How to keep teeth healthy

This fun activity is all about how to teeth and how to keep them healthy. First we talked about how important it is to brush our teeth everyday and then chatted about foods that are good for our teeth and foods that aren’t.

Sugary, sticky food is not good for our teeth as it sticks to the surface, bacteria then break down the sugar to make acid which can damage our teeth.

Did you know eating cheese at the end of a meal can help neutralise the acids in your mouth and reduce the chance of tooth decay.

We used these giant teeth from The Consortium and some play dough to demonstrate plaque building up on teeth. The giant teeth made a great prop and really kept the children engaged for a long time.

giant teeth

The we made models of our mouth using more play dough, talking about the size and shape of teeth in our jaw.

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Experimenting with eggs

We can’t experiment on our own teeth so are using eggs to represent them, as the shell of an egg is made of a similar substance to tooth enamel.

What you’ll need:

Eggs

Jars

Water

Tea/Coffee

Fizzy flavoured drink

Vinegar

Toothpaste

eggs and teeth

Instructions

  • Pour the same amount of fizzy drink, vinegar, water and tea or coffee into your jars.
  • Add a whole raw egg still in it’s shell to each, cover an extra egg with toothpaste and also place in tea/coffee.
  • Leave for approximately three days.
  • Remove the eggs.
  • Rinse the egg kept in vinegar and rub gently until the shell comes away.

eggs and teeth

Results

You should see staining on both the fizzy drink and tea/coffee egg.

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We found our toothpaste covered egg stained less than the non toothpaste covered egg.

The vinegar completely dissolves the egg shell, leaving just the membrane behind.

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Why does this happen?

Tea is rich in tannins which stain teeth if they’re not cleaned properly while cola and fizzy drinks are acidic as well as containing staining products.

Vinegar ( which is acidic)  dissolves the calcium carbonate in the shell, leaving just the membrane intact.

Extension tasks

Can you  bounce the egg with no shell?

Extra information for KS1 and Ks2

Teeth are not just for eating, animals often use them to defend themselves or to attack other animals.

Different shaped teeth have different purposes. Flat molars like humans have are for grinding and chewing food, while sharp canine teeth are for tearing food apart 9 these are found in carnivores ) and large incisors for cutting and chopping grass ( found in herbivores ).

Caring for teeth 

Cleaning teeth, using floss and mouthwash help keep teeth and gums free from plaque. Plaque is formed by bacteria feeding on the sugar left on the surface of teeth after eating.

 

Suitable for Early Years Foundation Stage

Physical Development → Health and self-care → ELG

  • Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Key stage 2 – teeth

Describe the importance for humans of exercise, eating the right amounts of different types of food, and hygiene.

How to keep teeth healthy

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