You brush your teeth twice a day and floss once as recommended by your Evansville dentist, Dr. Max Lingo. But sometimes you brush your teeth right when you get up in the morning and decide you want to enjoy a glass of fresh orange juice after that.
But why does orange juice taste bad after you brush your teeth? Live Science has the answer.
That bad taste is caused when a compound in toothpaste interacts with the taste receptors on our taste buds, Guy Crosby, a nutrition professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Live Science.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in most toothpastes, temporarily changes the way people process certain tastes.
Humans have between 2,000 and 4,000 taste buds, and they perceive five flavor types: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.
When you brush your teeth, SLS in your toothpaste bubbles up and acts like a detergent. But research has shown that SLS affects our taste receptors, making them more susceptible to bitter tastes and reducing how much we can taste sweet flavors.
And in addition to suppressing how much sweetness we taste, SLS also wipes out our phospholipids — compounds that reduce how much bitterness we taste. So instead of tasting the sweet sugar in orange juice, our taste buds perceive more of the bitter taste from the orange’s citric acid.
But fortunately, these changes to our ability to taste on last a few minutes. The SLS dissolve away with additional saliva, and our normal sense of taste comes back after we eat other foods.
So if you are looking for that sweet orange flavor from your juice in the morning, you might want to consider drinking your juice before you brush your teeth, which is ideal anyway so the sugar and citric acid don’t sit in your mouth causing plaque and decay.