Ever brush your teeth, then take a swig of orange juice only to curse yourself for drinking such a vile combination? Magazine and weblog Mental_Floss explains why this happens, and how to avoid it. The strong minty flavor is probably part of the problem, as you’d expect, but Mental_Floss notes that it goes deeper than that. Most toothpastes contain sodium laureth sulfate (and its counterparts, sodium lauryl ether sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate), which is responsible for making the toothpaste foam up in your mouth. Its also responsible for everything tasting bad afterward:
While surfactants make brushing our teeth a lot easier, they do more than make foam. Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. 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.
Basically, they enhance bitter tastes and inhibit sweet ones, making everything taste bad. There are lots of theories out there, but this is currently the most widely accepted one.
The solution? You could brush your teeth after breakfast, but many dental professionals say it’s better to brush beforehand. So, the better option is to search for an SLS-free toothpaste the next time you’re shopping. Speaking from experience, an SLS-free toothpaste changes everything—I used one for a little while and never had the “disgusting orange juice” debacle in the morning. Generally it doesn’t matter what kind of toothpaste you buy, but if you must brush your teeth before breakfast, buying one without SLS is a good idea. Of course, you could always brush your teeth in the shower, too.
By Whitson Gordon
Article appeared on www.Floss.com
It is important to follow the instructions from your dentist in order to maintain healthy gums. Improper brushing and flossing technique may actually irritate or traumatize the gum tissue.
- Any bleeding disorder
- Brushing too hard
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Improper flossing
- Infection, which can be either tooth- or gum-related
- Use of blood thinners
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Avoid the use of tobacco, which aggravates bleeding gums.
- Control gum bleeding by applying pressure directly on the gums with a gauze pad soaked in ice water.
- If you have been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, take recommended vitamin supplements.
- Avoid aspirin unless your health care provider has recommended that you take it.
- If side effects of medication are irritating, ask your doctor to recommend another medication. Never change your medication without consulting your doctor.
- Use an oral irrigation device on the low setting to massage the gums.
- See your dentist if your dentures do not fit correctly or if they are causing sore spots in your gums.
Each time you eat a snack containing sugar or starch (carbohydrates), the resulting acid attack on your teeth can last up to 20 minutes, and a lot of snacks and drinks contain sugar. How much sugar? A single can of pop contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar, and if you think that natural sugar (like the sugar in raisins or other fruit) is better for your teeth it’s not. Sugar is sugar, and the average Canadian consumes over 40 kilograms of sugar each year! Click here for a list of how much sugar your favorite snack might contain.
How can you defeat the sugar bug?
Beat the Clock – foods that are eaten during a meal usually pose less of a threat to teeth because of the additional saliva produced during mealtime eating. Saliva helps to wash food particles from your mouth and lessen the damage from acid.
Brush & floss those teeth – toothbrushing is important, and you should brush twice a day. Did you know that if you don’t floss, you miss cleaning up to 35% of each tooth? If you’re not sure how to floss, just ask your dentist.
Stock up on Dairy Products – yogurt and cheese, milk and milk products contain things that are good for your teeth. Everything that’s made from milk is a good source of calcium – an essential nutrient for the development of bones and teeth. Some scientific studies have shown that eating cheese might actually help to protect your teeth from cavities by preventing something called demineralization (the loss of important calcium in your teeth).
Above article from HealthTeeth.org
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