One of the things I love about homeschooling is the ability to take the time to do lots of hands on experiments. To make sure we hit the state standards, we need to include “health” as a subject. Now, I don’t have a set curriculum for health, so we try to hit various health topics in fun ways. This week we focused on dental health.
On Monday we boiled three eggs. The eggs represent our teeth. The shell represents the enamel, which keeps the inside of our teeth safe.
We soaked one egg in Dr. Pepper for a couple of days. We wanted to see what dark soda would do to a tooth (or egg).
We soaked a second egg in milk. That was Stargirl’s idea. How does milk affect teeth?
Finally, we soaked a third egg in vinegar. Since food turns acidic when it comes into contact with bacteria in the mouth, the vinegar represents the mouth of a person who doesn’t brush his teeth.
We checked our eggs after breakfast yesterday morning. The kids were a little bit grossed out by what we discovered. OK, I admit I was a bit creeped out, too. Perhaps after breakfast wasn’t the best time to finish our experiment. But I digress.
We started with the egg soaked in Dr. Pepper. The egg had turned a disgusting brown color. We tried to brush off the brown with toothpaste and a toothbrush.
It helped, but the egg never returned to it’s original white color. Lesson? Soda will turn your teeth brown if you don’t brush.
Next we checked up on the milk-soaked egg. Surprisingly, the shell was still hard and white. I guess what they say is true: milk is good for your teeth.
We saved the vinegar egg for last. What happens to your teeth when you don’t brush?
The shell was completely gone! The vinegar had eaten away at the shell until there was nothing left. The kids learned a visual lesson as to what happens to the enamel on their teeth when they don’t brush. The acid from the food eats away at the teeth, until the tender inside is exposed…a cavity.
And that’s Health 101 for this week.