Why Does Food Taste Funny After Brushing?

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED why certain foods taste unpleasant after brushing your teeth in the morning? Most of us have experienced that bitter sensation a time or two, but what exactly causes it?

Your Mint Toothpaste Flavor Isn’t To Blame

It’s a common misconception that mint-flavored toothpaste causes the unpleasant taste when eating that first meal after brushing. In reality, it’s a chemical found in most toothpastes called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or other variants like sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These compounds are known as surfactants, which are foaming agents which make it easier to spread toothpaste evenly as you brush.

Aside from helping toothpaste clean your teeth, surfactants also affect your tastebuds.

Surfactants Affect Your Tastebuds

Surfactants like SLS affect your tastebuds in a couple of different ways. First, it suppresses receptors that pick up the sweet taste in food and drinks. This is why some foods just taste a little more bland if you’ve recently brushed your teeth. The second way surfactants affect your taste is it enhances bitter flavors, so sour food and drinks taste especially bitter.

This effect is especially noticeable in orange juice. Believe it or not, your morning glass of OJ is actually surprisingly sour if you take away the sugar. So when you take a sip of orange juice after brushing your teeth, not only will SLS inhibit your ability to taste your drink’s sweetness, it will enhance the underlying sour flavor and make it really bitter.

Don’t Worry, It Doesn’t Last Long!

Fortunately for us, the effects of SLS don’t linger too long in the morning. After about 30 minutes, your saliva will have diluted the leftover surfactants and things begin to taste normal again. In order to avoid the unpleasant taste after you brush, take a little time to read the paper or accomplish other to-do’s in your regular morning routine before you eat. Rearranging morning activities is an easy way to help your breakfast taste sweet!

We Have A Pretty Sweet Gig

We love making our patients smile. Whether it’s through fun tips like this or answering questions about your unique oral health situation, our priority is keeping your teeth happy and healthy. Do you have any more questions about your morning oral hygiene routine? We’d love to answer them! Call us or let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for giving us a reason to smile!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

See The Full Picture On Dental X-Rays

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  Would you choose super strength?  How about the power of flight?  Maybe you’d like the ability to see through solid objects!  Although super strength and flight may not com too easily,  you don’t have to search far for x-ray vision (in a manner of speaking)!

Today, we want to share with you a little bit about x-ray and how we use them in our practice to spot troublesome cavities and other issues before they have a larger effect on you smile!

X-Rays Were Discovered By Accident!

X-rays were first observed in 1895 by German physicist Wihelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923).  Roentgen accidentally made this discovery while conducting an experiment testing whether cathode rays would pass through glass.  After covering the glass cathode tubes he was using for his experiment, he notice a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen.  He was unsure what rays were causing the glow so he dubbed them”X-rays” for the time-being, and the name stuck!

Roentgen is also credited with discovering the medical use of X-rays.  The first photograph of the human body part using X-rays is actually his wife’s hand!

Dental X-Rays Help Spot Problems Early

X-rays have become a incredibly valuable tool in modern medicine-especially for dentistry!  We learn a lot from visually examining you teeth, but not everything is visible to the naked eye during a routine dental exam.

Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work.  X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line– something that was impossible without invasive procedures before X-rays became widely available.

We Have Your Safety In Mind

Both traditional and digital x-ray exams are safe.  Though low levels of radiation are used to capture the X-ray images, each techniques is designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation.  A leaded apron and thyroid collar are often used to minimize exposure to the abdomen and throat during examination.  These protective measures are helpful for everyone, but especially recommended for women of childbearing age, those who are pregnant, and children.

If you are pregnant and in need of dental x-rays, be sure you tell you dentist.  They will be sure to use the leaded apron and thyroid collar during your exam to protect you and your fetus from any radiation.  Dental x-rays do not need to be delayed if you’re breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant,  but talk to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

Prevention Is The Key To Healthy Smiles

We want to keep your mouth as healthy as possible and preserve your beautiful smile.  That’s why it’s essential that we discover and diagnose the earliest sign of a problem.  X-rays are an essential tool in helping spot these problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.  If you have any questions about dental x-rays, please let us know!  We’d love to speak with you about this or any other questions you may have.

Our Patients Brighten Our Day!

Top image by Flickr user Bashar Al-ba’noon and used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 licence.  Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.