Why OJ + Toothpaste = Wicked Bad Taste
Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2008
The taste of orange juice immediately after toothbrushing is pretty bad. But why should it – and just about everything else – taste so very bad?
Blame it on the stuff that helps make toothpaste foam: sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl ether sulfate, abbreviated below as SLS and SLES).
From Mental Floss:
While surfactants make brushing our teeth a lot easier, they do more than make foam. Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.
So, anything you eat or drink after you brush is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would. Is there any end to this torture? Yes. You don’t need foam for good toothpaste, and there are plenty out there that are SLES/SLS-free. You won’t get that rabid dog look that makes oral hygiene so much fun, but your breakfast won’t be ruined.
For another reason to switch to an SLES/SLS-free toothpaste, read on.
(Hat-tip to Stephanie)