Apple | MouthHealthy - Oral Health Information from the ADA

An Apple A D(ec)ay

The hard enamel surface of your teeth protects them, much like the skin of an apple protects the fruit inside. This demonstration from Star Smilez shows what can happen to teeth when a cavity develops and allows bacteria inside.

You’ll need:

  • 2 apples
  • 2 paper bags
  • A sharpened pencil
  • A sharp knife


Using the pencil, poke a hole in one of the apples. This represents a break in a tooth’s enamel.

Place the apples – the punctured apple and the control apple – in separate paper bags and leave them there for at least 24 hours.

After letting the apples sit in the bags for at least 24 hours, removed them and use the knife to cut both of them in half. The control apple should appear normal, while the punctured apple has begun to decay.

Lessons Learned:

Just like an apple’s skin, enamel is an important barrier for keeping bacteria out of your teeth. When that enamel shield is broken – like when you get a cavity – it opens the door for bacteria to get inside your teeth and cause decay. That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to remove germs and strengthen your enamel.

Additional Demonstrations: