Experiments


 

Note: with any science experiment, it is recommended you have an adult present for supervision.


Floss is the Boss

Objective:

This experiment simulates that brushing alone will not remove all plaque from tooth surfaces.

What you'll need:

  • A rubber glove
  • A jar of peanut butter
  • Plastic knife
  • A container of dental floss
  • A toothbrush and some toothpaste.

What to do:

  1. Put the glove on one hand and hold your hand with the fingers extended but tightly together, pointing upward (your hand with the glove should look like you're going to give your friend a "high five:, or how a policeman holds his hand up to stop traffic).
  2. Spread your fingers apart and have someone spread peanut butter between your fingers - make sure to get the peanut butter deep between your finger joints. Tighten your fingers together again.
  3. In this experiment, your fingers represent your teeth, and the peanut butter between them is food that gets trapped between your teeth when you eat.
  4. With your fingers still tightly together and held upward, use the toothbrush and toothpaste to try and scrub the peanut butter away (remember not to move your fingers apart!).
  5. Have someone else try to remove the peanut butter using the dental floss between your fingers. Which does a better job - the toothbrush and paste or the floss?

What will happen:

A toothbrush simply can't reach all the places between your teeth. Dental floss can do a much better job of removing food between your teeth. If it's not removed, it can cause gum disease and cavities.

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Acid Attack

Objective:

This experiment simulates an acid attack on bones (bones are rich with calcium, just like your teeth).

What you'll need:

  • 2 clean chicken bones (ask your parents to save them for you the next time you have chicken for dinner)
  • 1 container
  • 1 bottle of white vinegar

What to do:

Pour several inches of vinegar into the container. Soak the clean chicken bones in the vinegar overnight.

What will happen:

Check out the bones after they've soaked in the vinegar overnight. Are they softer or harder? Be sure to throw the bones away in the garbage after you're finished.

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Destructive Decay

Objective:

This experiment simulates the destructive nature of plaque acid in the mouth.

What you'll need:

  • Pieces of eggshell
  • 2 small jars with lids
  • 1 bottle of white vinegar
  • Water

What to do:

  1. Place several pieces of an eggshell into each of the two glass jars.
  2. Fill enough water in one jar and vinegar in the other.
  3. Leave the vinegar and eggshell in the jar for two or three days.

What will happen:

  1. Vinegar is a mild acid. If we do not brush our teeth, plaque forms and gives off acids very similar to vinegar. Also, of the materials that make up eggshells, calcium, is also an important substance in teeth. For the experiment, eggshells represent teeth, and vinegar represents the acids in plaque.
  2. In two or three days, the acids in the vinegar will dissolve the eggshell. The eggshell in the jar with water will remain unchanged. Acids in the vinegar are similar to the acids that attack the enamel in our teeth. If teeth are not brushed and flossed, the enamel can begin to dissolve and allow cavities to form.

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The Power of Fluoride

Objective:

This experiment simulates the protection power of Fluoride against tooth decay.

What you'll need:

  • 1 bottle of Fluoride rinse solution (available from your dentist, a dental supply company, or some pharmacies)
  • 1 bottle of white vinegar
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 clear containers

What to do:

  1. Place one egg into a container and pour in enough Fluoride rinse solution to cover it.
  2. Let the egg soak for five minutes. Remove the egg.
  3. Pour four inches of vinegar into each of the remaining two containers.
  4. Put the egg that has been treated with the Fluoride into one container of vinegar and the untreated egg in the other container of vinegar.

What will happen:

  1. One egg will start to bubble as the vinegar (an acid) starts to attack the minerals in the eggshell. Which egg do you think will start to bubble?
  2. The acid is dissolving the untreated eggshell. The fluoride treatment protects the one egg's shell from the acid, while the acid attacks the untreated eggshell. Our teeth need to be protected from the acids in our mouths with fluoride, too.

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40986 California Oaks
Murrieta, CA 92562
Phone: 951-304-3044
Fax: 951-304-3285
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