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Myth: If you put a tooth into Coke, it will disappear
We agree that a tooth will dissolve if you put it into a Coke. Of course it will! Teeth dissolve when you put them in any liquid. Coke just gets a bad rap. It's like saying that you kill a million brain cells when you smoke dope or drink booze. I mean, that's true, but how many would die if you didn't? Almost exactly the same number!

  • 14 different beverages, including a Coke
  • 14 little plastic cups
  • 14 teeth
  • Stopwatch

    First we needed to obtain fourteen (14) beverages. We selected a huge variety of drinks of all different types to prove our point.

    As this was our first myth in NYC, we couldn't make our usual trips to Topps, P&C, or Wegman's. Therefore, we headed down to the little grocery on 9th St and 2nd Ave.

    There were more than enough beverages in this store and we had a hard time picking just 14 (note: 14 is an arbitrary number, we do have budget constraints you know).

    With it's $2.99 price tag, and the fact that it's disgusting, we decided to pass on the Red Bull.

    The following table lists all of the beverages in our experiment and what we expect to happen when we put teeth in each:
    Beverage Expected Effect on Tooth
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Diet Coke
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Mountain Dew
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Gatorade Frost
    Tooth will Dissolve
    White Wine
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Smirnoff Ice
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve
    Tooth will Dissolve

    Next we began setting up our drinks in little plastic cups. This was actually pretty fun because we got to hear the refreshing sound of soda cans opening over and over again.

    Kennyb has never been a big Gatorade fan.

    That's probably why he's never dunked over any 7' Frenchman or drained the game winning shot over Bryon Russell in Game 6 of the playoffs. I, on the other hand, am a HUGE Smirnoff Ice fan. Not only has it not helped me make it to the NBA, but I get beat up quite frequently for it.

    Finally we got all 14 beverages lined up in a row in their little glasses.

    Next came the difficult part: Getting 14 teeth!

    We went to the most obvious source of teeth in the apartment: Arin! She's such a good sport:

    Unfortunately for us, there is a shortage of perfect teeth in the world. It would be a shame to ruin hers.

    After much thought and careful planning, we decided to do what most great scientists and engineers do: make a model. We needed something small, white, cube-like, hard, etc. What could be better than sugarcubes!

    Similarities Between Teeth and Sugar Cubes
    Both are sweet (groan)
    Both remind me of the dentist

    We couldn't come up with a single difference. Oh no- wait! we've got one:
    Differences Between Teeth and Sugar Cubes
    Different densities *

    *Source: Arin Kramer. This fact is unqualified. Potentially there are no differences

    We conclude that there are no significant differences between teeth and sugar cubes and they will make an excellent model.

    You can brush them with an electric toothbrush just like real teeth.

    Can you find the sugarcube in this set of teeth? I didn't think so.

    Next came our brilliant method for getting all the sugarcubes (hereafter known as "teeth") into the cups at the same time:

    All the teeth were lined up on a board next to the cups and were dropped in at the same time.

    We moved each tooth to the front of each cup. That made it easy to see it's size through the opaque liquids like Coke and Pepsi.

    Our first observation was the the tooth in the milk disappeared immediately upon contact, as shown in the following picture. See? Where's the tooth?

    We also made sure to drop on into our new fishbowl. His name is Filius (after filius Bonacci, the father of the famous sequence). He's a pretty good sport too and didn't even die when the tooth dissolved! (Note: No animals ever die during our fish massacres).

    We measured the length of time it took for each tooth to dissolve and recorded it in the following table. We used the Cheesus Clock as the official timing device for this experiemnt.

    Beverage Time Till Tooth Dissolved (mm:ss)
    Milk 00:00
    Water 07:23
    Gatorade 07:38
    Diet Coke 08:18
    Fosters 08:58
    Smirnoff Ice 14:17
    Wine 14:44
    Listerine 15:23
    Pepsi 15:59
    Budweiser 16:10
    Mountain Dew 17:48
    Vodka 18:15
    Sprite 18:41
    Coke 19:05

    Whoa! There you have it! It took LONGER for the tooth to dissolve in Coke than in any other liquid! Who would have thunk it?

    Wow. We're really getting good at busting myths. We were absolutely correct! Teeth do dissolve in Coke, but they dissolve faster in any other commercial beverage available! Therefore Coke is healthy for you to drink and the best thing to soak your dentures in.

    Cost Analysis:
    Item Cost
    Plastic cups $2.99
    Box of teeth $1.99
    Beverages (total) $15.68
    Mixing all 14 drinks and 14 sugar cubes together and drinking it Priceless

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