Teeth have different functions that they provide to all of us. They allow us to speak properly, they give us a distinctive smile, and they also allow us the ability to eat and chew foods. The front teeth are used for cutting foods with their sharp, thin edges. The canines (aka “eye teeth”) are used for holding or grasping foods. These stated teeth also promote the correct articulation and pronunciation in proper speech. The back teeth consist of the premolars and molars, allowing us to chew and crush foods so that they are easy to swallow and digest. These back teeth are rough, jagged, and made up of many grooves and pits on their top surfaces. While this design is necessary for eating, it contributes to the difficulty in keeping them clean.
As food is chewed and broken down by the premolars and molars, food particles often become trapped in the deep ridges. Natural acids occur in the mouth any time we eat or drink anything other than water. While these acids occur naturally and are beneficial to the mouth, they can also cause severe damage. Food particles that are trapped in the back teeth attract a large amount of acids and bacteria. The acids and bacteria are there to help break down the food, however, because they congregate in such large quantities, they often end up destroying the teeth during the process of breaking down food particles.