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Why does food taste awful after brushing your teeth

Have you ever wondered why food taste so strange soon after brushing your teeth? This is especially so when you drink orange juice after you have cleaned your teeth in the morning.

Your Mint Toothpaste is not the culprit

Many people assume that the strong mint flavour overwhelms the taste buds and causes the unpleasant taste when you have your first meal soon after brushing. The truth, is a common chemical found in many house hold products is the culprit. This compound is called sodium laurel sulphate (SLS).

These compounds are surfactants which help breakdown liquids making cleaning more effective. They also act as foaming agents which make it easier to spread the toothpaste. These are important features but as a side effect, surfactants prevent our taste buds from working normally.

How do surfactants alter taste?

Surfactants are quite sneaky. They can change how we perceive taste in a couple of ways. Firstly, it dulls the receptors that sense sweetness in foods and drink. That’s why when you eat or drink straight away, food seems a little bland. Secondly surfactants enhances bitter tastes so sour foods and drinks will seem especially bitter. These two affects come together quite noticeably when drinking orange juice. The truth is your morning OJ is quite bitter without the sugar and since surfactants hide our taste buds from sugar and enhance the bitterness, orange juice will taste especially bad.

Wait 30 minutes for things to taste normal again.

Fortunately, the effects of surfactants in toothpaste become diluted after about 30 minutes because of our saliva. So the best think to do is read the paper, catch up on your emails or chat with your neighbour until our saliva washes away the residual surfactants. Things are definitely sweet at Bentleigh East Dental Clinic We love making our patients happy. We take the time to listen and answer your questions and concerns about your unique situations. If you have any question please email or phone 9570 5188.

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