Your mouth has a thriving community of bacteria. There are from 200-300 types. But relatively few cause tooth decay.
Bacteria that cause decay are in the streptococcus mutans family. The bacteria mix with sugar. This mixture creates a powerful acid. The acid reduces the calcium in tooth enamel. When the bacteria stays on teeth, it generates a yellowish substance called plaque. Plaque is brutally effective at drilling into tooth enamel and causing cavities. Minerals in saliva help enamel re-mineralize.
Special Caution for Parents
The tooth decay bacteria can spread through saliva. People in close contact with one another are at risk. Sharing spoons or kissing are two avenues. Mothers, fathers, siblings, and caregivers can the bacteria to babies. Young children whose teeth are forming are at a heightened risk of decay. It’s important that moms and dads protect their children from early tooth decay. Start teaching daily oral hygiene as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. Childhood tooth decay is so prevalent that some parents believe it’s just part of growing up. But it doesn’t have to be!
Daily oral hygiene and a healthy diet protect young teeth. Ask your Epping dentist for tips!
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