I am following up on a promise I made in the December Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange Newsletter about sugar. Are you on the edge of your seats!? First, a few thank yous to:
-Kathy Gibson, 3rd grade teacher at the Community School of Sun Valley, Idaho who suggested this experiment and urged me to follow through
-Alexander and his fellow 3rd grade students at Community School who dilengently watched over this experiment
-Dr. Karsten Fostvedt, Dr. Josh Frost and the entire staff at St. Francis Pet Clinic in Ketchum, Idaho for the donation of the tooth for this experiment.
In the December newsletter about sugar, I had mentioned an experiment in school where we were going to see what happens when you “bathe” a tooth in a cola solution. Ultimately, from a process standpoint, we went with the “keep it simple!” solution of having just one tooth and putting it in a cola solution along with fruit juice. Per my Biochemist Dad (a big thank you to him as well for some great guidance on this project), we spit in the jar first –yes, yuck!– to create a environment that was representative of a mouth. Here are a few highlights of the experiment:
-We used a sterilized canning jar, and once the tooth and the cola/juice/spit were inside, we sealed the jar with the lid
-The tooth was a beautifully white dog’s tooth with no porous details or scratches prior to the experiment
-We covered the tooth in regular Coke and “100% apple juice” (a juice box which has ingredients of: apple juice from concentrate (water, concentrated apple juice); ascorbic acid (vitamin C))
-the experiment only last ONE WEEK (yes, just seven days)
-the jar was left in the kids classroom on the counter while the kids checked on it daily to exclaim “eewwww!” as the tooth changed color.
Here are the before and after pictures…. The lego man is there to give you a sense of scale. The combination of the sugar and the acid turned out to be, well, overwhelming.
I know, are you in the mood for a cola and/or fruit juice?