Have you ever brushed your teeth in the morning and then headed down for breakfast, poured yourself a glass of orange juice, and then scrunched up your nose when it just didn’t taste quite right? It’s your toothpaste’s fault! And it can happen with a lot of different types of foods and drinks. If you’ve ever wondered why this happens, read on to learn everything you need to know.
Why Food Tastes Different After You Brush Your Teeth
Your toothpaste is to blame
While your toothpaste is to blame for the change in your tastebuds, there’s really one ingredient that’s responsible for the change: sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). Sometimes referred to on ingredient labels as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLES), this ingredient changes your tastebuds and makes your food taste off for awhile after brushing.
What is sodium lauryl sulfate?
SLS is added to toothpaste because it creates the foam that helps toothpaste get your teeth really clean. Also known as a surfactant, SLS is effective at distributing the toothpaste throughout your mouth so every tooth is cleaned effectively. It also helps to dissolve debris and remove surface stains, making it an important toothpaste ingredient.
Why does it impact my taste buds?
So why does SLS affect your sense of taste? The reason is because it has the ability to enhance bitter tastes, so if you drink a glass of grapefruit juice right after brushing it will taste especially harsh. It also acts on the taste receptors on your tongue that pick up sweetness and dulls them so that sugary things taste less sweet. This is probably why orange juice ends up tasting so strange!
When does my taste come back?
After about 30 minutes, your taste buds should go back to normal. This happens because your mouth has had time to produce enough saliva to wash away any lingering SLS that was still in your mouth after brushing. This is why it’s a good idea to wait at least half an hour after brushing to eat or drink anything other than water (this habit will keep your teeth healthier too!).
Your Olney dentist
Interested in learning more about how cosmetic dentistry can make your smile happier? Call Olney Dental at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online for an appointment. And don’t forget to visit Facebook, Twitter,Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube to connect with us on social media.