True or False?

Tooth decay is more a problem for children.

Answer: False. Studies show adults experience as much, if not more, tooth decay, and their decay is often more aggressive.

Filling a cavity prevents more decay in adults.

Answer: False. Studies show that most adult decay re-occurs around existing fillings.

A filling lasts many years.

Answer: False. Studies show that fillings last just a few years on the crown, and only 2 to 3 years at the gum line. And the latter are the most common fillings past age 60. So, as you get older, the cycle of fillings to replace failed fillings becomes common.

Brushing your teeth regularly will reduce your risk of tooth decay.

Answer: True. Good oral hygiene is an important factor in reducing the risk of tooth decay. However, although almost all UK adults brush their teeth twice daily, one in three experience ongoing tooth decay. So additional preventive measures may be required.

Tooth decay is caused by a bacterial infection.

Answer: True. Certain bacteria turn the sugars in your diet to acids, to start tooth decay. In adults with lots of ongoing tooth decay, these bacteria can make up most of the dental plaque.