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Module 1: Tooth Decay


Module 1 focuses on the biological causes of tooth decay and its physical and psychological effects. The module provides an overview of tooth decay and of Streptococcus mutans’ (S. mutans’) role in the decay process. The module also explains how a parent or other caregiver can “infect” an infant or child with S. mutans and what foods interact with S. mutans. In addition, the module discusses problems that tooth decay may cause.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the process of tooth decay.
  • Identify the bacteria associated with tooth decay.
  • Explain where in the mouth the bacteria associated with tooth decay can be found.
  • Discuss the physical and psychological effects of tooth decay.

Time Needed to Complete this Module

Approximately 20 minutes

infant girl smiling