Do you know what this is?
Mini me came in the kitchen one day during school and asked me for some vinegar and an egg.
Vinegar is something my 10 year old cannot stand...ever since he was in first grade and developed the frequent habit of putting his fingernail in between his back teeth. I never discovered the big attraction to this habit, but I told him if he didn't quit putting his fingers in his mouth, I would dip them in vinegar.
Then I let him smell the cap from the bottle.
It worked. That one was a freebie. But do keep reading....
Anyway, this was a very odd request from him; a very odd request indeed.
"My health book says I need to soak an egg in vinegar to show me what happens to my teeth when I don't brush them."
Really? Because I never thought of an egg in association with my teeth. Humph.
Do you know any children (or maybe even an adult or two?) who just do not like to brush their teeth regularly? Maybe they just don't get the point, since they're just going to eat and dirty them up again. These same kids tend to not "get" the point of making up their beds, too. You know the ones.
Well, this experiment is sure to cure them of their ills.
We soaked the egg in straight vinegar for about 6 hours. I think the boys thought that the shell was going to totally dissolve and the inside would be oozing out into the vinegar, only to cause some kind of freakish reaction and bubble over onto the counter.
No such occurrence.
As a matter of fact, the only change that seemed to be happening to our egg was that every so often, little bubbles would form on the outside of the shell (see illustration) and then it would spontaneously flip over.
I haven't studied the level of physics that explain that phenomenon.
After about 6 hours, I finally decided to take the egg out of the glass and throw it away, since we didn't see a meltdown of all meltdowns.
That's when I discovered the beauty of this experiment: the outer shell of the egg felt like tomato skin!
I called the boys in and showed them this:
Do you see my finger pressing into the eggshell? This is a raw egg, ya'll!
It turns out that the vinegar (acid) continuously weakens the hard outer part of the shell (like the enamel on our teeth) and eventually eats it right off!
My son then proceeded to tell me that he learned that when we don't brush our teeth, the sugar and plaque (bacteria) produce acid (it's an excrement...eeewwwww), which then wears the hard enamel off our teeth...and weakens them just like this egg!
My Mini me and Brown Eyes were both in agreement after seeing the fate of this chicken egg: We're not complaining about brushing our teeth anymore!
What's more, even after I took the egg out of the vinegar, I let it set out over night and the acid continued it's work decomposing the outer shell of the egg.
They've not complained since our experiment. Therefore, it's safe to say it worked for me!