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Grades: 1,2,3
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How Do Teeth Decay?


Get curious

6 min
Video/ Slide show (6 min)

Watch a film and discuss how a dentist fills cavities in teeth.


For example, you can ask: What is tooth decay? How can you recognise it? How do you know that you have a cavity in your tooth? What actions/steps must a dentist take – in turn – to treat a tooth? What tools does a dentist use?

Get going

5 min
Observing (5 min)

Students learn about the structure of a tooth by observing objects resembling various layers of the tooth.

Give out to each group: a white ceramic or porcelain cup (or a white ceramic tile), a yellow sponge and jelly beans (for example, teddy bear-shaped – or any shape with protrusions). Then read out loud descriptions of particular tooth layers. The students’ task is to match tooth layers to objects resembling them.

Structure of the tooth – descriptions
2 min
Summary (2 min)

View a diagram showing the structure of a tooth.

Diagram – the structure of a tooth
12 min
Experiment (12 min)

Perform an experiment that illustrates how acids produced by bacteria act on teeth and how you can protect teeth from their negative effects.

For the experiment you need a few eggs, prepared 2-3 days earlier as described in instructions.

Get ready for Qs
5 min
Manual exercise (5 min)

Students check whether they know how to brush their teeth properly and learn the correct brushing technique.

Ask students to show how they brush their teeth, using their toothbrushes. Next, show the instructional video presenting Fones’ method, which is intended for children. Student repeat the movements shown in the film.

Clicking play will redirect you to YouTube website.
Get ready for Qs
5 min
Video/ Slide show (5 min)

Watch an amazing film titled “How To Brush Your Teeth in Space.

Clicking play will redirect you to YouTube website.

Answer the following question: does the astronaut in the film brush his teeth correctly?

Get practicing

Manual exercise

Teach your brother or sister or your best friend how to properly brush their teeth!

Show your younger sibling or best friend the proper tooth brushing technique you learned in class. Obviously everyone use their own brushes. :) You can also advise them on what to do to ensure good oral hygiene and health. 

Get ready

Prepare eggs (1 for each group) for the experiment 2-3 days before the lesson

Mark one half of each hard-boiled egg with an “X” using a marker pen. Smear this half with toothpaste. When the toothpaste dries, put the eggs into the fridge and leave them there for 2-3 days. On the morning before class, wash the toothpaste off the eggshells with water. In addition, you can use a paper towel to remove the toothpaste.

Or you can prepare the eggs in the same way together with students in school a few days before the lesson.  

Students bring their own toothbrushes to class.


Get Going

Observing: What is a tooth composed of?

Experiment: How do acids act on enamel?

Manual exercise: What is the correct way to brush your teeth?

Get Practicing

Manual exercise:

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Life Skills:

  • Critical thinking and drawing conclusion


Authors: Natalia Bratek, Sebastian Kaczor
Methodology: Joanna Miszkiel
Translation: George Lisowski
Producer: Marta Przywara


This is a modified version of a lesson plan created by the Children’s University Foundation under the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

Photo Tooth gone! taken by Phyllis Buchanan published on flickr under the CC-BY 2.0 license.

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How Do Teeth Decay?
On the basis of the experiment with the egg and the vinegar, students will infer what acids do to the enamel of teeth. They will learn about the work of a dentist, check whether they know how to wash their teeth correctly and see how you wash teeth in space.


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