Why Does Orange Juice Taste Bad After Brushing Your Teeth?

Why Does Orange Juice Taste So Bad After Brushing Your Teeth?

We’ve all done it… brushed our teeth like upstanding citizens, and then regret every decision we’ve ever made as soon as we take a sip of orange juice. Drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth is a universal disgust. It’s understood that orange juice and toothpaste just don’t mix  — but does anyone know why? Of all the things, why is this the most foul taste we’ve ever experienced? We’ve got some facts and figures to back up our minty orange juice nightmares.

How Tastebuds Work

Did you know we have 10,000 taste buds in our mouth? These buds are powerful and allow us to taste a world of flavors. Our taste buds can be split up into basic tastes. We can taste sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and umami (savory). All of these basic tastes work together to form flavor.  

Why Toothpaste Makes Orange Juice Taste Bad

There’s a main ingredient in toothpaste that makes basically anything but water taste bad after we brush our teeth. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the foaming component in toothpaste that helps us spread the paste around our mouth so it’s easier for us to brush our teeth. While it helps spread the toothpaste around our mouth, it also foams, which makes us think our mouth is getting an amazing clean.

SLS is suggested to have other properties as well, for example it suppresses our sweetness receptors. So with our ability to taste sweetness being inhibited, as soon as we take a swig of orange juice, it tastes worse. This may also be because SLS destroys phospholipids, which inhibits the taste of bitterness. After brushing our teeth, we prohibit sweetness and enhance the taste of bitterness. That makes orange juice not sweet at all and super bitter.

Now you know why certain things taste really gross after you brush your teeth. SLS is in a wide range of products, so next time you’re at the store on the toothpaste aisle, look for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate on the ingredient label for fun.

Daxon Dentistry Has the Answers to All Your Dental Questions

We’re sorry if you’ve experienced the toothpaste and orange juice combo, but we are happy to give you clean teeth without that awful taste. If you or someone you know is in need of a teeth cleaning, call us today or schedule an appointment online.