Why Does Drinking Orange Juice After Brushing Your Teeth Taste So Bad?

why orange juice and toothpaste taste bad


Welcome to Question Bros Ask, our collection of questions you didn’t know you needed to know the answer to.

We’ve all been there.

You wake up in the morning and go about your daily routine, jumping in the shower, brushing your teeth, and trying to prevent yourself from pooping for long enough so you can take a dump on company time.

If you’re one of those people who still thinks breakfast is the most important meal of the day despite evidence to the contrary, you might also grab a quick bite to eat before you head out the door and perhaps wash it down with the beverage of your choice.

I’m personally not a big coffee guy—I already have enough existential anxiety on my hands to deal with the jitters it gives me—nor am I a big fan of scurvy, which means orange juice is my beverage of choice in the morning.

Unfortunately, as you probably know, the combination of toothpaste and orange juice is the culinary equivalent of hand sanitizer and a paper cut, which can make life rather difficult when I want to get my OJ on after taking care of my teeth.

However, I’ve never totally understood exactly why the combination is so horrid so I decided to do a little investigating to see why orange juice and toothpaste taste like a turd sandwich.

Here’s what I discovered.

Why Do Orange Juice And Toothpaste Taste So Bad Together?

why orange juice and toothpaste taste bad

iStockphoto / Pixbay

To answer the question, we turn to the experts at Colgate, who know a thing or two about toothpaste.

It turns out the primary culprit is a little substance called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), an ingredient responsible for creating the suds that form when you brush your teeth (it’s also found in a number of other products that generate bubbles, including soap and shaving cream).

While SLS might help make your teeth cleaner, it also comes with a couple of side effects, the most notable of which is your palate’s inability to detect sweet flavors. The article notes toothpaste also has a numbing effect on phospholipid, which is responsible for reducing bitter tastes.

One serving of orange juice contains around seven grams of sugar—around one-fourth of your recommended daily intake—which is largely responsible for canceling out the bitterness found in most citruses.

As a result, when your tongue loses the ability to perform some of its most important duties, you get blasted in the mouth with a fistful of ass.

If you’re looking to combat this full frontal assault on your taste buds, you can always eat breakfast before brushing your teeth (but you’ll have to wait 30 minutes before doing so to avoid the risk of destroying your enamel).

Damn you, SLS. Damn you straight to hell.

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Connor Toole avatar and headshot for BroBible
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.