Some things are worth answering. The age old question “Why does orange juice taste
bad horrible if I drink it after I brush my teeth?” has been wading in the pool of unanswered questions for a long, long time. David Cannell, a spokesperson for Questacon, has great news for us all! An answer – sodium laurel sulfate. Damn you sodium laurel sulfate. Read on!
Why does orange juice taste so bad after brushing your teeth?
Thursday, 22 JuneÂ 2006
It’s a question you may never have asked, but if you’ve ever brushed your teeth before you’ve had a glass of juice, you’ll know why we had to seek professional advice.
David Cannell is the scientific spokesperson for Questacon, “It’s because of a certain ingredient in toothpaste called sodium laurel sulfate. It actually blocks sweet sensors. All the other taste bud cells in your mouth are firing away nicely, but the receptors which pick up the sweet sensors are not working anymore. Not only does it block the sweet sensors, it enhances the sour and bitter, so you get this massive influx of sour and bitter taste coming through the mouth.”
David says tastebuds are a very interesting part of the body, “They’re the little bumps on the top of your tongue. They look like a tiny onion, if you look at it with a high powered microscope. Each tastebud, which we have about ten thousand of, has about fifty different taste cells.”
“The tastebud itself goes through such a heavy process of tasting things left, right and centre, it gets too much for them. They actually die after about two weeks. But they generally grow back, but they don’t always grow back. As you get older and older, your tastebuds do generally die off. You can be left with only two or three thousand.”
“Kids have incredible taste sensitivity”, David explains, “something that is really quite strong to taste they might consider completely disgusting. When you grow old, you get used to it.” David laughs, “I think the message in here is not to feed children vegetables at the dinner table!”
“Scientists aren’t sure why tastebuds do grow back, and why they don’t grow back. But there are some things that will affect your tastebuds not growing back that will dull your taste sensitivity. Things like smoking”, David Cannell.