Home Experiment: Teaching Kids The Power of Fluoride
Parenting always presents its own unique challenges – including teaching your child about dental hygiene. If you’re trying to find a way to get across the importance of fluoride use to your child, Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry can help. There is a simple demonstration you can perform with your children to show how crucial strengthening tooth enamel is.
An Egg-celent Dental Hygiene Experiment
To illustrate to your child the effects of soda and fluoride treatments on teeth, you will need:
- Two eggs
- Four small, clear containers
- 1 can of soda
- Fluoride mouth rinse
- White vinegar
To begin the experiment, ensure the eggs do not have any cracks and then place them in two of the clear containers. Fill one container with the fluoride mouth rinse and fill the other with soda. Leave the eggs to sit in the container overnight or for at least 8 to 12 hours.
After the time has passed, carefully remove the eggs from the liquids and place them in the other two clear containers. Slowly fill both containers with white vinegar and allow your child to closely observe the reactions. The egg in the soda will be covered in bubbles while the egg in the fluoride will have no reaction.
How Does Fluoride Protect Tooth Enamel
The bubbles all over the soda egg is a result of the acids in the soda weakening the shell of the egg. The acid in the vinegar was able to penetrate the eggshell, and the air escaping the egg through the shell created bubbles all over. No bubbles were on the fluoride egg however, because the fluoride mouth rinse strengthened the eggshell, preventing the vinegar’s acid from getting through.
The eggshell represents tooth enamel. Just like the shell, soda acid weakens tooth enamel and makes the tooth susceptible to damage. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and protects the teeth from developing cavities. Fluoride teams up with calcium and phosphate within the enamel to create fluorapatite, a crystalline mineral that acts as a defense system for the teeth.
Incorporating Fluoride in Dental Hygiene Routine
The good news is that your child is probably already using fluoride to protect their teeth. Most communities add fluoride treatments to the water supply, and most toothpastes are fluoridated. This is why it’s so important to have your child drink water often, rinse their mouth after meals, and brush their teeth twice a day.
If you have more questions about the power of fluoride and how it affects your child’s teeth, contact Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry today.