What do my favourite drinks do to my tooth enamel?

Ms. Brady’s 3rd Class set out to investigate the effect that our favourite drinks have on our teeth. We brainstormed all of the drinks that we could think of that we liked to drink. We decided to use 6 drinks and test those. The drinks we chose were; Coffee, Coke, Boost Energy Drink, Milk, Water and Fanta Orange.

Pouring the exact amount of liquid into each container.

Next, we got 6 identical containers and poured the exact same amount of each drink in to each container. The next thing we had to do was decide what we would use to test the effect of the drink on our teeth. We decided to use eggs because eggshells have a similar chemical composition to our tooth enamel, making them react similarly with other chemicals.

We left the eggs in the liquid over the weekend to see what would happen to them. We then used our mathematical skills to make a barchart of our predictions. The majority of the class predicted that the Energy Drink would have the worst effect on the egg. When we got back to school on Monday we were shocked to see what had happened to our eggs. We took the eggs out of the containers to investigate.

The coffee had stained the eggshell quite badly.
The coke had stained the eggshell slightly worse than the coffee.
All of the sugar from the energy drink had built up around the egg.
There was no visible effect on the egg in the milk.
The egg in the Fanta has spots all over it and the eggshell was starting to come off.

We then brushed the eggs using a toothbrush and toothpaste. We wanted to find out if brushing the egg would reverse the effects that the drinks had.

We noticed that some of the staining came off the eggshells but a lot of the eggshell rubbed off the highly sugary drinks such as Fanta and Boost Energy drink. This means that the effects are not reversible and in some cases the eggshell (enamel) was completely stripped leaving the eggshell very weak.

The final results of the experiment. From back left: Coffee, Coke, Energy Drink. From front left: water, milk, Fanta Orange.

We decided that as part of our science fair display that we should investigate the sugar content of these drinks and compare it to the effect that it had on the eggshell (enamel). We made a pie chart to show the sugar content. We also included the bar charts and a description of the effects on each egg. We all made our own individual experiment booklets which included our predictions, hypothesis, conclusions and diagrams.

Our display ready for the science fair!

We presented our findings to our school community at our science fair – children, teachers and parents. Our eggs made it on TV!

Post Author: Meghan Brady