Tooth Decay - Cause
The combination of bacteria and food
tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called
plaque that contains bacteria is always forming on
your teeth and gums. As the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food you eat,
they make acids. The acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after
eating. Over a period of time, these acids destroy
tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
See pictures of a
tooth decay .
You make tooth decay more likely if:
- You don't brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before
- You don't floss your teeth each day.
- You eat
foods with a lot of sugar in them. The longer a sugary food stays on your
teeth, the more the bacteria feed and make acids.
Sticky sweets and sugary foods, such as raisins, sugar-coated
cereal, cake, cookies, caramel, and taffy, cause the most damage.
fluoride in the public water supply also makes tooth
decay more likely.
You can pass the bacteria that cause tooth decay to your baby.
This can happen when you share spoons, forks, and other utensils
with babies. The saliva you leave on the utensil contains the bacteria.
Sometimes kissing can also transfer saliva and bacteria. You can help prevent
tooth decay in your child by making sure that your family practices good dental