How do you get a cavity?

  1. After you eat, tiny bits of food are left between your teeth. Bacteria grow on them, forming plaque.

  2. The bacteria digest the carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in food and produce an acid. This acid dissolves the enamel (the hard outer layer of your tooth) and a hole (cavity) is formed.
What causes a toothache?

If the cavity is not treated, the decay will progress and the cavity will get deeper ... through the enamel and into the dentin (the middle part). When the cavity reaches the pulp (the soft, sensitive area with nerves) - OUCH!

How can you prevent cavities?

  1. Brush your teeth after every meal
  2. Floss between your teeth
  3. Do not eat food with a lot of sugar in them
How does the dentist fill a cavity?

  1. The dentist first removes the decay using small instruments, an air-powered or electric drill.

  2. He then makes tiny undercuts to help hold the filling.

  3. The filling is packed into the hole and allowed to harden slightly before it is shaped.

"George Files" by Parenting the Next Generation