Why does orange juice taste bad after brushing your teeth?

May 29, 2013

Multitudes of human mysteries have prompted philosophers and scientists to ask big questions over the centuries: What’s the meaning of life?  Why am I here? Why does orange juice taste so bad after I brush my teeth? 

Multitudes of human mysteries have prompted philosophers and scientists to ask big questions over the centuries: What’s the meaning of life?  Why am I here? Why does orange juice taste so bad after I brush my teeth? 

Long have we searched in vain for answers to these important questions. Fortunately for us, though, the American Chemical Society finally explores that last mystery in the latest episode of their animated Bytesize Science video series.

The video explains what in your mouth interacts with chemicals found in toothpaste and orange juice to create an unpleasant taste.  Apparently, toothpaste contains a detergent called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) that produces bubbles while brushing.  A wonder chemical in widespread use due to its amazing ability to produce suds, SLS has also been observed to do weird things to the way your mouth - a big, powerful chemical sensor - tastes food. 

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So exactly how does SLS interact with orange juice and your taste buds to produce that terrible taste?  Check out the video below for the answer: