Some flavors match together so well, it seems like destiny. It’s hard to imagine cookies without milk or peanut butter without jelly.
Something we’d rather not imagine together? Orange juice and toothpaste. Unfortunately, it is a taste we know all too well.
After you brush your teeth, few things are less appetizing than orange juice, but why? Panorama Dental has taken this chance to research this phenomenon.
The Offending Ingredient
Point your finger at sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). Scientists call this ingredient a surfactant. It’s purpose is to spread toothpaste around your mouth and helps to create bubbles and suds. SLS is also in products like shampoos and body washes.
Bubbly suds that spread easily are a good thing, but SLS can cause other things that aren’t as fun. It suppresses the receptors in your taste buds that allow you to pick up on sweet tastes. SLS also wreaks havoc on your phospholipids, fatty molecules on your tongue that control bitter flavors.
As the sweet tastes are suppressed and the bitter flavors are enhanced, your orange juice takes on a funky flavor.
Keeping SLS From Ruining Your Mornings
Fortunately, SLS isn’t a necessary component in your paste. There are types of toothpaste available that are free of this additive.
Keep in mind that toothpaste with no SLS won’t spread as easily. If you want both good tasting juice and sudsy paste, try drinking a glass of water or chewing sugar-free gum before drinking OJ. This will help increase your saliva flow, which could help rinse SLS away.
Why Not Brush Your Teeth After Breakfast?
This does seem logical. And while it will make the juice taste better, it won’t be good for your pearly whites. When you eat or drink an acidic substance, like orange juice, your enamel is temporarily weakened. If you brush your teeth while your enamel is in this soft state, it can cause permanent damage. This may include sensitivity, pain, and cosmetic issues.
If you want to brush your teeth after an acidic meal, be sure to wait 30 minutes.
Have Clean Teeth and Enjoy Your AM Juice
We hope that we’ve cleared up some of the mysteries surrounding the infamous clash of orange juice and toothpaste.
To find out more about this unfortunate combo and to see a list of SLS-free toothpastes, check out this article.