Toothpaste and Orange Juice - Nope!

If have ever drank a big glass of OJ after brushing your teeth you may have noticed the taste.

Paste and OJ? Not the best match

Toothpaste and orange juice don't go well together, and that’s not just a mere suggestion. It’s fact. Now let’s look at a few reasons why.

Orange juice tastes terrible after brushing. Let’s talk about how gross it is and how it is a bad combo. Why is it a bad combo though? Really?

First of all, toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate, which does the following:
  • It suppresses your “sweet receptors.”
  • It destroys the phospholipids that inhibit your bitter receptors.

Now, will this combo kill you? No, it's an urban myth. But nonetheless, it’s probably not the most conductive to your optimal health either. There’s a fine line somewhere in the middle, and you as the consumer need to know where to draw it.

Furthermore, if after reading this, you find no other motivator leading you away from mixing and matching the two, then do it for the mere reason that it just tastes gross. Don’t tell me you haven’t experienced that bismal feeling of absolute disgust after having brushed, and then drank a fresh cup of OJ? If you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about, but let’s discuss more on the facts. Maybe this will help you see the light and turn from the Dark Side, even if for just a bit.

Sweet Receptors and More

First and foremost, I mentioned the combination suppressing your “sweet receptors”, and what exactly did I mean? Well, bitter molecules now have a chance and take it as they cunningly reach the mouth’s taste receptors, ultimately accounting for that nasty feeling as a result. This destroys the tongue’s receptors, if the process is repeated enough times. So if you’re an addict, stop the habit while you can.

Phospholipids and More

Moreover, the aforementioned phospholipids are simply fatty molecules that can dampen our own perception of what bitter foods truly are so we that could consume them without ever being overwhelmed as a result of their taste. When drastically reduced in, however, and with toothpaste containing such harmful sodium laureth sulfate, mildly-bitter food can thus end up tasting far more bitter than usual. This is why science postulates that an acidic, citrus-y, refreshingly sweet glass of orange juice poses a distasteful combo when you choose to pair it with your foaming toothpaste. Sorry, but no matter how you put these two together, they are simply not a pair --- each needs to find its own prom date.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is mainly employed as a foaming agent, an ingredient with quite an unfortunate side effect: It suppresses taste receptors, thus convincingly telling our brains that we have just ingested something sweet, all while allowing those more bitter tastes to amplify by temporarily diminishing all populations of phospholipids living on our tongue. If that is not a scary thought, then I simply do not know what is. Take heed --- you have now been advised.

Here’s another sound piece of advice that most dental experts will not disagree with, and this one is for free, friends: Listen to your body, in other words, your teeth and that awful feeling of disgust that comes each time you mix what you should not. But here’s another golden nugget of wisdom that will take this even further, another free hint: Heed your body’s warnings. All diseases, symptoms, headaches and other such “occurrences” all have their origin, most of them including plenty of warning signs of initial onsets far in advance. Why do we, as a society, not listen to the demands of our body with enough urgency and frequency? This alone remains, perhaps, one of modern life’s most strangely unanswered questions.

Another explanation, one posed by a United States Department of Energy researcher, would suggests that this horrific aftertaste is merely the result of an interaction between toothpaste’s stannous fluoride and OJ’s acetic acid. We can’t rule out any considerations --- remember. Though research behind “the science of taste” has taken its full analysis as far as research into minty toothpaste, investigations into the cruel mixed interaction remain fairly sparse. A few authors behind one such study, which published through the JSS in 2005, found that it takes a minimum time frame of one hour for the ensuing effects of the minty toothpaste-OJ combination to fully dissipate. Who wants to wait that long, now? I know I wouldn’t.

Yet the study additionally examined those effects of only " the strongly mentholated toothpastes." So, we ask ourselves: Is that same bad taste also invited through using toothpastes without mint flavor? That is the question of the hour, so let’s break it down further.

Any toothpaste that contains SLS, as dozens of experts have agreed upon, will always create this bad taste, period. UC’s Dr. Hildegarde Heymann is one of the foremost experts on the matter, and she has likewise re-stated the matter with full certainty, time and again. And do not forget that SLS is also present in nearly every single toothpaste brand on today’s market. Dr. Heymann certainly knows what she’s talking about as she has carried out her mission as a flavor scientist for many years now, primarily specializing in the unique toothpaste industry. And of course, one does not need a Ph.D. to put two and two together here --- all it takes is a little dose of common sense to come to these conclusions in unison.

Final Thoughts:

The simple mistake of mixing orange juice after brushing one’s teeth, as we clearly can’t stress enough, is experiment enough. The facts and actions speak for themselves. So do be kind and listen to your body --- in this case, your mouth and your head. Use common sense too.

You can combine peanut butter and jelly. You can even put peas in a pot and mix them up. Heck, mustard and ketchup go together quite nicely. And in the end, you can mix OJ and toothpaste, but who would want to? It won’t, after all, make you healthy, wealthy or wise --- so why bother? Yet, to each his own, as they say.