Tooth Shell

Did you know that the shell of a white egg can serve as a model to explain the appearance of dental pathologies in humans? This is explained by Professor Ramón Alcaraz Pérez, who teaches at the IES Castillo Puche de Yecla (Murcia) to the students of the Oral Hygiene module.

In this workshop, you will learn to understand how certain pathologies or processes that affect oral health happen, such as cavities or the appearance of extrinsic stains (stains that appear on the surface of the teeth) in case of not maintaining proper hygiene. All this through half a dozen white eggs whose shell simulates the external part of the human teeth.

Necessary materials

Materiales necesarios
  • Water
  • Vinegar (can be wine, apple, white, etc.)
  • Orange juice
  • Red wine
  • A sugary soda
  • Six plastic cups
  • Six white eggs
  • A small spoon
  • Kitchen paper
  • A toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

Steps to follow:

  1. Read each tip till the end!
  2. Pour each liquid (water, red wine, orange juice, vinegar, and the sugary soda) into a different glass. In the remaining glass, also pour vinegar, so that there are two glasses that contain this liquid. It is not necessary to fill the glasses to the top, reaching halfway is enough.
  3. Place each white egg in a different glass with the help of the spoon. Attention: you must brush the shell of the last white egg with toothpaste for a couple of minutes and then place it in one of the two glasses containing vinegar.
  4. Wait 24 hours.
  5. Remove the six eggs and place them in an egg cup or on kitchen paper.
  6. See the results! The egg immersed in water exercises “control” with respect to the rest. The shells of eggs dipped in orange juice, red wine and sugary soda show extrinsic stains and thin layers of sticky and soft yellow, grayish-white or black matter. The eggshell immersed in vinegar has undergone a significant demineralization that simulates the appearance of cavities in our enamel. On the other hand, the eggshell covered in toothpaste and also dipped in vinegar has managed to reduce this demineralization.

Oral health means quality of life

Through this workshop, the consequences of not maintaining proper oral hygiene can be observed. The appearance of extrinsic stains and pathologies such as cavities can be avoided by taking a series of hygienic measures in our day-to-day life. In this sense, it is necessary to follow the recommendations of oral health professionals, who emphasize the importance of carefully brushing the teeth three times a day, carefully cleaning the tongue and gums, flossing daily, and also using a fluoride toothpaste. On the other hand, it is also recommended to avoid the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, which compromise the aesthetics of the smile, negatively influence the state of the teeth and gums and, in addition, can be the origin of malignant tumors.


Did you like these activities? You have many more available, for young and old, in the special ‘Science in your living room’

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