Why does orange juice taste awful after brushing your teeth?

I have always wondered why orange juice tastes horrible if you drink it right after brushing your teeth. I make sure I eat breakfast before I brush my teeth because drinking OJ after brushing my teeth is awful.

Toothpaste has something called Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) in it. SLS is found in 99% of toothpastes and apparently it does not do anything useful. The detergent creates a foam in your mouth that makes your teeth feel fresh and clean.

The foam that SLS creates temporarily affects your sweet taste buds. Because your sweet taste buds are essentially inactive, you only taste the bitter citric acid that is in orange juice. This is why it tastes bad when you drink it right after brushing your teeth.

A lot of toothpastes are beginning to stop using SLS because not only does it not have any positive effects, it actually has several negative effects. SLS is also found in some shampoos, causing cosmetic problems for a lot of people. The SLS in toothpastes has also been found to be responsible for giving people mouth ulcers.

SLS is a type of soap and a lot of people are starting to buy these SLS free toothpastes, the biggest reason being that there is no need for soap in your toothpaste. Some companies include SLS because it makes it cheaper to manufacture.

People have problems with SLS because it causes skin irritation, it is used in household cleaners, and it causes gingivitis and other gum diseases. While these are clearly the more significant problems with SLS in our toothpaste, it still makes my orange juice taste bad.

5 thoughts on “Why does orange juice taste awful after brushing your teeth?

  1. Buanafina Maia

    This is something I have though about before. I like that you say that SLS temporarily deactivates our sweet taste buds, that would actually make sense since we would then only taste the bitter part of the orange juice. As for the mouth ulsers thing, I find that also very interesting. I often get mouth ulsers and can never figure out why. Maybe after reading this, I will try to find SLS-free toothpaste to see it it makes any difference. I do not, however, believe that they would include SLS in toothpaste if it didn’t serve a specific purpose. That just seems silly to me. After doing a bit on online research, I found this website that claims that all toothpastes basically do the same thing. It says that going with the cheapest, store brand toothpaste makes just as much sense as buying the most expensive, extravagent toothpaste.

  2. Abigail Marie Young

    Thank you for answering a question that has been bothering me for such a long time. This makes so much more sense, and it is also a bit shocking to me. I would like to see an experiment on this, perhaps one involving the mouth sores. There could be a control group, who brushes their teeth with toothpaste that doesn’t have the chemical, and one that does. Over the course of months/years, it will be recorded how many mouth sores the people get. Of course there could be other variables affecting the result, such as frequency of brushing and diet, but if the trial was done correctly it could provide some useful data.

  3. Jada Baity

    I have actually received many mouth ulcers in my time and, coincidentally, I always got them when I brushed my teeth three times a day instead of just two. They were extremely painful and I always wondered why brushing your teeth more often (which is the sanitary thing to do) caused such painful mouth sores. Now that I know this information on SLS, I can finally understand why my intense brushing habit was so bad for me. The more SLS you come in contact with, the more irritated your mouth can get. After reading this post and the studies and charts along with it, I am confident enough with the data presented in reducing how often I brush my teeth.

  4. Eric Choi

    I have recently started to eat breakfast before I brush my teeth. I think it has been a worthy decision because I love breakfast. I used to think that everything tasted so bitter and crappy whenever I ate anything after brushing my teeth. Now I know why. The toothpaste companies literally put soap in their toothpastes. I think that one way you could expand on this topic is by adding an actual study that determined how SLS is ultimately bad for you, if there is any. I did some research of my own and found that triclosan, a very common ingredient in Colgate toothpastes, can potentially cause cancer. Can toothpastes do more harm than good? We usually will associate cancer with diet or smoking or exposed radiation, but could people have getting cancers because of toothpastes? Most people, including me, don’t even think twice about looking at the ingredients in our toothpastes.

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