Bacteria in our mouths! Why do we have bacteria in our mouths and what type of bacteria live there?

Find the answer in Hallux's Dental Depositary!

Did you know that there are bugs in your mouth?!

Not the creepy crawly kind, like spiders and centipedes – yuck! – but bugs like bacteria.

Bacteria is tiny living things which make a home in all sorts of places on earth and that includes mouths. Bacteria collect everywhere in the mouth – and not just on the teeth and gums.

They often cover parts of the cheeks and the back of the throat. They can also live in between all the bumps and ridges found on the tongue.

Most bacteria are harmless – and many are even helpful to us! Only a small proportion of bacteria make us poorly.

There are typically over 70 different types of bacteria in the mouth. Most of them occur naturally, doing you no harm at all. There are, however, some bacteria that can damage our teeth and gums, and cause problems like bad breath.

If you don’t brush your teeth, millions of bacteria can collect in a sticky substance called plaque – that’s the yellow coating you sometimes see on your teeth.

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If you run your tongue around your teeth before you brush your teeth, you might be able to feel it.

Some bacteria love to digest the sugar in our mouth. As they eat, they increase in number and produce acids that break down the surface of your teeth.

If not removed, plaque can completely destroy the outside of the tooth and expose the nerves inside – and that’s toothache.

The more plaque you have, the more of these harmful substances are in contact with your teeth and gums.

Proper brushing, flossing and using antibacterial mouthwashes can reduce the number of bacteria that build up in specific areas between the teeth and along the gumline.

They’ll reduce the plaque and help keep your teeth and gums safe and strong!

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  • It’s normal to have bacteria in your mouth and many are helpful or harmless!
  • It’s good to remember that bacterial plaque can damage teeth, so always give them a good scrub!

If you liked this, you’ll love Professor Hallux’s Body Podcast for Kids! It’s packed full of amazing stuff about the human body and has loads more info about your gnashers!

You can subscribe to the Professor Hallux podcast in Google or Apple Podcasts.

Just click the link of your podcast provider below – and don’t forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode!

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Professor Hallux: The Human Body Podcast for Kids

Learn about the human body in this podcast - from brains and bones to ears and eyes!


Professor Hallux’s Dental Depositary was made possible with help from Philips Sonicare.


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