Tooth decay stems from a mixture of oral bacteria, pH, buffering capacity, diet and hygiene. So what are tricks to avoid tooth decay? One can eat or drink anything provided it is rinsed out of the mouth quickly. Constant snacking all day on processed carbohydrates, or bathing teeth with acidic liquids is a recipe for tooth decay due to a sustained low pH of the oral cavity. If the food or liquid is not rinsed away quickly then oral bacteria can flourish, reproduce and give off acid as a byproduct when they break down carbohydrates. This causes a low pH in the mouth which unless neutralized the teeth will start to get demineralized. As a tooth gets demineralized small defects in the enamel allow for bacteria to penetrate where they can give off more acid byproduct creating further damage deeper inside the tooth. Salivary glands within the mouth have many functions but two are helping to rinse away food as well as buffering acids and bringing the pH back to neutral or slightly basic. Furthermore bacteria that cause tooth decay and the bacteria that cause gum disease are transmissible to others. Learn more about diet and pH in upcoming blogs.