Activity Introduction

Quick summary:

The sugar army can be too much for the Royal Teeth to handle, And after a while, the damage can be quite substantial.

They help the bacteria in their great attack, And the Royal teeth begin to break down as they are covered in sticky plaque.

The bacteria’s first point of attack will always be your teeth and gums, And if not protected over time, your teeth will have to succumb.

It can be hard for young students to visualise such a process. After all, once we gulp down a soft drink it’s no longer in our mouths, right? 

This highly engaging lesson allows students to see the impact of plaque decaying teeth over time by using a substitute very similar in structure to tooth enamel: eggshells. Students will use the scientific method to simulate the decaying effect of a variety of sugary liquids on their teeth.

Learning Intentions

Students will…

  • … understand the anatomy of a tooth.
  • … understand why too much sugar is bad for their teeth.
  • … understand why toothpaste contains fluoride.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

  • Topic: Oral Health.
  • This lesson is part of the wider unit of work SugarByHalf – Guardians of the Gums – Early Learning to Year 2.
  • Time required: 45 mins.
  • Level of teacher scaffolding: High – conduct the experiment and facilitate understanding of high level concepts.
  • Keywords: teeth, brushing, toothpaste, oral health, dental hygiene, habits, gums, decay, acidity, hypothesis, experiment, observe, soft drink, enamel, sugar, scientific method.

To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Resources Required

  • Eggs x 8
  • Clear glasses or plastic cups x 8
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Different liquids:
    • Fruit Juice
    • A soft drink
    • A sports drink or energy drink
    • Water
  • Anatomy of a tooth image
  • Guardians of the Gums story – You can read the pdf yourself or watch the video.
  • Metal knife
  • Metal teaspoon
  • Student Worksheet – one copy per student
  • Toothbrush
  • Tube of toothpaste
  • Water.

These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and the Australian Dental Association. Guardians of the Gums was written by Bee Healthy Stories; if you would like to see more of their stories, head to


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ... understand the anatomy of a tooth.
  • ... understand why too much sugar is bad for their teeth.
  • ... understand why toothpaste contains fluoride.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... describe the parts and functions of a tooth using a cross-section diagram.
  • ... conduct an experiment to visually demonstrate the impact of sugar on tooth enamel.
  • ... compare and contrast an eggshell after being exposed to sugary liquids.
  • ... think critically to make observations about the impact of sugar on teeth.
  • ... think critically to make observations about the impact of fluoride (in toothpaste) in protecting teeth.

Teacher content information:

The Australian Dental Association ( have partnered with SugarByHalf ( to promote action on sugar related diseases so that Australians live better, stronger and healthier lives.

Tooth decay is a largely preventable disease. Untreated tooth decay

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Student Worksheet




(What will the liquid do to the eggshell without the toothpaste?)


(Changes I can see in the eggshell's texture, colour, hardness etc.)


I predict that...

Fruit Juice

Soft Drink

Sports Drink

Eggshells with toothpaste

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