I love doing science experiments with my son. One reason is that they help children become better readers. Also, they provide learning that is hands-on and uses the three senses of sight, hearing, and touch (sometimes smelling and tasting as well). They are the best way children can apply what they are learning.

In the past, I have used science experiments to teach my son lessons in hygiene such as the importance of washing his hands. The activity I will show you today is a great complement to that experiment. It is called the Tooth Decay Experiment. This could be your child’s next science fair project (for older kids).

The Tooth Decay Experiment will show your children the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day. Furthermore, it demonstrates what happens to your teeth when you drink certain beverages such as orange juice, tea, and water.

We have fun with all our experiments; even those that don’t work. It gives us opportunities to investigate and solve problems. I tell my son this is what scientist do!

The Tooth Decay Experiment has made my son a “Flossing and Teeth Brushing Advocate!” After you do this activity, it will probably have the same impact on your child. I will show you how to do it.

Let’s Get Started!

Warning: This post contains a lot of pictures.

Materials:

  • 5 cups (we used paper cups)
  • 5 individual labels that read: Orange Juice, Soda, Water, Tea, and Vinegar
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 cup of orange juice (enough to submerge an egg)
  • 1 cup of dark soda (enough to submerge an egg)
  • 1 cup of water (enough to submerge an egg)
  • 1 cup of tea (enough to submerge an egg)
  • 1 cup of vinegar (enough to submerge an egg)
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Plastic Gloves to protect hands
  • Goggles to protect hands

Directions:

  • Make 5 individual labels that read: Orange Juice, Soda, Water, Tea, and Vinegar
My 4-year-old son is learning how to write in cursive. To my surprise, he wrote the labels in cursive.

If you want to know how my son learned to write the alphabet and numbers as a 2-year-old through PLAY, click this link.

  • Cut the labels out and put them on the cups.
My son putting the labels on the cup.
The labels are on the cups.
  • Put the eggs in each cup.
My son putting the eggs in the cup.
  • Pour the liquids in each labeled cup.
Pouring the dark soda in the cup.
  • Let the eggs sit in the cups for 24 hours.
Our eggs are sitting overnight on the kitchen counter.
  • The next day take the eggs out of the cups and see what happened.
The egg in the water stayed the same. So we concluded that water is healthy for your teeth.
This egg was in water. It was clear and maintained its color.
This egg was in the orange juice. It was slimy and we could see the sugar from orange juice on the egg.
This egg was in the dark soda. The soda stained the egg brown. This is how soda stains our teeth.
This egg was in the tea cup. It was stained brown like the soda.
This egg shell was in vinegar. It made the shell soft and squishy.
My son brushed the egg shell that was in soda with toothpaste.
After brushing the egg shell it was starting to become white again. This is what happens when we brush our teeth.

This experiment had a big impact on my son. He knows that brushing his teeth is important. After doing this activity, he said he wanted brush his teeth everyday.

Try it at home and have fun!

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16 thoughts on “Tooth Decay Experiment: Teach Kids the Importance of Brushing their Teeth

  1. I absolutely love this experiment so much! My kids go to an in home school where she makes everyone brush their teeth before starting school for the day. They do it with no questions asked for her but aren’t as good to brush their teeth at home. I think they will love this!

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