You get up, brush your teeth, and then make a hot coffee to start your day. If you have done this ritual, you may have noticed that the sweet smell of coffee does not match the feeling of the first chips, sometimes the taste is more bitter than you expected. Did we get it right?
You are well aware that science can explain this strange (often unpleasant) taste that we notice when we eat or drink something after a while. Brushing teeth. The “culprit” is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which blocks the taste receptors that detect the sweetness of food.
Chemical material responsible for formation There is foam and soap action during brushing.
Food researcher Rosie Alderson describes SLS as a surfactant, meaning it has a fat-loving end (hydrophobic) and a water-loving end (hydrophilic). According to the article she wrote in Everyday science, A site that publishes texts on science and technology in our daily lives, this material is also used in detergents and shower gels.
Action on toothpaste
Then you may ask yourself: But if there is this effect, why is this chemical used in toothpaste? It is used because of its ability to reduce the surface pressure of water.
SLS molecules line the surface of the water away from the surface of the tongue, along with liquids such as fat and water. “This process helps to stabilize the bubbles so they do not burst immediately, but remain stable,” the expert explains.
This ability of SLS to create bubbles is useful in toothpaste because it facilitates the spread of foam that forms during brushing. It acts as a kind of soap, kills bacteria and helps reduce plaque.
In addition, SLS molecules can bind to receptors on the tongue, allowing them to taste sweeter – and they temporarily block the action of those receptors.
In addition, the Phospholipids, The fatty molecules of the tongue that block the bitter receptors are removed by SLS, which means you feel more of the bitter taste of the food.
It is these two combined effects that make food and drink, especially sweet things, taste different after brushing teeth.