Our mouths provide the perfect environment for bacteria growth. In fact, 800 - 1,000 different types of bacteria can be found in just your mouth alone!
Bacteria is responsible for the formation of plaque - a sticky, colorless film of bacteria which feeds on sugar and starch to produce acids. These acids break down tooth enamel and can cause tooth decay.
Every time we eat or drink, we are feeding the bacteria in our mouth and increasing the amount of plaque on our teeth. Plaque can be removed in most cases by brushing and flossing; however, plaque that is not removed hardens into tartar, which can't be removed by brushing and flossing.
The good news is that saliva contains minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, to help enamel repair itself by replacing minerals lost during an acid attack. Throughout the day, teeth are steadily weakened by the foods and drinks we consume and then strengthened again by the remineralization process in saliva.
This is just a brief overview and we are happy to share more details at your next dental visit!