Home Experiment for HS Students: Importance of Brushing our Teeth

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

It all started when my eldest daughter sought my help for her school project. They need to present an experiment which they could perform at home. Believe me, it wasn't easy to come up with on for the obvious reason that we lack materials and equipment at home. 

Initially, we thought to do an experiment about whether plants would grow better with more human attention than not, but this is not the growing season so it didn't work.

Then I remembered this commercial about a toothpaste when I was young. In the commercial, they brushed a couple of shells with brand x and y toothpaste and then immersed them both for 24 hours in bleach.

We had to replace the shells with eggshells to accelerate the results and replaced the objective by pointing out to the importance of brushing our teeth in general than comparing brands as this was not a marketing experiment.

Finally without further ado, let's jump in. And by the way, credits are all to my fantastic daughter who is too modest to take the lime light.

Purpose of the experiment

The objective of this home experiment is to show the importance of brushing one's teeth and possibly, to also discourage us from eating too much acidic foods. 

At first, we didn't think that there would be varying results between the brands of toothpaste used, so we only used 2 in this experiment. 

The results were surprising.

Background of the experiment

Eggshells were used because they have the same chemical composition as our tooth enamel, making them react similarly with chemicals.

Bleach represents the acid that damage our teeth. According to Healthline.com, one of the main causes of enamel erosion are acids found in the foods and liquids we consume. 

Saliva constantly neutralises acid in our mouth to protect our teeth. But eating too much acidic food and drink, and not properly brushing our teeth can cause the outer layer of enamel to degrade over time.

You can refer to the article mentioned above for examples of food that can cause enamel erosion.

Equipment used in the experiment

The clear disposable cups we used didn't come with lids. Demi had to transfer the eggshells and bleach to another container with a lid so she could bring them to school for presentation. 

If you need to present too, save yourself the hassle and get yourself disposable cups with lids online.

Procedure

Demi prepared 3 disposable cups and labelled each as follows:

  • Oral B
  • Atomy
  • None

She then put equal amount of bleach in each cups.

Bleach on cups experiment

Then Demi started brushing one of the eggshells with ATOMY toothpaste. She left the toothpaste on before immersing the eggshell into the acid. 


Then she brushed the other eggshell with Oral B. As with the ATOMY, she left the toothpaste on and then immersed the eggshell on the bleach.


Finally, she added the eggshell without the toothpaste in the acid last.

All eggshells were immersed in bleach by 19:40 PM.

Results

After less than 5 minutes, the eggshell without any toothpaste on was already crumbling. When we looked, the eggshell has completely disintegrated.

We left all eggshells overnight and checked again after 24 hours. 

The objective of the experiment has been achieved. Clearly, brushing our teeth is important in reducing the effect of acid on our teeth enamel. 

We thought that there wouldn't be a difference in the results of either eggshells with ATOMY or Oral B. Or if there would be, we thought that the eggshell with Oral B would hold its shape better because the toothpaste was marketed as good for "gum care and enamel restore."

Meanwhile, ATOMY is marketed as a toothpaste with "propolis" and "green tea extract." Meaning, its antibacterial properties help to prevent bad breath. While this feature had been proven by actual users, in this experiment, it wasn't very relevant.

Photo below was after 24 hours

After 24 hours, both eggshells with Oral B and ATOMY held their form. Surprisingly, there were less broken pieces found in the eggshell with ATOMY than the eggshell with Oral B.

There has been differences in the photo because we had to place the cups somewhere safer. Initially, we held the experiment on the kitchen counter but had to move the cups in a corner where it's not accessible as bleach is a dangerous substance.

As such, the lighting also changed but in the photo below, it is clear that the eggshell without the toothpaste has crumbled to the ground. The eggshell with Oral B had decreased its size dramatically and you can see that there were more broken pieces at the bottom. 

Meanwhile, the eggshell with ATOMY toothpaste held its shape the best among the three.

Conclusion

Demi's experiment had been a good eye-opener about the importance of brushing our teeth as well as choosing a better diet to keep our teeth healthy. We do not disregard other factors, of course, such as genetics and lifestyle.

Although it was not part of Demi's hypothesis in the beginning, it appeared that choosing a brand of toothpaste is also important if we want to keep our teeth healthy.

Despite the fact that we already use ATOMY toothpaste, this experiment only made me more confident and thankful that I made the right choice. 😁

PS: Feel free to re-create this experiment for a school project, for marketing presentation, or just for fun with the kids. Just be very careful in using bleach. Use gloves and mask!

PPS: If you want to shift your brand to ATOMY, message to buy from me. Thanks in advance! 💗

PPPS: The toothbrush used here is also ATOMY. It's soft bristles contain fine gold dust for antibacterial properties, keeping your brush clean 24/7. If you're tired of getting moulds on your toothbrush handle, go for this one. For the technology used to make quality toothbrush like this, their price is very cheap. If this convinced you to change brands, message to buy from me too hehehe. Thanks in advance again! 💗

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