Thursday, December 04, 2008

DDYK 12/4 - A Bad Taste In Your Mouth

Did you ever wonder why everything you eat tastes like crap after you brush your teeth? Me, too. There's actually a real reason that happens.

Most toothpastes contain either sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), whose job is to lower the surface tension of liquids. These chemicals are added to your toothpastes to help create foam and spread the goods all over mouth while you brush.

That's the practical use of them, anyway. The by-product is that these chemicals temporarily supress the taste bud receptors that detect sweetness while also breaking up the receptors that protect us from bitterness. So as a result, our orange juice tastes like a monkey's dingleberries after a good tooth-brushing because a chemical in the paste is killing our ability to taste sweetness and enhancing our ability to taste bitterness.

So we kind of lose twice when we brush our teeth, which is exactly why I never do it.

(Today's Daily Did-You-Know source: mentalfloss.com)

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