Dental Dilemma
Sarah Shouldice
Burnaby South Secondary
Floor Location : J 124 H

This experiment was conducted to test the effects of soda on exposed teeth and bones. In order to do this, I put cleaned, blanched chicken bones (I couldn’t find a source of teeth in time) in labelled mason jars filled with six different brands of sodas, let them stand downstairs (stable temperature, unlikely to be disturbed) and checked them in a week. I took photographs of each one next to a ruler for size comparison over each data collection, and dictated notes for my father to record (I couldn’t handle papers while I was handling the soda-covered bones.) After the data collection, we refilled each jar with its respective brand, placed each bone back in its jar, and placed them back downstairs. Originally, my hypothesis was that the soda with the highest sugar content and acidity would make the bone decay faster, but that was not the case.
Several changes were made in the process of data collection. During the second week, we decided to make sheets listing the most common observations, to make sure we had a set of attributes to observe. These included (but were not limited to) the amount of floating tissue that accumulated in jars, color of the bone, state of the cartilage and ligaments, and odor. We divided these sheets into three segments to correspond with the order we examined each jar: pre-opening, opening and post-opening to differentiate each change.
Over 8 weeks, the bones decayed rapidly, becoming stained and having cartilage peel off. After the experiment, I created several graphs and tables to compare the data, researched and eventually came up with a conclusion. My conclusion ended up being that Coca-Cola was the worst for teeth out of the brands I tested, because there was the largest amount of visible, floating tissue in its jars, proving that it made the bones decay with faster than the other brands. However, it didn’t have the highest sugar content when compared to other brands, nor did it have a low average pH (pH observed over the data collections.) In fact, all the soda brands had a higher average pH than the original taken while fresh. I believe this is because chicken has a pH of around 6.5, so dissolved chicken tissues in soda would likely lower the acidic fluid to around 5-6.
For further experiments, I may acquire actual teeth to perform experiments on, with different brands of soda. Or, I could research the effects of Coca-Cola on the whole body, and exactly why it has this effect on bones.