Knowing how to take care of your teeth is very important, but knowed why and how dental caries formed is something more important.
Caries is a transmissible infectious disease, the most common affecting the teeth, in which the acids produced by bacteria dissolve the teeth.
Some bacteria such as Streptococci mutans and Lactobacilli, can be transmitted, for example, from parents to children. These bacteria are cariogenic (which means decay-causing) and create a sticky film known as plaque on the surface of the teeth. The bacteria in plaque feed on fermentable carbohydrates and convert them into acids. Fermentable carbohydrates are sugars and other carbohydrates from food and drink, bacteria can ferment. The acids formed dissolve minerals such as calcium and phosphate from teeth. This process is called demineralization.
But tooth decay is not inevitable. Saliva carries food debris left in the mouth, neutralizes acids produced by plaque bacteria and provides calcium and phosphate to the teeth in a process known as remineralization. Saliva also acts as a reservoir for fluoride toothpaste or fluoridated water. Fluoride helps control remineralising tooth decay and inhibiting bacterial acid production, which reduces or stops the decay process.
Tooth decay only occurs when demineralisation exceeds remineralisation over a period of time.