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So That Explains Why Everything Tastes Bad After Brushing

Go ahead and blame your toothpaste
by Mary Rose A. Hogaza | Nov 16, 2016
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It feels good to brush your teeth after eating, but eating after scrubbing your pearly whites could be a horrible experience.

While you're expecting to taste something sugary after consuming a spoonful of ice cream, you usually experience a bitter sensation instead. Sometimes you can't help but wonder: "Why the hell does food taste unpleasant right after brushing?"

Margielyn Jorgio, DMD, reveals that it's the fault of the toothpaste ingredient called sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), which is responsible for producing foam and making toothpaste easier to spread. It is also present in nearly all shampoos, soaps, mouthwashes, and detergents.

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She further explains: "Also known as surfactant, the content blocks the receptor of our taste buds inhibiting our ability to perceive sweet foods and drinks. That's why everything tastes bitter or weird when you eat something after brushing."


An article published in the Mental Floss adds that there are instances that the surfactant breaks up the phospholipids on our tongue. This reduces your ability to taste sweet and adds a nasty, acidic taste.

"These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they're broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced."

Fortunately, the after-brush taste doesn't last long. Jorgio notes: "Approximately after 30 minutes, your saliva will have diluted the leftover surfactants and your taste buds will be back to normal."

If you aren't too patient to wait for half an hour, you can always stick to some SLS-free toothpaste. 

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"Surfactant-free toothpastes aren't as foamy as other toothpastes which mean they won't be messing with your taste buds that much. Contrary to popular belief, good and effective toothpaste doesn't have to be foamy," Jorgio adds.

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