Why does the taste of food change after brushing our teeth?

Why does the taste of food change after brushing our teeth?
Image: Pixabay

Brushing your teeth is an especially difficult habit for children to acquire and one of the most mentioned reasons for the little ones is because toothpaste changes the taste of food, especially sweets. But why is this happening?

Responsible for this unfortunate consequence of our oral hygiene is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), used not only in toothpaste but also in shampoos, oils and bath soaps. The SLS is a detergent responsible for removing dirt and foaming, a property desired by manufacturers and customers.

The problem is that it temporarily blocks taste buds, responsible for perceiving the sweet taste. In addition, SLS breaks down fats from saliva that, by acting on the corresponding papillae, soften the bitterness.

This causes the perfect combination so that what we eat or drink totally loses its sweetness and increases its bitterness. Something that we can check if after brushing our teeth we drink orange juice.

This compound, like all surfactant detergents, can cause skin and eye irritation because it removes oils and fats from the skin, which in some sensitive people may be unfavorable.

However, it is one of the most investigated chemicals by both activists and international organizations and no side effects have been noticed to date , beyond our temporary loss of taste.