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Why do we use Mint in toothpaste?

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Introduction

Experiment To If Garlic or Mint is More Antibacterial. Aim: To see what substance would be most ideal in toothpaste, by seeing what is the most antibacterial, out of garlic and mint. Hypothesis: I would expect mint to have some antibacterial properties, as it is used in nearly all toothpaste and is quite a strong tasting and smelling substance. However, garlic is very strong and when I eat a clove of garlic I got a far more strong, intense, hot feeling in my mouth, more so than mint. So I would expect garlic to be more antibacterial than garlic, but mint to be used in toothpaste for it's taste. Apparatus: Agar Plate. Bacteria Culture. Garlic and Mint Extracts (liquid form). Industrial Methylated Spirits. Beakers. Pipette. Bunsen Burner. Glass Spreader. Small Paper Discs. Petri Dish. Forceps. Sellotape. Incubator. Method: First of all, I disinfected my work space, by rubbing methylated sprits over it. It then opened my culture, and using a new, sterilised pipette, I placed 1ml on the agar, and with the sterilised spreader (sterilised by running it over a Bunsen flame) ...read more.

Middle

I then prepare another Petri dish, the same way as I have done with the mint one, but instead of using mint extract, using garlic extract. I label this new dish differently, e.g. 'Garlic', to the mint dish, and then place then in an incubator at 25�C for a few days. I take them out of the incubator, and measure the diameter where microbes have not grown on the mint dish with a ruler, and compare this with the diameter of the garlic. Where the microbes have not grown, this is where the substance has killed them. Results: I got these results by averaging out the fifteen results I have a hold of. Although it appears that there are some anomalies in the original results, the averages look more realistic. Mint (diam. mm) Garlic (diam. mm) 9.45 9.38 Safety: The bacteria culture used here was certified safe from a company, and there would be little risk in using it, unless the very unlikely chance that it would mutate in such a way to post a threat. ...read more.

Conclusion

The gaps where microbes have not grown are where the substance has diffused onto the surrounding proximity, and here the microbes cannot grow, or where less will grow, when you get far enough away from the substance on the disk. Since the substance diffuses, this would mean that if a substance can diffuse faster, like if it had smaller molecules, it would kill more microbes, since it would get further than the other slowly diffused substance and therefore have a large diameter of microbes not grown around it. If I could do this experiment again, I would devise some experiment that did not rely partially on the diffusion of the substance. Conclusion: The mint was stronger in antibacterial properties in this experiment, since the diameter where there was no microbial life was bigger in the mint dish than the garlic dish. This could be because of the different diffusion rates, but in this experiment I am going to assume that they are the same. This does still not answer why mint is used in toothpaste, but it is (obviously) used because of the 'refreshing' taste and also, its antibacterial properties. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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