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THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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Mouth Parts – Science of Taste, Teeth, and Voice

A Kids View of the Mouth

Taste & Tongue

Making Sense of Taste
How do cells on the tongue register the sensations of sweet, salty, sour and bitter? Scientists are finding out–and discovering how the brain interprets these signals as various tastes. Scientific American article, so a bit advanced.

Meet the Ice Cream Taster
Find out what it’s like to have the “sweetest” job in the world from Dreyers Ice Cream.


Taste (Gustation)
A set of simple experiments kids can do to help understand how the sense of taste works.


Tongue (Taste Areas)
Nice interactive graphic of the tongue and taste systems. Roll your cursor over the illustrations to get details.

Teeth

A young child helps demonstrate how to properly brush teeth using a gigantic toothbrush and mouth.

Animated Teeth
Explanations and animations about dental topics and procedures, such as why you might need your wisdom teeth extracted, what causes bad breath and tooth decay, and more.

Colgate-Palmolive’s Kids’ World
A variety of games for kids ages 4-6 and 7-9 all having to do in some way with tooth care. My favorite is FoamWorks, which is a Space Invaders-type game.

Frequently Asked Questions: Teenage Orthodontic Patients
Includes why get braces, how does orthodontic treatment work, what is having braces like, what kinds of braces are there, what steps occur during orthodontic treatment, other questions and concerns about braces.

Fun Foods That Are Good For Your Teeth
Snacking smart is good for your teeth and the rest of your body. Snacks like raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole grain crackers and breads are lower in sugar and have great nutritional value.

Plaque Attack
A Shockwave game in which you try your best to protect your teeth from the evil plaque.

Voice

How Your Voice Works
Did you ever hear anyone say that they lost their voice? Did you think: “What did they do with it?” Here’s the way your voice works – and why sometimes your voice doesn’t work when you have laryngitis.

Physics in Speech
An introduction to some of the physics in speech, including some notes about helium speech. Advanced.

Throwing Your Voice
Sometimes with a puppet that is being held in your arms in front of your audience, you may want to learn ventriloquism to make it seem like the puppet is alive, and doing the talking. (More on the Puppets page.)


Why does helium make your voice squeaky?
Helium is significantly less dense than air. As a result, the speed of sound is much higher in helium. By inhaling helium you are effectively increasing the speed of the sound of your voice. It is not too healthy to inhale helium, but fun to try once.

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