Unless you want to share your meal with the bacteria that have grown in your mouth overnight, it is best to brush your teeth before breakfast. However, if you tend to eat breakfast soon after brushing in the morning, you may often find that it isn't quite as tasty as it should be. Your orange juice is bitter, and your jam on toast is bland.
Many irritated morning brushers have blamed this negative side effect on the minty aftertaste of toothpaste. However, while the minty aftertaste does play some role in changing the taste of food, the major culprit is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Suppresses Sweetness
When you have finished brushing your teeth, you end up with a minty mouthful of foam. A chemical typically found in toothpaste, known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), causes this foaming effect. The purpose of this chemical is to make toothpaste easier to spread around and to rinse away after brushing.
Unfortunately, SLS affects the way your breakfast tastes by both suppressing your ability to taste sweet foods, and by enhancing your ability to taste bitter foods. This is why your morning glass of orange juice is so unpleasant. Fortunately, there are some ways to brush your teeth in the morning without ruining the most important meal of the day.
Purchase Toothpaste With No SLS
Switch to a brand of toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, and you won't ever have to worry about your orange juice tasting like dishwater again. It shouldn't be hard to find an SLS-free brand of toothpaste in your local store or pharmacy. You can also create your own toothpaste using natural ingredients like baking soda, xylitol and white oak extract. For help with choosing the best toothpaste, ask your dentist.
Wait Around 30 Minutes Before Eating Breakfast
The effect of sodium lauryl sulfate on your taste buds should wear off in about 30 minutes. By adjusting your morning schedule slightly then, you can brush your teeth without ruining breakfast. This might mean having to eat breakfast on the go, but at least your breakfast can now put a smile—not a grimace—on your face.
Rinse Your Mouth Out With Warm Water
A simple and effective way to stop SLS from turning your breakfast into tasteless mush is to rinse your mouth out with warm water after brushing your teeth. You could even brush your teeth in the shower! This will help to return your taste buds to normal so you can eat your breakfast with a smile.Share
22 February 2018
I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.