Simply Science: The toothpaste aftertaste

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - If your morningroutine puts brushing your teeth before eating breakfast, you know that juiceand toast with jelly doesn't taste so well after using toothpaste.

"Itis essentially like a soap, it's considered to be a detergent," says Associate Professor Jill Stoltenberg with the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

She's talking about sodium lauryl sulfate, and ingredient you'll find listed on the back of your tube of toothpaste. It'swhat makes your toothpaste foamy.

"Similarto what a detergent would do with your clothes in the laundry... Loosen thedirt from the clothes, it's going to loosen the bacteria from the teeth andhelp make it easier to remove the plaque and bacteria from the teeth," explains Stoltenberg.

There is an easy alternative to avoiding theingredient if you choose. A paste made of baking soda and water with a littlesalt for scrubbing action and peppermint oil for flavor is an old time remedy.

The Associate Professor advises, "Bakingsoda and water, certainly is a good thing to use on your teeth. The thingsthat's missing when we just use baking soda and water are some activeingredients that are really essential for good health, like fluoride forexample... An anti-decay ingredient."

Whichever paste you choose... she says tobrush twice a day for two minutes!


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