Comparing the Effects of "Healthy" and "Unhealthy" Beverages on the Decay of Simulated Tooth Enamel

This experiment was conducted to determine which set of beverages would have the greatest effect on the change of mass of simulated tooth enamel, respectively. The beverage selection included "Healthy" beverages which are beverages considered having nutritional or health benefits such as juice or high performance energy drinks, and "Unhealthy" beverages such as sodas which have little to no nutritional benefit. This experiment is relevant when pertaining to dental health because while most experiments illustrate how the sugar content of carbonated beverages effect on teeth, but there is a lack of research on the acidic effects of any beverage on teeth. Egg shells were drained and dried to serve as the simulation teeth. Nine separate beverages were chosen to submerge the egg shells into. Four of the beverages were classified as "healthy", four were classified as "unhealthy", and the ninth beverage was a water control. The egg shells were numbered, massed, and submerged in the beverage for forty-eight hours. The pH level of the beverages was recorded before and after submersion of the egg shells using a pH meter. After submersion, the eggs were left to dry for twenty-four hours and then massed again. Three sets of trials were conducted, with each set containing nine eggs. After determining the overall change in mass for the "Healthy" and "Unhealthy" beverages, a matched-pairs t-test for each beverage was conducted to ensure statistical significance, it was discovered that the healthy beverages had a much greater deteriorative effect on the egg shells.

Research Done By:

Emily Moyers
Centerline High School

Stathis Paul
Warren Mott High School