Having a glass of orange juice in the morning can be a great way to start the day. Many people would typically start the day by brushing their teeth first thing in the morning, but how about having a glass of orange juice after that? Not so great, right?
Some food combinations like burgers and fries, bacon, and eggs can go together, but toothpaste and orange juice are awful. An essential constituent found in toothpaste is responsible for that horrible taste you get when your drink a glass of orange juice soon after you’ve brushed your teeth.
How Flavor and Your Taste Buds Work
The role of taste buds in the tongue cannot be overlooked as it’s the primary reason people prefer one food combination over the other. For instance, some people would rather use peanut butter on bread than using jam. Hence our taste buds play a vital role in determining the outcome of the food and drinks we consume.
However, other parts of the body, such as some part of your head, cheeks, soft palate, epiglottis, nasal cavity, and the back of your throat, may partly contribute to your ability to taste. Generally, humans can taste five types of flavor: sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and savory. So a combination of the key ingredient in toothpaste and orange juice can affect your ability to get the sweet and bitter flavor, and that’s why you get that awful taste.
Which Ingredient Is Responsible For The Horrible Taste?
The Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), also abbreviated as SLES, is responsible for the awful taste of OJ after brushing. Many kinds of toothpaste out there contain sodium laurel sulfate. It is one of the primary ingredients found in toothpaste and other household products, such as shampoos and detergents.
SLS is the surfactant responsible for that foamy texture you get when you brush your teeth and use a detergent and shampoo. Here’s how SLS affects your taste buds:
- First, it suppresses the sweet flavor receptor on your tongue, thereby temporarily preventing your ability to taste any sweet food or drink.
- Secondly, it breaks up the fatty molecules on your tongue that usually block bitter taste.
Note that citrus juices like oranges generally have a combination of sweet and bitter tastes. However, you can taste the sweet flavor, but when SLS suppresses the sweet flavor receptor, you get that awful taste.
What Should I Do to Avoid the Unpleasant Orange Juice Taste?
Take your orange juice before brushing your teeth. However, ensure that you wait for at least 30 minutes after having a glass of OJ or any other citrus fruit before brushing your teeth. Citrus foods usually have acidic content, which can weaken the tooth enamel, so brushing immediately after taking them can damage your tooth enamel.
You can also opt for SLS-free toothpaste; you’d be surprised to find a variety of SLS-free toothpaste in the market. Also, ensure to speak with your dentist to see which toothpaste works for you best. Our experienced dentists at Premier Dental Center in Lockhart are always available to serve you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.