Tooth decay is a progressive process where acid forming bacteria uses the sugars in the foods and drinks you eat to weaken the surface of your teeth. The acid causes a small hole in the tooth, which is called a cavity. Bacteria can enter the tooth through the cavity, creating an infection which will affect your oral and overall health and wellbeing. Cavities are highly influenced by a number of factors, including what you eat or drink, how you look after your oral hygiene, the presence of fluoride in the toothpaste and mouthwash you use, and genetics. The most common way to stop tooth decay reaching the soft dentine layer of your teeth is for a dentist to drill out the decay and replace the missing tooth with a tooth coloured filling. Learning how to prevent cavities can help you ensure you don’t need to have a filling.