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Toothpaste and Orange Juice

Earlier today, I found myself lamenting the unpleasantness which came about whenever one followed tooth brushing with a glass of orange juice. I was on my way out the door, and I wanted to enjoy a cool glass of orange juice on the way to my appointment. I couldn’t. I knew what awfulness would come about if I grabbed a glass of orange juice for the road, so instead I went without and ended up taking water instead. A really poor substitute early in the morning!

Tonight I got a bit curious why the taste was so bad. After a bit of research using your friend and mine, Google, I came across the answer.

According to New Scientist’s Last Word the reason you get that nasty taste in your mouth is that toothpaste’s detergent, usually sodium lauryl sulphate, affects your taste sensors. This page put together by a TV science program in Australia says that the sodium lauryl sulphate desensitizes the “sweet” taste buds and and enhances the “bitter” taste buds.

As it turns out, there are some people who believe the sodium lauryl sulphate isn’t good for you, so there are companies who make toothpaste without it. The sodium lauryl sulphate is really only used for the foaming action people are accustomed to while brushing their teeth - so the absence of it won’t affect the performance of the toothpaste.

I’m thinking this may be worth a test.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 14, 2004 2:16 AM in Play.

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