2 Dec 2013
Here’s a cigar suggestion you might not have heard: change your toothpaste.
Chances are you’re using a conventional toothpaste in a tube that contains a sodium-based chemical known as a surfactant. It’s the ingredient that makes toothpaste—and a host of other products from detergents to surfboard wax—spread better and helps create toothpaste’s foam.
I don’t know of anything wrong with these chemicals or any potential danger from using them. But they can mess up your taste buds, sometimes reducing the ability to experience sweetness and making bitterness more intense. How intense the disruption is, and how long it lasts, seem to vary among individuals and use.
Let me confess that my knowledge is based mainly on reading and my own experience, and I’m surely no expert. So I need to add a disclaimer. I’m not a dentist or a doctor and have never even played one on TV. So, before you do anything, you might want to consult with your health professional.
Finding a toothpaste or powder without surfactants, the most common of which in toothpaste go by the abbreviations SLS and SLES, is pretty simple. Just do a Google search and by the time you type “toothpaste without” you’ll start to see responses.
I switched a while back to Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder at the suggestion of my dental hygienist. It’s an all-natural product, and I should note that while I like it, some dislike the taste. Perhaps the most widely known toothpaste without SLS is sold under the Tom’s of Maine label.
I’ve never thought I had a particularly good set of taste buds—or olfactory receptors, for that matter. I think switching to Christopher’s Powder has helped, though I couldn’t say how much. See what switching does for you.
photo credit: Flickr