Imagine someone popping open a new bottle of their favorite brand of orange juice to go with breakfast. Its tantalizing color causes their taste buds to salivate at the very sight. They take their first, long-anticipated sip only to realize. . . doh! They just brushed their teeth. For most of us, we can sympathize with the person in this story. The biting taste of OJ after brushing our teeth is one of the most flattening someone can experience. But why does this happen? Is it a curse doomed to plague humanity for all eternity? Will we never again be able to brush our teeth and have orange juice in the same morning? Let’s find out together.
Check the Labels
Checking the ingredient label is essential when grocery shopping; it is especially valuable when shopping for toothpaste and soaps. One of the most common ingredients in toothpaste, hand soap, shampoo, even laundry detergent is a compound known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). SLS is what creates that bubbly sensation in your mouth or that sudsy feeling and look when washing your hair. The more bubbles, the more clean, right? Well, no. The amount of bubbles has nothing to do with the cleaning power of your toothpaste.
Aside from creating a false illusion of cleanliness in our mouths, SLS also disturbs the taste bud receptors on our tongues. The receptors responsible for picking up the sweetness in things like orange juice are temporarily paralyzed by SLS, changing sweet into a bitter La Croix-esque nightmare.
Go Au Naturale
Thankfully, some brands have developed toothpaste without the Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and sadly, without all the bubbles. The good news is that you can now brush your teeth with reliable cleaning power sans the bubbles and enjoy a sweet beverage within the same hour.
If you like a bubbly sensation with your morning dental routine, you may be wondering why you can’t just brush your teeth after your refreshing glass of OJ. As logical as this may seem, when you consume an acidic drink, it temporarily softens the enamel on your teeth. As you brush your teeth, you may accidentally remove some of that enamel leading to tooth and gum sensitivity, tooth decay, and possible, other more severe dental issues in the future.
Our Tips for Enjoying Your OJ
If you feel at this point in your reading that you will never again be able to enjoy your morning refreshment, don’t fear. There are some ways to help that don’t involve natural toothpaste or skipping your dental routine. After brushing (yes, please continue to brush), drink a glass of water. The water will help wash the SLS away. If you have the time, you can also wait 20 minutes and give the SLS time to dissipate. Either of these options will make your breakfast beverage a lot more satisfying.
The short answer is, “no, this issue does not have to plague humankind forever.” However, we understand the frustration, and we are here for you at Sage Dental Care!
Want to give an SLS-free toothpaste? Check out a list here.