them to Comfort Dental for regular checkups

Comfort Dental wants to make sure all of our patients in the Greater Lafayette Area have healthy habits and healthy smiles for a lifetime. If you have questions about keeping your children’s teeth healthy or any other dental topic, we are here to help. We look forward to seeing you soon!