Tums & Teeth

Recommended ages: 5 and up



5 Tums tablets

5 clear cups



Any clear soft drink


Any juice

Masking tape



What to do: Label each small clear cup for each liquid with masking tape and marker so that we can keep track of what happens in our experiment. Fill each cup about halfway with its respective liquid. First, we are going to drop a Tums into the water. What happens? Record any observations you may have. Using this same method, see how the Tums react to each of these different liquids and make some predictions about how these reactions may be similar to our teeth!


Additional information: Our teeth are made out of an element called calcium. The calcium in our teeth is packed very densely, which ensures their strength and function. Calcium is also a component of Tums tablets, however it is much more loosely packed and therefore much more brittle and delicate than our teeth. When looking at the reactions each of these drinks have with our Tums, keep in mind that our teeth are also having similar reactions with these beverages, but on a much smaller scale. Over time these reactions can add up and do quite a bit of damage to our teeth, so it is important to enjoy them in moderation!