Why Orange Juice and Toothpaste Just Aren’t Friends

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Dentist Conuslting with Patient in the Dental Chair O'Fallon, IL When discussing orange juice and toothpaste together, it is common to hear feedback about how terrible orange juice tastes when drinking it right after brushing your teeth. While this proves true for many people, the reverse relationship is equally disappointing. Just like toothpaste inhibits your ability to enjoy the taste of orange juice, orange juice can sabotage the effectiveness of toothpaste when cleaning your teeth if it is consumed in the reverse order. Here’s a closer look at why toothpaste and orange juice just shouldn’t be used or consumed together – or at least not in the same hour!

How Does Toothpaste Make OJ Taste So Bad?

If you’ve ever gulped down a glass of orange juice in the morning just after you’ve brushed your teeth, the resulting taste will take you back. The sweet juice you expected may suddenly taste bitter and even repulsive. There’s actually a scientific explanation behind this. Guy Crosby, a nutrition professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explains the theory in a recent article from Live Science. Crosby says that “a compound in toothpaste called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) alters the way we process certain tastes, at least temporarily.” It disrupts the relationship between flavor molecules in our food/drink and the hundreds of thousands of taste receptors that are on our tongue. More specifically, “the SLS that is activated in toothpaste when we brush makes our taste buds more susceptible to bitter tastes and dials back how much we can taste sweet flavors.”

So Why Not Just Drink OJ Before Your Brush?

Think you can solve the dilemma by just drinking your juice before your brushing session? Not so fast. While you may get to enjoy the sweet and refreshing taste of your OJ, your teeth may be set up for more harm than good if you immediately pick up your toothbrush afterwards.

OJ is highly acidic. Therefore, the acids remain on your teeth for a period of time after you drink before your saliva eventually neutralizes them and rinses them away. If you rush to brush your teeth, your toothpaste and brush will come in contact with those acids and act more like harmful abrasives for the enamel of your teeth instead of a healthy polishing. Think of it like using a Brillo pad on your teeth instead of a soft sponge. To escape the damage, you’ll need to wait about an hour before brushing!

As you can see, toothpaste and orange juice just aren’t friends. They need space between each other in order for you to enjoy them separately for what they are! If your teeth have already been damaged by acidic drinks, you may experience sensitivity and discoloration. In addition, your teeth may now be more susceptible to decay if the enamel has worn away. Contact Soft Touch Dentistry today – we can help repair your smile after gradual tooth damage.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Sarah Thompson, Soft Touch Dentistry
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Soft Touch Dentistry

1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050