This is a great experiment you can do with the kids whilst they are at home. Perfect way to pass time and do something educational during stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne. This experiment is a great visual and tactile STEM project to do at home with lots of talking points for the kids.
Inspired by Dental Health Week's theme on being sugar savvy, we want to show you (both little kids and big kids) how sugar can damage your teeth.
Eating/drinking sugary drinks causes naturally occurring bacteria in our mouth to produce acids which can eat away at our teeth and result in erosion or dental decay. In this experiment, we use the hard egg shell to demonstrate the properties of tooth enamel. This experiment will allow you to see the effects of different household drinks on an eggshell (aka teeth), in an attempt to link it back to healthy eating habits.
What you need:
- 4-5 hard boiled eggs
- 4-5 transparent mugs or cups
- Soft drink such as lemonade or Coca-Cola. You can also use "diet" varieties too.
- Fruit juice
- Optional: sports drink such as gatorade
- Place one of the hard-boiled eggs in a cup full of water. Place the second hard boiled egg in a cup of soft drink, the other egg in a cup of fruit juice, the last egg in the cup of milk. You can also add a hard-boiled egg to cups of sports drink if you like.
- Leave these overnight and return to see the results.
- Over the course of 5 days, observe and note the changes on the egg shell each day
At the end of the experiment, your eggs may look something like this:
- Water has no effect on the egg shell over the course of the experiment
- Soft drink, juice and sport drink all caused damage to the egg shell (and this would be similar to teeth!)
- You may also like to use an old toothbrush and try to brush the egg and see if any of the stains on the egg shell come off
A healthy oral hygiene routine which involves brushing, flossing and choosing to drink water can be discussed with your child. Relating the experiment back to their own teeth to explain how these habits can reduce the sugar and bacteria that touches tooth enamel and can stop the process of decay. Unlike bones, our body is unable to rebuild teeth, so taking care of your teeth is an important lifetime habit!