The magazine Popular Science asked the question, “Does brushing your teeth affect your appetite?” Registered dietician Leslie Bonci responded that there’s no scientific evidence proving that brushing affects appetite, but the question remains because many people anecdotally claim that brushing their teeth either stimulates or depresses their appetite.
Is It the Time of Day?
This postulated effect could possibly have something to do with the times of day that most of us brush our teeth. The majority of people brush their teeth first thing in the morning and right before bed at night. Brushing in the morning is a signal to your brain that you’re awake and it’s time to eat breakfast, while brushing at night before bed prompts many to say, “No thanks, I just brushed my teeth,” when offered a late snack before bed.
Is It the Toothpaste?
According the Popular Science article, it’s also possible the flavor of toothpaste might play a role in influencing a person’s hunger. The classic and most popular toothpaste flavor is mint, and it is thought of as refreshing. So maybe the idea of having an after dinner mint is tied to a physiological response — mint signifies the end of a meal for your body.
We all also know that food and drinks taste unusual if we eat immediately after brushing. This is because of the common toothpaste ingredient sodium laureth sulfate. It makes toothpastes easier to use, but also affects our sense of taste. It suppresses our sweet taste buds, so eating after brushing with this ingredient is certainly less appealing.
Either Way You Should Brush
No matter the true role of toothbrushing in appetite, we all should brush to have healthy teeth! Our Sacramento dentists provide treatment for cavities, gum disease, and root canal disorders, but most of these problems are avoided simply by regularly brushing your teeth, twice a day and with at least one use of dental floss. If you have questions or need to make your semi-annual cleaning appointment, please call the Sacramento Dentistry Group at 916-538-6900, use our website to request an exam or visit us at 1105 E Street in downtown Sacramento.