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We all know the biting taste of orange juice after brushing. What exactly causes this change in flavor to go from sweet, refreshing morning wake-up to a bitter sip of unexpected orange essenced La Croix? Good question!

Man Disgusted by Orange Juice

The Proof is in the Pudding (or the Toothpaste)

A common ingredient in many kinds of toothpaste is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). SLS is the same ingredient used in shampoos, hand soaps, lotions, even sink cleaner. SLS creates the illusion that our mouths are getting clean because of the number of bubbles it produces. Side note, the amount of bubbles circulating your mouth has nothing to do with the cleaning power or quality of your toothpaste.

What else does SLS do besides create a carbonated sensation on your gums? It disturbs the receptors on your tongue. These very taste bud receptors pick up on sweetness, like the sweetness in your morning cup of OJ. SLS then turns that sweet taste into a bitter nightmare for your mouth.

Cut the SLS

Years ago, it would be nearly impossible to find a toothpaste without Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Now, thanks to the all-natural, toxin-free movements brought on by Pinterest and the essential oil industry, there are many kinds of toothpaste that have eliminated SLS.

These ‘natural’ brands of toothpaste don’t produce the satisfying bubbles that brands containing SLS have. Still, you can rest assured that your orange juice will stay as sweet as it does on mornings when you forget the dental routine altogether.

If you aren’t ready to give a natural toothpaste a try, other methods of eliminating SLS from your mouth include pouring yourself a glass of water. After brushing, drink a glass of water or wait 20 minutes. The water will help wash the SLS away and give the SLS time to dissipate. In addition, this trick will make your breakfast beverage a lot more satisfying.

Why Brushing After OJ Is Bad for Your Teeth

Common sense would say, “well, just brush your teeth after your orange juice.” While this seems like a logical choice, it can wreak havoc on your enamel. Because OJ is very acidic, this causes the enamel on your teeth to weaken. Suppose you brush directly after consuming acidic substances. In that case, you are more likely to remove your teeth’ enamel, which can lead to severe sensitivity and gum issues down the road.

Have the Sweets and Clean the Teeth, Too

There is no reason why you can’t enjoy your OJ every morning after brushing your teeth. Just make sure to consider our tips. Someday, we hope that the ongoing feud between SLS and orange juice will be a thing of the past.

Are you looking for SLS-free toothpaste? Check out a list here.


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