Summary: Tooth decay can easily be avoided if your sugar intake is controlled correctly. Sugary food should ideally be only eaten with the main meals as snacking greatly increases the time of acid attack in our mouths. Drinking lots of cup's of tea with sugar is also a risk, try and reduce the amount or try artifical sweetners. Certain foods may also be erosive, this means that they are very acidic. This includes things like Coke or lemon.
Mums won't like this, but if you eat sweets you should eat them quickly and all at once. This reduces the time that sugar is present in the mouth.
Sweets that are very sticky cause a bigger problem because they stick between the teeth and may stay there for an extended time supplying the bacteria with sugar.
Snacking is a major factor causing toothdecay. By changing you snack food to things like crisps,fruit or cheese the risks of decay are reduced.
When you eat sweets or other sugary food the bacteria in our mouths produce acid which then dissolves our teeth. These bacteria are always in our mouth, even after toothbrushing. the worst time to eat sweets is just before bedtime as the amount of saliva we produce is decreased during sleep. Therefore the effects of saliva which protects the teeth would be decreased.
It is a misconception that having a few small sweets is better than having one big sweet like a Mars bar. The reason for this is that the bacteria only need a small amount of sugar before they start to produce acid. Any excess chocolate is simply swallowed.
Some people think that brown sugar will cause less decay than white sugar, this assumption is wrong. If you must have sugar in tea/coffee, try and use artifical sweetners instead.
During pregnancy some women develop tooth decay and this may be attributed to 'the baby taking calcium from the teeth'. The actual cause of the decay is chronic consumption of sweets due to cravings during pregnancy.