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Animals Do More Than Eat and Drink

Animals live almost everywhere on Earth. Some animals are very large, and some animals are very, very, very, very small. What do all animals do to survive?

All animals eat some kind of food, and all animals take in water. Do you onto your teeth and helps them trap know what else animals do? Listen to this story and find out.2 polar bears

Polar bears live in the icy, northern part of the world. They eat meat like fish and seals. They make baby polar bears. All polar bears poop.gerbil

Gerbils live in burrows in high deserts and prairies. They eat seeds and parts of plants. They make baby gerbils. All gerbils poop.

guppieGuppies live in ponds. They eat mosquito larvae and other tiny bugs. They make baby guppies. All All guppies poop.

2 wormsEarthworms live in the soil. They eat decaying stuff in the dirt. They make baby earthworms. All earthworms poop.

Bacteria live in your mouth. Wait a minute! I have bacteria living in my MOUTH? What are bacteria doing in my mouth? Are you sure?

bacteriaSome bacteria live where it is dark and warm and wet. Some of those bacteria live in your mouth. What do you think they eat?

junk foodSome bacteria eat what you eat. They eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and pizza.

But, do you know what they are really good at eating?

Just like most kids, the bacteria in your mouth are really good at eating candy!

Bacteria live in your mouth. Some of them eat what you eat. Do they make other bacteria?

These bacteria do make other bacteria. They make even more bacteria when they get sweet things to eat.

So, bacteria live in your mouth. Some of them eat what you eat. They make other bacteria. Do the bacteria poop? In your MOUTH?

sugars and starches plus bacteria equal acidsWell, other animals, like polar bears, gerbils, guppies, and earthworms, poop. But, what is poop, really? What we call “poop” is a waste product. All All guppies poop. animals produce some kind of waste product because their bodies cannot use all the parts of the foods they
eat. After they eat, bacteria produce an acid. The acid is the bacteria's waste product, or its poop.

So let's review.

Bacteria live in your mouth. Some of them eat what you eat. They make other bacteria. Some bacteria produce acid. In your MOUTH? Yes, bacteria produce acid in your mouth.

What happens to the acid the bacteria produce?

If the acid stays on your teeth, it can make holes in your teeth. Here is how it works.

Since the day you were born, different kinds of bacteria have lived in your mouth—and in every person's mouth. The bacteria are very, very, very, very tiny. You cannot see them with your eyes.

When you eat and drink something, the bacteria that live on and around your teeth and gums eat tiny bits of the food that is in your mouth. They even have ways to save some of the food to come back to and snack on later!

Some of the bacteria help you stay healthy, but some of the bacteria produce acid that can cause cavities in your teeth.

plaque on teethThe bacteria live together, in groups called colonies, all around your teeth and gums. They make some gluey stuff that holds them onto your teeth and helps them trap very small pieces of food you eat. Have you ever noticed that you can scrape some white stuff off your teeth when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed at night? That stuff is called plaque. That’s where the bacteria live. Plaque is kind of like a net that helps the bacteria catch and hold on to food for them to eat.

cavity in toothAfter the bacteria eat, they produce acid. The plaque holds the acid against the surface of your teeth. The acid can make holes in your teeth if it is held there for a long enough time. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria make a lot more acid. They also make a lot more bacteria. More bacteria produce more acid. More acid on your teeth can cause more decay.

Now, do you know why it is important for you to brush your teeth and eat healthy, not sugary, foods?