Your teeth are protected on the outside by the hardest substance in the body-enamel. This is the shiny coating that covers the softer, inner part of the tooth-the dentine. Enamel is strong enough to bite, crush and grind even the toughest food, but it can be vulnerable. When the enamel on your teeth is weakened by plaque acid tooth decay can begin. Plaque is a soft sticky layer which covers the teeth and is largely composed of bacteria.
Every time that food or drinks containing sugars enter the mouth, the plaque bacteria turn sugars into acid which attacks the tooth surface. Saliva’s the mouth natural defence, diluting and neutralising plaque acid, but it can take up to 2 hours to remove the danger. If sugary food and drinks are consumed frequently, then teeth can be under attack for much of the day. The worst times to have sugary things are between meals and before bed. Children run the greatest risk of decay because teeth are most vulnerable to acid when they are newly formed and many children are allowed frequent sugary snacks and drinks.