What does an eggshell do? Protect the yolk, correct? The same can be said for the function of your tooth enamel—it protects the dentin and the inner tooth from harmful plaque bacteria. Without proper teeth cleaning practices, the teeth are vulnerable to the chemical reaction between bacteria and food debris—it can produce acid that can erode the tooth enamel.
But your child may not know about the relationship between enamel and the inner as well as the importance of good oral hygiene. While some people learn from listening, many patients are visual learners, and that’s why we suggest you try this fun scientific activity—the egg experiment.
How Does the Egg Experiment Work?
It’s a simple and fun experiment that you can do with your child, and the supplies can be found in your kitchen.
You will need:
- 1 hard boiled egg
- A clear container (cup or bowl)
And follow these directions:
Step 1: Boil an egg for 10-15 minutes (timing depends on the size of the pan and stovetops heat)
Step 2: Set boiled egg aside to cool
Step 3: Place the boiled egg in the container
Step 4: Pour vinegar into the clear container
Step 5: Cover the cup or bowl and let it sit for 48 hours
At first contact, little bubbles (carbon dioxide) will start to cling to the egg. You can compare this to plaque bacteria sticking to the teeth. After the egg soaks for 48 hours, the egg should appear soft and brittle. Please make sure to point this out to your child before and after the 48-hour time frame.
What Is the Point of This Experiment?
The lesson here is to show your child that brushing and flossing teeth keeps plaque bacteria from breaking down the enamel.
Doing this experiment may stir your child’s interest, causing them to ask more questions about teeth, enamel and how to take care of them.
Do you need more educational resources for your child? Bring them into our Elmhurst dentist office for a checkup and rundown of key oral health and hygiene facts. We also have a number of educational videos you can show your child. Education is a step in the right direction to preventing cavities!