Science Week at Liss – Class AS makes toothpaste

Warm greetings to our friends in Kafuro. Many students and teachers at Kafuro Primary School will recall that when Mr Stanley first came to Uganda he carried out an experiment with P7 on the effects of different drinks on teeth. The children and teachers (especially Yowasi) were shocked to see the effect that coca cola had on egg shells. Some of the egg shells disintegrated as the sugar in the coca cola rotted the shell away.

In class AS, we made and tested three different toothpastes today. The base ingredients were salt, cornflour, syrup, peppermint essence, baking soda and food colouring with a small amount of water added. The children had to test the toothpaste against four criteria: How well it cleaned permanent marker pen off a plate, who good it smelled, whether it sat on a toothbrush properly and how good it looked.

The children varied the amounts of each ingredient and came up with the following conclusion:

Baking soda is the main cleaning agent. A greater percentage of baking soda in the toothpaste meant that the plate was cleaned in a matter of seconds.

Cornflour helped to thicken the toothpaste so it stayed on the brush.

Only a little peppermint essence was necessary. Too much resulted in the smell being overpowering.

Too much food colouring resulted in the toothpaste looking like green slime.

We would like to ask our friends in P7 if there are any natural ways in which children keep their teeth clean in Uganda if toothpaste isn’t always available?


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