Why Does Orange Juice Taste Terrible After Brushing Your Teeth?

Illustration for article titled Why Does Orange Juice Taste Terrible After Brushing Your Teeth?

Orange juice is many things: A fine source of Vitamin C, easy to get ahold of, and a pretty decent accompaniment to most items in the pantheon of great breakfast foods. What it is not at all, however, is a good thing to drink right after brushing your teeth.

The American Chemical Society's Reactions series took on the question of just what's going on with your tastebuds when orange juice and a freshly-brushed smile meet.

The primary culprit in the culinary crime? It's sodium lauryl sulfate, says the ACS, the compound that makes your toothpaste (and your soaps and shampoos, too for that matter) turn foamy. Besides making your toothpaste turn frothy as you brush, though, it also has the unfortunate side effect of suppressing your tongue's receptors for sweetness.

Image: 5 second studio / Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

blatherskite
Talking Head

Orange juice tastes even worse when you're expecting it to be milk, or vice versa. It seems like one of those obvious things, but I've always been curious if there's any neuroscience behind it.