SCIENCE!! Why Does OJ Taste So Bad After Brushing?

Ever wondered why drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth tastes so terrible? Well there's actually some science behind it. It all starts with a little chemical we call sodium lauryl sulfate. We'll call it SLS for short. Anyway, this SLS is also in other stuff, like soap and shaving cream. It's the stuff that creates the suds in said products. The argument about whether or not we should be such a chemical in our mouths will have to wait for another time. We're talking about orange juice here.

Scientists tell us that the SLS in our toothpaste temporarily kills our ability to detect sweet things. So I guess that means OJ is pretty darn bitter when you can't detect the sugar in it. But what's worse, the SLS also interferes with certain compounds that normally reduce bitterness. So the OJ ends up even MORE bitter and there's no sugar taste to cover up the awful.

We can avoid the whole problem by holding off on the juice for a few minutes after brushing. But that brings me to ANOTHER topic. Something I was not aware of at all. But the experts also say you should wait 30 minutes to brush if you've had any citrus. What?! I've been brushing after meals for years. thinking I was doing a good thing. Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, "if you've consumed anything acidic, you should avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Foods containing citric acid , like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state." This would have been good to know a few years ago. But better late than never I suppose.

RJ

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