Yuck. Orange Juice After Brushing - Why Does It Taste So Bad?

Blech. Why does orange juice taste so bad after brushing? Get the juicy details, plus a genius hack to fix it.
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Get the Juicy Details

Some things in life just don’t mix: the gym and French fries, my dad’s bedroom slippers at fancy restaurants, and the big one ... orange juice and toothpaste. YUCK!

How can such an a-peeling (sorry) breakfast go-to like orange juice taste so bad after teeth brushing? Keep reading for all the juicy details, plus find out how to sidestep the problem.

Why Does Orange Juice Taste Bad After Brushing Teeth?

Who knew one little acronym could cause so much drama when we’re trying to enjoy a glass of orange juice with our healthy egg-white spinach omelet – er, bowl of fruity breakfast cereal? But it’s true: it’s all about that SLS, aka sodium lauryl sulfate.

SLS is a popular surfactant found in many toothpastes. It gives them that bubbly foaming action, which helps spread the toothpaste around in our mouths.

Unfortunately, it also gives orange juice that nasty bitter taste if you take a drink too soon after toothbrushing. Here’s why:

  • It temporarily suppresses the "sweet" receptors on our taste buds. That means our taste buds simply can’t detect the sweetness of our OJ.
  • It breaks up phospholipids. These are the compounds that block the tongue’s "bitter" receptors. That’s why we get a whole lot of bitter with our OJ, without the sweet.

Side note: If you’re prone to recurrent canker sores and aren’t sure why, SLS could be to blame. Learn more: Is Your Toothpaste Giving You Canker Sores?

No Biggie. I’ll Just Brush My Teeth After Orange Juice, Right?

Gulp. This may not taste as bitter, but you may end up bitter about the results.

Contrary to popular belief, brushing your teeth right after meals is actually a really bad idea, especially if you’re having acidic food or drinks like orange juice.

That’s because acid puts the enamel into a temporarily weakened state, making it softer and more prone to damage, decay and tooth discoloration. So if you go all gung-ho with your toothbrush when your teeth are already bathed in acid, you’re putting yourself at risk for yellow teeth, sensitive teeth and cavities.

What to do instead: Wait at least 30 minutes to brush after you’ve had orange juice or any other acidic food or drink. This will give your mouth time to make fresh saliva, which will help restore healthy pH in the mouth. In the meantime, give your mouth a good swish with water to help remove acid.

Pro Tip: Not sure if something is super acidic? Keep these three ‘F’ words in mind: Fizz, Fruit and Favorites (coffee and alcohol).

Have Your Orange Juice and Drink It Too! Switch to SLS Free Toothpaste.

If you don’t want to wait 30 minutes to brush AFTER having orange juice, we get it. Mornings are often rushed enough. And besides, most of us like to brush first thing to get rid of morning breath.

So here’s how to avoid the OJ/toothpaste icky-taste conundrum: switch to an SLS-free toothpaste, like Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Lemon Mint Toothpaste.

Sure, it’s our most popular toothpaste, and yes, it’s SLS free, but there’s lots more to love about it ...

  • All-day fresh breath: This is no my-mouth-only-feels-fresh-a-few-minutes toothpaste. Only Oxyfresh toothpaste is formulated with Oxygene®, our proprietary, non-toxic ingredient that dissolves stinky sulfur compounds on contact (the bad boys that cause bad breath). Plus, it’s paired with zinc for even more breath-freshening power.
  • Amazing taste: Forget harsh, burn-your-mouth toothpastes. Fresh Breath Lemon Mint Toothpaste is light, refreshing and tastes amazing with a blissful blend of 7 natural citrus and mint essential oils – yep, including orange!
  • Fluoride free: Many people want to go fluoride-free, and if you’re one of them, that doesn’t mean you need to worry about decay. Oxyfresh Lemon Mint Toothpaste touts a trio of plaque fighters: Oxygene®, zinc and xylitol natural sweetener to keep your smile healthy and free of decay.

Orange you glad you’re in the know? Now that you understand why orange juice and toothpaste don’t make for a winning breakfast combination, try either of the strategies above. Wait 30 minutes and brush after your glass of OJ or simply switch to Oxyfresh SLS-free Lemon Mint Toothpaste.

Oxyfresh Lemon Mint Toothpaste Review

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Meet the Author

Tom Lunneborg is the Co-Chief Operating Officer & Chief Sales Officer for Oxyfresh. His favorite part of the job is hearing customers share their amazing results. When he’s not leading the team in reaching big goals, like landing us in nationwide stores, you’ll likely find him pulling some pretty epic office pranks, like his signature surprise confetti cannon blasts. Tom also enjoys boating, camping, fishing, and hanging out with his wife, three beautiful daughters, fur-boy Brodi, and standoffish goldfish Moola. To connect, email TomL@Oxyfresh.com.