Bugs on Teeth

How clean are your teeth? Whether you have a Hollywood smile or a mouth full of fillings you might be surprised to discover the invisible organisms that can be found on molars. “Bugs on Teeth” is a participatory event that will offer a mix of hands-on activities, from extracting bacteria from teeth, to observing slides of different bacteria on a large scale.

Dr Sue Jones and Claire Wright organised this event, based in a laboratory, as a fun way for people of all ages to explore bacteria. The practical activities will be preceded by an introduction to what bacteria are, helping participants to further their understanding of microorganisms.

“One great aspect of this event is that it brings to life a subject that is invisible. A lot of sciences are often seen as abstract, but our event aims to create a space where science is tangible and relevant.”

Participants will be able to take a swab from their own teeth, and use specialist equipment to view the bacteria under a microscope. Slides with bacteria will also be available to observe throughout the session.  Equipment to project the slides on a large scale will be used for the event, enabling Festival-goers to get a clearer view of bacteria.

Dr Jones is a course tutor for the University’s BSc Biomedical Science, and is organising this event with Claire Wright, who is in the final year of her PhD at the University.