Sep 17, 2008

Marshmallows for Teeth -- Works for Me Wednesday

Well this week's Works for Me Wednesday was an "accidental" discovery, but hey, it worked for me!

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.

Excuse me?

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!


Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Wow, that's cool! I'll have to keep this in mind for when Savannah is older.'s probably a good reminder for me, not because I don't brush my own teeth, but because I really, really hate to brush Savannah's. Doesn't that make me sound like a great mom? But really, it is such a struggle every day to get her to open up and sit still.

Elle said...

ha ha - yes my son did a science experiement for the science fair - he soaked his eggs in coke, vinegar and many other substances and recorded the results.

It was too weird to touch that egg!

Jodie said...

How awesome is THAT! What coolness. :) Your boy is a very ambitious boy. I'm proud of him for taking the time to actually DO the experiment. I bet he's a cool kid. :)

I love ya! Have a great Wednesday! (Hey, I posted my A-Z today! Go get ya read on.) :)

Oh, and if I haven't told you this before, I think you're quite funny. :) And laughing? It's my favorite. :)

Edie said...

Wow what a very cool lesson. Not only for your boys but for me too. I mean about the egg, not about my teeth. I do brush regularly. :)

Loved the comment you left on my blog. I'm always so excited when I get to see that God has used me to say something to someone else. Funny that He would use my post to speak to "same dirt". Ha! Have a great day!

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

You know you had told me about this and just sitting and reading it occurred to me that when we would color eggs we had to have some vinegar....because it makes it porous I suppose! I never knew why and are you ready for this one....I never asked why? I know write that one down it does not happen often!

Greg C said...

Do we need to brush our eggs too? Last night I learned how to make a gummy bear explode. I love what they are teaching my kids in school. :) I like it.

ilovemy5kids said...

Thank you for this illustration. I stumbled upon your cool!

~~tonya~~ said...

What a great science experiment. I will be sure to use that in our science class. TFS!!

MoziEsmé said...

What a great experiment! We'll have to try this sometime!

Fuschia said...

That is totally awesome! Guess what this home school will be doing Monday?
Thanks for stopping by the Land of Pink!!
Nice to "meet" you.

Cortni said...

That is really cool. Thanks for posting this, we are going to start learning about our bodies and how to take care of them in science next month, so I could really use something like this.

Shonda said...

Cool! I'll have to do that one here at my home.

brudcrew said...

Oooh, my six year old and I are going to do this one! He hates to brush to the point of wetting the toothbrush and lying about brushing! Thank you!

Momof3 said...

That is so cool. Have to keep it in mind for the science fair.