Spring has sprung and all around Knoxville you will see new life blossoming. With spring comes farmer’s markets and all those fresh flavors we have missed all winter. The warm weather brings us flavors like tomato and basil or mango and cilantro. Restaurants in Knoxville will highlight these flavor combinations and offer some very unique pairings for our taste buds. Our taste buds will dance at all of these combinations but there are some that just don’t work. Ever brush your teeth and then take a sip of orange juice? Orange juice and toothpaste is the WORST flavor combination out there. It is right up there with milk and pickles. So why do we get this bad taste in our mouth?
You should be directing your sour face towards sodium lauryl sulfate. It is a foaming agent that is added to toothpaste and many other products. Sodium lauryl sulfate makes it easy to spread toothpaste around your mouth. It is also has an emulsifying quality. This helps to remove surface stains and dissolve stuck on debris. Sodium lauryl sulfate sometimes appears on toothpaste labels as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
So how does sodium lauryl sulfate affect your taste buds? First, it suppresses the taste buds that detect sweetness in foods and drinks. Second, it enhances bitter tastes. Anything sour that you eat or drink will taste really bitter. Luckily, the taste bud suppression only lasts about 30 minutes, then any bad taste should be gone. It takes about that long for your saliva to wash away the leftover sodium lauryl sulfate. After that, everything should start to taste normal again.
Now you know the facts. The most important take away is that you should brush your teeth AFTER drinking orange juice. Our Knoxville dental office always wants to remind you to brush at least twice each day after meals so you don’t leave cavity-causing sugar on your teeth all day!