Stains are a Pain!

By: Vidur M. and Dante L.
Year: 2022
School: Woodsboro Elementary
Grade: 6
Science Teacher: Tracy Chung

In today’s world, appearances matter to many people and having stained teeth can be a source of insecurity. For years, people have been struggling with tooth discoloration caused by their daily beverages but have not been aware of what was causing these unsightly stains. Tooth discoloration occurs when pigmented residue from beverages builds up on the protein coating around the tooth enamel. Some of the common beverages that cause “extrinsic” and gruesome tooth stains are Coffee, Tea, Wine, and Colas.

To determine which beverage caused the most tooth discoloration, Vidur and Dante conducted an experiment. They filled nine glass jars, each holding at least 8 oz of liquid, with Coca Cola, Folgers Coffee, and Simply Orange Juice, with three jars for each beverage. Next, they removed the yolk from nine eggs and kept the shells intact. They added one eggshell to each jar and left the shells in the beverages for 24 hours. After the time had passed, they took the eggs out and recorded their findings in a graph.

The hypothesis of the experiment was that Coca-Cola would cause the most discoloration in teeth. The results showed that their hypothesis was correct. The Coca-Cola eggshell was much darker and browner than the Folgers Coffee eggshell or Simply Orange Juice eggshell. The orange juice eggshell barely changed in color, while the coffee and Coca-Cola eggshells changed drastically. Every time they recorded the hexadecimal (HEX) value of each eggshell, the Coca-Cola eggshell was always darker.

In conclusion, the experiment showed that Coca-Cola is the leading cause of tooth discoloration among the beverages tested. This information can help people make informed decisions about what they consume and how it may affect their teeth. Vidur and Dante’s experiment serves as a reminder that what we put into our bodies has an impact on our physical appearance.