Have you ever wondered why food tastes bad right after you brush your teeth? Does your little one complain about eating her breakfast after brushing? According to Mental Floss, the reason for the unpleasantness is sodium laureth sulfate, a chemical added to toothpaste to make it foamy.
In addition to creating foam that helps spread the toothpaste around, sodium laureth sulfate also does two things to the taste buds:
- Suppress the receptor for sweetness, and
- Enhance the receptor for bitterness.
No wonder orange juice becomes bitter juice after you brush!
You already know this side effect is temporary, but if you or the little one would rather avoid it, here are some potential remedies:
Purchase a toothpaste made without chemical wetting agents. These SLS- or SLES-free products include Tom’s, Sensodyne, and Jason Powersmile Toothpaste. (At the APD office, we carry the SLS-free brand, Squigle.)
Keep in mind that some of these natural toothpastes may also be fluoride-free. Fluoride is important to strengthen your teeth’s enamel. If you’re concerned about SLS or fluoride, speak with your dentist about making the right decision for your child’s personal care.
Brush your teeth…in the shower? According to a Lifehacker article, the hot water in the shower may prevent the minty aftertaste from occurring. Go figure!
We haven’t tested the shower theory out to see if it works, but if you do, be sure to send us a comment with the results!