An Appetite for Brushing

One of the primary reasons that the Placerville Dental Group encourages tooth brushing is so that you can use your teeth properly throughout your life. It also helps our mouths feel clean and fresh, so we can enjoy the tastes of different foods. Interestingly, many individuals claim that brushing their teeth affects their appetite — some say it increases their appetite, while others report a loss of appetite after brushing their teeth. The question therefore arises, “Does brushing your teeth truly affect your appetite?”

Looking for Appetite Links

Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of research into either of these claims. Dieticians continue to look for any measurable correlation between tooth brushing and appetite. In 2017, Popular Science magazine released an article investigating possible connections between appetite and brushing. Although their research showed no definitive link between the hormones that regulate appetite and the act of tooth brushing, they offered a list of possible influences that might come into play.

Mental Conditioning — your appetite might be affected by your routine. Most people brush their teeth as the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. When you brush your teeth in the morning, your body might take it as a signal that breakfast is coming up soon, so it releases the hormones that affect appetite. Conversely, brushing at night signals the body that bedtime is near, so the appetite may be suppressed.

Toothpaste Options — the flavor of toothpaste might also help to hinder a person’s appetite. Most toothpastes come in a version of mint. For some people, this minty freshness helps them get ready for other flavors in their next meal. Then again, many people forego food to enjoy that minty freshness as long as possible. In either of these cases, the body is adapting to a regular routine — suppressing or increasing appetite based on whether a meal is one of the next steps or not.

Chemical Reaction — a common ingredient in most toothpastes is sodium laureth sulfate. This surfactant makes toothpaste foamy and easier to spread around. However, it has a significant effect on human taste buds, suppressing the ability to detect sweetness while intensifying our sense of bitterness.

We’re Here to Help

Of course, the main point is to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, supplemented by flossing. That way, your teeth are ready to do their job whenever you’re ready to satisfy your appetite. We encourage you to come in and see us at the Placerville Dental Group! Give us a call or schedule an appointment online. We’re happy to discuss your teeth, your toothpaste, your appetite, and how to use them all in a way that brings you the most benefits.

Mar 12, 2020 | Oral Maintenance


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