125 W. Wisconsin Ave. • Suite 102 • Pewaukee, WI 53072 • 262.737.4004

Why Orange Juice and Toothpaste Don't Mix

Have you ever made the mistake of taking a giant swig of orange juice with your breakfast just after brushing your teeth? If you have, you likely remember how terrible it tasted. You’ll be happy to know you aren’t the only one who has experienced this. It’s so common, in fact, that researchers decided to look into why exactly this occurs.

One ingredient in toothpaste, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is likely the culprit, according to scientists. SLS is a surfactant and is added to toothpaste as a sudsing agent. It’s the reason your toothpaste gets frothy in your mouth and makes it easy to spread around across and in between your teeth. Surfactants like this are often added to soaps, shampoos and detergents as well. Consumer research shows that people like seeing foaming bubbles when they use products meant for cleaning -- it makes us feel like the product is doing its job!

There are two reasons the SLS has an effect on how we taste things after using it: It blocks the sweet taste receptors and destroys (temporarily) bitter taste inhibitors.

A 2005 study concluded that it takes at least an hour after brushing teeth with a surfactant-containing toothpaste before orange juice tastes like it should again. The study found that some other food and drinks don’t need so long in between, such as a strong cup of coffee or fattier foods like sausage.

So, you have a few options when it comes to your morning routine. Brush after breakfast, or brush early enough to give your mouth time to reset before eating or drinking. Or, look for a toothpaste without SLS, completely eliminating the potential for changes in your taste buds. 

The most important thing is to keep brushing. If it’s time for your next exam and cleaning, call Whole Health Biomimetic and Biological Family Dentistry at 262-264-7711.

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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