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How dirty are your dental retainers? Featured science projectScience project video


The results show that regular teethbrushing with toothpaste  is able to reduce the amount of bacteria growth in the dental retainer. Mouthwash also reduces bacteria growth on the dental retainer, but is not as effective as brushing with toothpaste.

Participant no. Size of bacteria growth after 5 days (mm)
  Without brushing After brushing After mouthwash
1 53.5 21 34.5
2 42.5 14.5 23.5
3 49 17.5 24
4 58 25.5 35

Use the below graph to plot the results in the above table.

dental retainers science fair project

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour for preparation, 8 days for experiment
Material availability:
Access to laboratory equipment (eg. petri dishes)
Safety concerns:

Always follow laboratory safety guidelines and always practice sterile technique when handling microbes. Never have any food or drink at your workstation and always thoroughly wash your hands with disinfectant soap or alcohol before leaving your workstation. Always dispose of used material in a biohazard bag. If none are available, the bacteria should be destroyed with bleach before being disposed of