Acidic Substances and Teeth

by Brittany S
(Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

A Healthy Specimen

A Healthy Specimen

I did this project in 6th grade. Using good teeth from my dentist's office, I conducted an experiment to see what substances would cause tooth decay.


I took pictures of each tooth so I could see the results at the end of my experiment. I placed the teeth in individual covered petri dishes, then added different substances to each dish. One dish had dark cola, one dish had water, and one dish had Kool-Aid. Every week, I checked the teeth and took a new picture.

At the end of the experiment, you could see that the tooth sitting in cola was rotten. The one sitting in Kool-Aid was also rotten, but not quite as bad. The tooth in water had no change.

It was really interesting and no one else in my class did a project like that. Most of the other projects were plant-related, like giving Plant A plant food/nutrients and not giving any to Plant B to see which one will grow the best.

Another one I remember was a project that dealt with the senses. People at the science fair were asked to taste a piece of candy (I think the student used Lifesavers) then were asked to try the same candy while holding their nose. It turned out that since a lot of the taste sense is connected to the smell sense, you couldn't really taste anything that well if your nose is closed!

The tooth experiment is a really good project and since most students do simpler projects, I think it would definitely stand out to teachers and judges! You could easily get some teeth from your dentist's office. The teeth I used were from wisdom tooth extractions so they were in good condition before doing the experiment.

Barry's Response - Interesting B. A miniature environmental impact assessment using teeth as the subject. The most challenging part must have been getting the dentist to just hand over some used teeth for your experiment.

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Ideas and Info
by: Rachel

This is a fantastic idea for a science project, but also an awesome way to convey to younger children what happens when you have tooo much sugar. Look how fast the teeth rotted and they are supposed to last a lifetime. It would promote brushing and less sugary consumption. I've been to a dozen plus fairs and never seen this idea either so A++ for ingenuity. Hope you got an A.

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Teeth
by: Anonymous

I really enjoyed this article. I have heard that pop and other acidic substances are not good on your teeth. Good experiment. Very interesting and informative.

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