Lufkin students use science class skills to make toothpaste

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A group of gifted and talented Brandon Elementary students have used their skills learned in Teresa Roe's science class to make their own toothpaste. The fifth graders are hoping to teach kids, and even adults, the importance of oral hygiene. Guests will have the chance to test the toothpaste and learn how it was made.

Some may brush their teeth for fresher breath or a whiter smile.

With careful measurement and repeated trials these Brandon Elementary fifth graders have produced their own toothpaste.

"We wanted to use all of our knowledge with mixtures and substances and we thought it would be a great idea to make some toothpaste," Maisie Daughtry, fifth grader, said.

Each student wrote a letter to their East Texas dentists. Dentists' say they have never made their own toothpaste but they provided advice and explained the ingredients used in many recommended toothpastes.

"He told us what type of flavoring the kids might like and the adults," Brady Tomas Trotter, fifth grader, said.

As a group they developed a class recipe using baking soda for cleaning, Zero calorie sweetener to rid the bitter taste, calcium carbonate to neutralize acids.

"We can help prevent acids eating away at the enamel," Daughtry said.

"We learned toothpaste kills bacteria," Olivia Spradley, fifth grader, said. "Bacteria produces acids that can kill your enamel."

Water, glycerin, and mint extract were also used.

A few East Texans tested the toothpaste Monday.

"I could tell that some of them were a little nervous," Spradley said.

"I like the little gritty taste to it because it feels like its cleaning my teeth," Brenda Walker said. "I think I would buy this."

Though the average toothpaste contains about 20 different ingredients, the 'Panther Paste' only contains six. Testers said it gets the job done."

The fifth graders have even designed boxes for their product after a month of hands on research and testing to make their Panther Paste.

Some of the students said they prefer to use the toothpaste they made but others said the mint flavor was made more so for adults.

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