In this lesson, students learn about how sugar causes tooth decay, and then carry out an experiment to independently verify that information.
Students start with the information that while sugar does cause tooth decay, it’s the bacteria in our mouths that turns the sugar into acid, rather than because the sugar is directly acidic. Students then test that information with an experiment to check the pH of sugar in solution. As in the other lessons in this unit, the lesson ends with an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning; this learning in turn will feed into the science communication in the fourth lesson in this unit, Communicating the Science of Tooth Decay.
- Students understand how to use a pH scale to check the acidity and alkalinity of a substance
- Students understand how sugar relates to tooth decay
- Students understand how to independently verify a scientific claim, and why that process is important.
- Topic: Consumption.
- This lesson is part of the wider unit of work SugarByHalf – Science – Years 9-10.
- Time required: 60 mins.
- Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Facilitate class discussions, supervise experiments.
- Keywords: acid, base, alkaline, pH, ion, hydrogen, cavities, tooth decay, sugar, experiment, Australian Dental Association, SugarByHalf.
To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here.
To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian and New Zealand Curriculums.
- Bicarbonate soda or equivalent solution with a pH = 7.5
- Data projector
- Lactic acid solution or equivalent solution with a pH between 3.0 – 3.5
- Litmus paper or universal indicator
- Sugar and Dental Health factsheet
- Sugar solution