Dissolving Dragons Teeth and Magic Potions to Detect Dangerous Tooth Rotting Delicacies!

Prof Paul Hatton and Dr Simon Whawell along with staff and students from the School of Clinical Dentistry presented a Defence Against the Dark Arts and the Battle Against Tooth Decay Class to a group of muggle children on the 16th of November. The class forms part of nine-week exhibition and programme of events at Sheffield libraries celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

team shot

‘Wizard’ Professor Hatton introduced the children to the work of evil Wizard Mutans, uncovered old video footage showed the evil Wizard creating ‘tooth rot’ and hiding in the yummy treats enjoyed by children. He then demonstrated the tooth rotting power of fizzy drinks by dissolving a Norwegian Ridgeback Dragon tooth into diet lemonade making is disappear before the muggle children’s eyes.

dissolving dragons tooth

simon Sanguis Brassica

‘Wizard’ Dr Whawell delivered a potion making lesson and showed the muggles how to make Sanguis Brasica Potion. This magic potion identifies where acids might be hiding in the food and drink we like to eat.

'Wizard' Dentist Noble and 'Apprentice Wizard' Dentists Johnson & Orloff then asked the children to use magazines and food packing to identify which foods were good and bad for our teeth and to present their findings to ‘Wizard’ Professor Hatton. tooth food

tooth cleaning The children were then given a class on how to brush their teeth ably assisted by 'Wizard' Dr Hurrell-Gillingham 'Wizard' Professor Hatton handed the volunteers the teeth to clean.  Using the magic fluoride potion (aka toothpaste) and their wand (toothbrush) of choice they set to work. They had varying degrees of success with this activity and one of the teeth even dissolved in the child’s hand! Luckily we had Wizard Dentist Noble on hand to instruct the children about good oral hygiene.

Just as we were finishing the evil 'Wizard Mutans' decided to pay our muggle children a visit but they quickly saw him off by waving their magic wands and casting the spell ‘toothrot begonnigus’.


No event like this could be achieved without help and support, in addition to the staff and students mentioned above, Professor Helen Rodd and Dr Zoe Marshman were extremely helpful in guiding the content of the presentation and helping to develop the ideas. Dr Rob Moorehead worked very hard to help create the 3D printed teeth and wands and moulds to make props needed. James Mason did an amazing job editing our Wizard Mutans footage. The group are grateful to Sheffield Library and their team for inviting us in to perform our workshop and for the support from the UoS Public Engagement team in making this event happen.  Finally, a huge thank you to Colgate for providing ‘wands’ aka toothbrushes for each of the muggle children to take home and practise what they've learned and help to keep Wizard Mutans evil Toothrot at bay.