IndiaAsksWhy | Season 2 | Ep. 4 |Why do We Brush Our Teeth?

Listen to the Audio Here!

Utsuka and Jigyasa were thinking about the day they had loads of chocolates. Jigyasa rightly pointed out that eating too much chocolate causes cavities; that’s why we brush our teeth. This made them wonder: “How does brushing help stop cavities?”

Listen to the episode as they both explore teeth up close. They learn about the microbial community living on tooth surfaces, how they function, and what role the microbes and food you eat play in causing cavities. 

They also talk with Dr. Karishma Kaushik from Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), a scientist who studies microbes, about how researchers study microbes of teeth in labs. As a clinician turned scientist, Dr. Kaushik shares how her unique background allows her to see her research from a unique perspective.  


  2. Pitts, Nigel B, Svante Twetman, Julian Fisher, and Philip D Marsh. “Understanding Dental Caries as a Non-Communicable Disease.” British Dental Journal 231, no. 12 (December 1, 2021): 749–53.
  3. Marsh, P. D., and Egija Zaura. “Dental Biofilm: Ecological Interactions in Health and Disease.” Journal of Clinical Periodontology 44, no. S18 (2017): S12–22.
  4. Chhaliyil, Pranav, Kael F Fischer, Bernd Schoel, and Pradheep Chhalliyil. “A Novel, Simple, Frequent Oral Cleaning Method Reduces Damaging Bacteria in the Dental Microbiota.” Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry 10, no. 4 (August 6, 2020): 511–19.
  5. Huang R, Li M, Gregory RL. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm. Virulence. 2011 Sep-Oct;2(5):435-44. doi: 10.4161/viru.2.5.16140. Epub 2011 Sep 1. PMID: 21778817; PMCID: PMC3322631.


Hosts: Shweata N. Hegde and Ruchi Manglunia

Audio Editor: Indulekha MS and Ira Zibbu

Poster: Ruchi Manglunia 

Advisor: Megha Kumar