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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About Cavities (Tooth Decay)

*This webpage is for information purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for professional dental advice.*

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay (commonly known as cavities) occurs when sugar in the foods we eat combine with bacteria to form acid. This acid dissolves parts of the tooth, causing tooth decay.

Visit our Cavities section to learn more about tooth decay and how cavities form. 

Can putting my baby to bed with a bottle of milk cause tooth decay?

Yes. Milk contains natural sugars. At night, the milk pools around your baby's teeth. The sugar from the milk interacts with the bacteria in your baby's mouth to create an acid. This acid then eats away at your baby's teeth, causing decay.

So if you must put your baby to bed with a bottle, offer only water.

Can I prevent cavities?

Yes, brush, floss, visit the dentist and eat healthy foods to prevent tooth decay.

What do I do if I think my child has a cavity?

Take your child to the dentist if you think he has tooth decay.

If you don’t have dental insurance and you can’t afford dental treatments, the Ontario government might cover the cost.

Contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 to see if your child qualifies for the Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT) program.

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Revised: August 20, 2013

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