If you are like most people, you have likely had an experience where you brush your teeth and then take a sip of orange juice, or a try to eat something, only to discover the taste is completely different than what you expect. In fact, it is likely downright bad.
The fact is, this issue will occur with virtually any food you try to eat directly after brushing.
Are you curious as to why this happens? If so, you can learn more here.
The Bad-Taste-Causing Culprit
The bad-taste-causing culprit is a single ingredient found in toothpaste – sodium laureth sulfate. When you brush your teeth, this ingredient will alter your taste buds, for a limited amount of time, which makes the taste of foods seem “off” and in some cases, downright bad. On the toothpaste labels, you will typically see the ingredient listed as SLS or SLES.
Why Your Toothpaste Needs Sodium Laureth Sulfate
This ingredient is considered a surfactant, or a type of foaming agent, that is used in a number of different products. It helps to make it easier to spread the toothpaste all around your mouth. The ingredient also has a type of emulsifying action, which helps the toothpaste remove any surface stains and dissolve the presence of leftover debris.
Why SLS Affects Your Taste Buds
The SLS and SLES will make the process of brushing your teeth a bit easier, but it will also affect your taste buds in several ways. The first thing this ingredient does is suppress the receptors that pick up on the level of sweetness in various drinks and foods. It will also enhance bitter tastes. This means that anything slightly sour that you eat after brushing, such as orange juice, is going to taste extremely bitter. This will happen every time you use a toothpaste that includes the SLS ingredient.
Why the Bad Taste Doesn’t Last
The good news is, the bitter flavor will not last for that long. In fact, drinks and food will begin to taste normal and good again approximately 30 minutes after you brush your teeth. This period of time allows your saliva to dilute and wash all the leftover SLS away.
Eliminating the Problem
If you really want to eliminate the issue of bad tasting foods after brushing your teeth, the best thing you can do is avoid using a toothpaste that includes the SLS ingredient. There are a number of options out there so it should not be too difficult to find one.
There is no question that keeping your teeth clean with a quality toothpaste is an essential part of your dental health care routine. Take some time to really think about how much this “bad-taste-culprit” impacts you and whether or not changing toothpaste would be beneficial. Both types of toothpaste do the job of keeping your teeth clean, so this is really a matter of preference, whether or not you use an SLS-free toothpaste.