Toothpaste-One of Life’s Mysteries Finally Answered by Okotoks Dentist

One of Life’s Mysteries Finally Answered by Okotoks Dentist


Why does orange juice taste so bad after you brush your teeth even with toothpaste?

It all has to do with one of the ingredients in most brands of toothpaste – sodium lauryl sulfate.

Toothpaste is formulated to do all kinds of good things – scrub your teeth, clean their surfaces, remove plaque, apply fluoride, and refresh your mouth. And it is sodium lauryl sulfate that gives toothpaste a great foamy clean feeling.

But this ingredient also affects your mouth’s 10,000 taste buds. These taste buds contain receptors which can sense five different types of tastes – sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and what the Japanese call “umami” – a pleasant and savory sensation. Researchers have found that sodium lauryl sulfate not only inhibits the sweet receptors in your mouth, it opens up the bitter ones. So orange juice’s great combination of sweet fruit sugar and bitter acid is received completely differently after a good mouth scrubbing.

But don’t worry – there’s no harm other than a little morning pucker, and it’s better to brush your teeth after breakfast anyway.

So there you have it – the answer to on of life’s great questions.

Please call us now at 587-757-9809 to schedule an appointment with Okotoks Dentist Dr. Vicki McMullen, to ask any questions about keeping your teeth and gums nice and clean, or even to schedule a complimentary tooth brushing and flossing lesson. We are here for you! We won’t serve you orange juice, but we can certainly give you a great big smile.