Sugar, Acids, and Tooth Decay

This unit explores the way in which sugar increases your risk of tooth decay. It explores the familiar topic of acids and bases with a social action twist, using the lens of oral health to reinvigorate the teaching. 

The World Health Organisation says that for good health, we should limit our daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day. On average, Australians consume 14-16 teaspoons per day. Teenagers consume more than 20. Eating too much added sugar is a key driver of serious health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, dementia and mental health conditions. A poor diet also puts children behind their peers, affecting brain development, sleep and ability to learn.

This Science unit covers all the basic components of an acids and bases unit, such as the pH scale and universal indicators. It also explores how high sugar consumption can damage your teeth over time, digging in to the actual chemical reactions and the relation of acids and bases. It concludes with an opportunity for students to practise their science communication and explain some principles of oral health to other students. 

 

These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and the Australian Dental Association.

Tuning in

A tuning in activity helps students to define and focus on the issues they will be dealing with in the unit of work.

  1. SugarByHalf – The Power of pH – Science – Years 9 & 10
    SugarByHalf – The Power of pH – Science – Years 9 & 10

Finding Out

Students will need to obtain more information about the issues they are going to investigate. They can identify questions of interest and research these either in small groups or on their own. Once information is gathered, it can be shared using chosen communication methods e.g. short presentations. Students can continue finding out by completing a range of investigations, including gathering data. They use appropriate methods to present and communicate what they have found out.

  1. SugarByHalf – Where’s the Acid? – Science – Years 9 & 10
    SugarByHalf – Where’s the Acid? – Science – Years 9 & 10
  2. SugarByHalf – The Solution to Tooth Decay – Science – Years 9 & 10
    SugarByHalf – The Solution to Tooth Decay – Science – Years 9 & 10

Considering Social Action

Students are given opportunities to apply their learning in real world situations, in the classroom, school, home or the local community.

  1. SugarByHalf – Communicating the Science of Tooth Decay – Science – Years 9 & 10
    SugarByHalf – Communicating the Science of Tooth Decay – Science – Years 9 & 10