November 2018 Volume LIII Number 6

 
 
 
Covercrop

Indiana Dental Association Outreach

May 2013 Volume XLVIX Number 3

 Drinks Destroy Teeth is an educational outreach program of the Indiana Dental Association which uses science lessons to teach grades four and five about the acid and sugars in energy, sports and soft drinks. Science kits about acid are distributed to every public elementary school in the state.
 

In the first lab, eggs are soaked in energy drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks as well as milk, water and vinegar. Students observe the changes and learn the effects of acid on the shell of the egg. Energy drinks darken and thin the shell while milk increases the mass and hardens the shell.

In the second lab, students measure the pH of the drinks and learn acids come in varying strengths. They then measure the amount of sugar in the drinks tested into plastic drink bottles which they can take home. This strong visual of 10 to 13 teaspoons of sugar per 12 ounce bottle reinforces why drinks are liquid candy.

The website http://www.drinksdestroyteeth.org has free lesson plans, activity sheets, a short power point presentation and acidity sheets in English and Spanish to use in the classroom and in the dental office. The colorful website with rotating pictures makes a great conversation starter when tuned to the dental office monitors.

This program received the 2011 ADA Golden Apple award as the most innovative public health initiative in the nation. In July, the ADA http://www.healthymouth.org linked to the website http://www.DrinksDestroyTeeth. org. This grassroots effort to use science and knowledge to save a generation from the devastating effects of energy, sports and soft drinks depends on dentists to spread the word.