Some kids in my family start losing their milk teeth. 🦷

While we don’t do the tooth fairy 🧚 stuff, I wondered whether there’s any cool kid-friendly experiments 🔬 to do with their deciduous teeth? Like dissolving them in easily available liquids to teach them the importance of brushing, or maybe some material strength tests to show how cool enamel is?

Hit me with some cool ideas, I‘ve got a few teeth to experiment with 😃

  • Grammaton Cleric
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    8 months ago

    milk teeth?

    To clarify, I’m American, and always heard them called baby teeth 😅

  • ivanafterall
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    428 months ago

    If you save up enough, you can have them in a bowl with milk, like teeth cereal.

  • @humdrumgentleman@lemmy.world
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    378 months ago

    You know how this goes, right?

    The resulting thirst for scientific knowledge results in unparalleled technological advancement, but also an endless demand deciduous teeth for further experimentation. Eventually their personally-developed, secretly manufactured and deployed microdrone monitoring network alerts them every time any child loses a tooth in the Western world. Slightly larger drones sneak into the home and collect the tooth. In an attempt to avoid further pressing of ethical boundaries, the drones are equipped to carry in small amounts of currency that are left in place of the tooth. Your family, more literally and on a larger scale than any family before, DOES the tooth fairy 🧚 stuff.

    • @Saigonauticon@voltage.vn
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      48 months ago

      In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have suggested using baby teeth as a novel piezoelectric material. If juvenile biomineralogical apatite turns out to be a better material to make crystal oscillators than quartz, I’ve literally just created industrial demand for the bones of children.

      Oh well. Cat is out of the bag now. Turned out not to be an effective or humane way to store cats anyway.

  • Shambling Shapes
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    278 months ago

    Digital microscopes are very affordable. Basic models up to 1000x can be found for 50 USD.

    Break one up and look at the different layers under magnification.

    • lol3droflxp
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      238 months ago

      Lol, 1000x is such bullshit. It’s hopelessly stacked digital zoom or idiotic lens measurements. 1000x is about the absolute maximum with classic light microscopes and those that can do it are quite expensive. Buy some cheap (stereo)microscope for $100 from some company like amscope (maybe used) and it will be much better and be useful for other stuff.

      • @folkrav@lemmy.world
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        48 months ago

        What do you mean by “useful for other stuff”? It’s still double the investment, what do you gain for this much, realistically, from a purely hobbyist, I’ll check things with my 6yo, PoV? Are we talking genuine trash to good, or more like acceptable to great?

        • lol3droflxp
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          8 months ago

          We’re talking gimmick/toy vs basic research tool. You won’t be limited by what’s more or less a low end webcam with a cheap plastic macro zoom lens in front because you’ll have higher quality optics you can use with your eyes. You don’t run the risk of it not working anymore with newer hardware/software. If there’s ever a science project from school or the child is interested in science later on, a proper microscope will still work in 10 or more years, and you’ll be able to upgrade stuff.

          You might need to buy used though although the stuff from Amscope and similar companies can be quite cheap while it’s new. Depends on what features you want.

          For looking at teeth you’ll want a stereomicroscope which is cool because you can just throw stuff on the stage and look at it like it is and you get a 3D image. It doesn’t have the high magnification of compound microscopes though. Of course if you invest more you can also get good digital microscopes but for $50 it’s not gonna be great.

            • lol3droflxp
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              8 months ago

              The Amscope SE120 is the cheapest one I could find for $60 with 20x zoom but it’s a a kids version. The 306 is more advanced but costs $160 already. For one with continuous zoom you’ll need to spend more, swift has some cheap ones. I bought one from Motic which is was quite expensive but I’m very happy, they also offer cheaper models. It’s always worth checking the market for used premium brands like Zeiss, Nikon, Leica or Olympus because those are usually better than China imports (Amscope, Bresser etc) but it depends on your luck of course. I’d see if I can find a used one by reputable brands, buying a new expensive one was good but I could have saved a lot.

              I just noticed that I’m quite high, might change stuff tomorrow

      • @rufus@discuss.tchncs.de
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        48 months ago

        Other nice experiments with a microscope are: looking at the cells of (red) onions, chlorophyll in green leaves, and water from a pond, hairs etc. But I don’t know what kind of magnifying you need. These things are probably not that small.

  • @Rikolan@lemm.ee
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    178 months ago

    One of the most infamous experiments is submerging the tooth in cola, to show the importance of brushing. In primary school, it was done on white eggs though, but using a tooth would be more authentic. Ironically, while the tooth should completely rot in cola, the liquid is perfect for washing household things (the sink or a toilet bowl for example).

    • @PetDinosaurs@lemmy.world
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      148 months ago

      That’s always been a pretty misleading interpretation of the experiment.

      The experiment is great. It’s good to teach kids about acids and bases and this basic chemistry.

      It’s just that the same thing happens if you put a dead tooth in any acid, including the ones that are required for you to live, like vitamin c, and the ones that people drink because they think it’s healthy, like vinegar.

    • @BennyInc@feddit.deOP
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      68 months ago

      Does it really? I tried that with some meat when I was a kid, and other than turning a little ugly not much changed.

      • @lightstream@lemmy.ml
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        28 months ago

        Yes it totally does. My teachers got a load of disembodied teeth when I was about 6, and we tied them to string and left them suspended in various drinks. The ones in coca cola had completely disappeared by the end of the experiment.

    • @jws_shadotak@sh.itjust.works
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      48 months ago

      the liquid is perfect for washing household things (the sink or a toilet bowl for example)

      And afterwards it makes a great mixer!

    • @cheese_greater@lemmy.world
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      8 months ago

      Dontchya think its a little disingenuous or at least contrived to be doing that when most people would have rinsed long before that even close to became an issue, if even unknowingly? Did they time its dissolution?

      • @Rikolan@lemm.ee
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        28 months ago

        Come to think of it, I agree. Regarding the experiment with eggs, I distinctly remember the soda laden egg being submerged in the liquid for 24/7, where as the other egg received water and toothpaste. Perhaps a more accurate and interesting experiment would be to wash the tooth with soda and every morning/ evening wash it with toothpaste? Theoretically this can still show how important brushing is, if toothpaste really helps combat the acids from cola.

  • @variants@possumpat.io
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    148 months ago

    what you can do is hide the teeth under a neighbor kits pillow and leave a note on the door for the parents, then when they leave the money you go back in and take it before the parents find out, just watch out for the local tooth mob boss

  • @Saigonauticon@voltage.vn
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    8 months ago

    Well, I’ve been tempted to cut them in thin slivers, press them between metal plates, and test for piezoelectricity (they ought to be piezoelectric). Them build a higher-than-normal voltage Colpitts oscillator around it. Higher voltage to compensate for lousy crystal performance, not “high voltage”. Maybe tens of volts?

    Then use them as a clock source for a CPU. Try to get one with fully static operation in case the frequency is not super stable.

    This forms a good introduction to practical necromancy and necrocomputing for children. Happy Halloween!

      • @Saigonauticon@voltage.vn
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        38 months ago

        Bone is piezoelectric – not sure if this is due to structure or because apatite is also piezoelectric.

        Some practical notes:

        I haven’t been able to use it in crystal oscillators at 5V and a naive setup (a standard hex inverter crystal oscillator circuit). Probably I’ll need to use proper thin sections of it (to increase the electric field per mm), increase the voltage (e.g. 20V), and maybe stress it in the right direction (bone has a ‘grain’ to it).

        Also : Fee fi fo fum. I’ll grind some bones to make my… breadboards?

  • @zabadoh@lemmy.ml
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    128 months ago

    If they haven’t been brushing their teeth and there’s visible calculus on them, you could use a metal pick and scrape it off like a dentist doing teeth cleaning, to show them how thick it is.

  • @Chronoshift@beehaw.org
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    118 months ago

    You can drop one in a glass of soda and one in a glass of milk to demonstrate what that stuff does to your teeth after 24 hours.

  • @BennyInc@feddit.deOP
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    98 months ago

    Another experiment (with Halloween coming up) might be to string those teeth up as a necklace and observe the reactions of people noticing it…

      • @BennyInc@feddit.deOP
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        68 months ago

        I am OP 😉

        Actually, Halloween is growing more and more here since I was a kid. But I guess that’s more of a commercial and outward display thing than the tooth fairy, so maybe that’s why the latter isn’t catching on?

    • @Fraylor@lemm.ee
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      128 months ago

      Teeth in a tumbler could be anything from a kids story to the next Stephen King novel.

  • ryan
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    58 months ago

    Maybe try leaving one in cola for a week or two as an experiment? You’d probably be able to see how the acid affects the enamel, which is why dentists recommend drinking soda through a straw, and also why generally you’re not supposed to brush your teeth directly after drinking soda (toothbrush is too abrasive on the weakened enamel).