Science Fair Project Ideas for Dentistry

Plan ahead for the science fair.
••• school concept image by Alexey Klementiev from

Dentistry topics for science fair projects range from simple to challenging. Types of projects include experimentation, demonstration, modeling and reporting. Whichever topic and design a child chooses, the final project should stand out. Authors Bob Bonnet and Dan Keen write that science fair projects should be unique or common with a unique flair.


Use rubber gloves when handling contaminants.
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Experiments involve testing a hypothesis and displaying results after the fact. By using control and experimental petri dishes, recommended dental substances such as toothpaste, mouthwash or cavity rinses can be tested to see if they live up to manufacturers' claims. Test the effects of mouthwash on streptococcus by growing bacteria in two dishes, one with mouthwash and one without. Alternately, using volunteers to brush their teeth and recording results can be the basis for a test in tooth whiteness or the effectiveness of a dental care regimen. Display the results of a chosen experiment on a project display board.


Use a variety of tools to make your point.
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A demonstration involves the use of an experiment that can be repeated at the science fair. A toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and a dental model serve as props to demonstrate the proper method of tooth brushing. As students and parents walk by, a student will demonstrate the proper way to care for teeth, a topic that should be accompanied by a project display board with illustrations and facts about proper oral care. Another idea for a demonstration is to show how a dental appliance works.


Dental models can be aesthetically pleasing.
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Ideal choices for creating a science fair project include creating a model of the mouth or even a large version of a single tooth. Label the model showing the different types of human teeth for a model of the mouth or the different parts of the tooth when focusing on a single molar. To create an attractive display, use art tools and supplies such as cardboard, paint, crayons, colored pencils or papier mache.


Choosing the research format allows for a greater choice of topics. In dentistry, a student can chose among the subject areas of general dentistry, orthodontia, periodontics, endodontics and oral surgery. Suggested topics include the effects of fluoride on teeth, the deleterious effects of gum disease, how sugar causes cavities, whether amalgam fillings are detrimental, and the best way to whiten teeth. Research can be done on the Internet, at the school library or by interviewing dental professionals. Use a display board to highlight report notes, photographs, written explanations, maps or sketches.

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