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When you want to explore a science topic, one of the best ways to learn is to do activities and experiments. It’s possible to learn some things by reading books and looking at pictures. But actually doing experiments and seeing what happens can help you understand even more. Many schools hold science fairs to help students explore different areas of science. These fairs can give you a chance to learn about different subjects that may interest you. Science fair projects about dentistry can spark your curiosity and imagination about teeth and dental care. If you work hard on a science fair project, you might even earn scholarship funds that you can use for your education.
Tooth enamel covers the outside surfaces of teeth. Tooth enamel covers teeth to stop damage and decay from happening. If you allow some substances to sit on teeth, this could break down tooth enamel over time. If this happens, tooth decay and other issues could start. This can be a special problem for kids with braces because bacteria can collect around the braces. You might choose a science fair project that studies the effect of some substances on tooth enamel. Phosphoric acid is an ingredient in some common drinks, like soda. You could study this substance in a science fair project. Drinks that contain sugar might also be options for a science fair project. You could even compare different drinks and how they affect tooth enamel for a science project.
Toothpaste is a standard tool for preventing tooth decay. You could choose to explore how well different kinds of toothpaste work by looking at the specific ingredients in different brands. For example, most toothpaste contains fluoride, so you could conduct science experiments on the benefits of fluoride and whether it strengthens teeth. Toothpastes may also claim to make teeth whiter, so you could study the whitening ingredients in toothpaste, such as baking soda, to determine how effective they are for making teeth whiter. Another possible project could be studying the effectiveness of toothpaste at killing bacteria in the mouth. This project might involve growing bacteria in dishes in the same way bacteria might grow inside the mouth. By adding toothpaste to the dishes, you can then see what happens with the bacteria levels to show how well toothpaste works.
Dentists give people instructions about keeping their teeth healthy. One instruction from dentists involves flossing every day to clean the tiny areas between teeth. A science fair project could explore tooth-flossing and how it helps teeth. You could also study the difference between people who floss and people who do not floss their teeth regularly. Dentists usually tell people to brush their teeth at least twice per day. Over time, toothbrushes may get dirty with invisible bacteria, which could hurt your teeth. You could examine bacteria levels on toothbrushes and different ways that people could clean their toothbrushes. The American Dental Association recommends that people change their toothbrushes after three to four months of use. Try studying this recommendation for changing toothbrushes to discover the point at which bacteria start to develop on a toothbrush. Another project could explore the storage of toothbrushes in the bathroom to see which locations lead to more or less bacteria getting on the brushes.
Instead of using toothpaste for brushing, it’s also possible to use other things to keep teeth clean. Science fair projects could study different ingredients and how well they clean and whiten teeth. For example, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can clean teeth naturally instead of standard toothpaste. This project could compare how well different ingredients work for cleaning teeth and compare them to standard toothpaste. You could also study cleaning dentures with homemade mixtures and natural ingredients instead of cleaning real teeth.
Your teachers and parents can help and guide you as you explore oral health and dentistry with many different science fair projects. At the end of your experiments and activities, you will be ready to make conclusions about what you have learned. These scientific discoveries may even help you make changes in how you care for your own teeth. You could also decide to continue exploring dentistry after completing your science fair project to learn even more about oral health.