It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves. We did the right thing, brushing our teeth first thing in the morning to start the day off with clean teeth and fresh breath. Now, we want to sip on some refreshing, vitamin C-rich orange juice. However, most of us know this story all too well–the orange juice tastes horrible!
So, what’s the deal? Why does orange juice taste bad after you brush, and is there anything you can do to stop it?
The Ingredient to Blame: Sodium Laureth Sulfate
It’s all thanks to sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). This type of ingredient is referred to as a surfactant, it’s used to spread ingredients around in your mouth, which makes the toothpaste suds up and create bubbles and foam. SLS is also found in other ingredients, like body washes and shampoos.
While SLS helps the toothpaste to spread around the mouth, it has some other side effects. Namely, that it suppresses your ability to detect certain tastes, particularly sweet tastes. It also affects the phospholipids on your tongue, which are fatty acids that control the taste of bitter flavors.
This creates an unpleasant mix of heightened bitter tastes and suppressed sweet tastes, thus, the nasty tasting juice.
You Can Avoid SLS if You Want
If the taste of OJ after brushing really bothers you, there are ways to avoid it. The best way is to find a toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS. The one downside is that SLS-free toothpaste won’t spread as easily.
To get the best of both worlds, you can try drinking a glass of water or chewing sugar-free gum between your brushing and OJ. Doing so will increase your saliva flow, rinsing the SLS away.
Why Not Brush Your Teeth After Breakfast?
Sound logic, but this isn’t a good idea. Orange juice is an acidic substance, so after you drink it, your enamel is temporarily weakened. Brushing your teeth while your enamel is in this stressed state can result in lasting damage. Pain, sensitivity, and cosmetic issues are some of the possibilities.
If you have 30 minutes to wait after eating your breakfast, that’s enough time for your pH to return to normal so that you can brush safely.
Have Clean Teeth Without Ruining Your Breakfast
We hope this clears away some of the mystery surrounding the bad taste of orange juice during your breakfast. Now, you have some strategies up your sleeves to help you enjoy your orange juice and keep your teeth clean.