subscribe: Posts | Comments

Why Toothpaste Make Food and Drinks Taste Bad

Why Toothpaste Make Food and Drinks Taste Bad

Ever wondered why toothpaste makes certain drinks taste disgusting?

Brushing the teeth in the morning is an essential part of our daily hygiene routine. HTe only downside to this short task is that certain food and drinks can taste rather awful when consumed shortly afterward.

I’ve always put this down to the minty fresh flavor of toothpaste, but it’s actually down to a substance known as sodium laureth sulfate (or sodium lauryl ether sulfate, or sodium lauryl sulfate).

This is responsible for creating the foam when brushing with toothpaste, and it’s also the main reason that causes things to taste bad- sodium laureth sulfate can be found in many mints and candies, which is why they have the same affect.


Why Toothpastes Makes Food and Drink Taste Bad

Image Credit: Wagner Cesar Munhoz, 2007.

Weblog Mental_Floss explains:

Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.

In short, SLES and SLS enhance bitter tastes and inhibit sweet ones; making many food and drinks taste different.

While not completely agreed upon, there are several other theories out there too, this is currently the most widely accepted explanation.

So how do you avoid having to consume bad tasting food and drink after you’ve brushed?

Well, many dental professional say that brushing the teeth after breakfast is not as effective as brushing before, which means you’re left with the choice of buying a toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS.

Of course it might be a little harder to find, but if you’re always pushed for time in the morning and find yourself eating immediately after brushing everyday, using an SLS-free toothpaste can make all the difference when it comes to your breakfast.

Related posts:


, , , ,


  1. Whitson Gordon: Why Toothpaste Makes Everything Else Taste Bad (and How to Fix It). LifeHacker, 03/21/2013.

Comments are closed.