Why does orange juice taste odd after toothbrushing?

Have you ever had a glass of orange juice after brushing your teeth? Not very nice, is it?

To work out what’s going on we need to know about toothpaste, orange juice and what your taste buds do. Your tongue has the ability to sense and distinguish various tastes like sweet, sour, bitter, salt and umami.

Toothpaste usually creates a lot of foam in your mouth and this can temporarily affect your sweet taste buds. Look at the label on your toothpaste to see if it has an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). This is a detergent and it’s found in 99% of all toothpastes. It doesn’t really do anything useful, but just creates a lot of foam that makes you feel like your teeth are getting nice and clean.

Because your sweet sensors are not working so well you mainly taste the bitter taste of the citric acid found in orange juice. The sugar sweet taste is not there.


So what…?

Some dentists believe that the foaming detergent (SLS) is also responsible for giving people mouth ulcers. Patients who suffer badly have found that switching to toothpaste without this ingredient helps reduce the number of ulcers they get.

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