Good dental hygiene is one of the most important things in regards to your overall health. Brushing your teeth only a few times a day can save you from dental cavities as well as various other diseases that affect the teeth and gums. Recently, people have started to claim that this is not the only thing that brushing your teeth helps. Some of them claim that brushing your teeth also affects your appetite. For some people, it reduces it completely, while for others it starts stimulating them to eat more. These effects are especially noticeable during nighttime, when people have sugar cravings.
Dietitians have been looking into this for the longest time. So far, they have not found any correlation between a person’s appetite and brushing teeth. It is much more likely that people are having these cravings because of the time of day and not because they brushed their teeth more or less during the day. People usually brush their teeth at the beginning of the day as well as at night, as the last thing they do before going to sleep. When you brush your teeth as the first thing you do in the morning, and then eat immediately afterwards, your brain becomes conditioned into thinking that every time you brush your teeth you intend to eat right after. On the other hand, people that brush their teeth as the last thing they do, usually have no appetite, and their brain is conditioned to start putting them to sleep as soon as they are finished with brushing teeth. Now people still need to test what exactly happens if you were to brush our teeth in the middle of a meal.
Basically all of this seems to be connected more to your brain than to brushing teeth. It is more down to the way we have conditioned ourselves to certain behaviors. People are creatures of habit, and this is just one habit that is more pronounced than others. Studies on this phenomenon are superficial at best, and this makes sense as this is not a subject matter that affects many people.
Still, there are things that may potentially affect your appetite after brushing teeth. Specifically, the flavor of the toothpaste a person uses. Most of the toothpastes around today have mint as their flavor. Mint is usually used as something to refresh yourself after a hardy meal. But these toothpastes can also be sweet, and that sensation might start up your appetite when you otherwise feel satiated. Again, researchers have looked into this, and what they found is that the amounts of flavor in a toothpaste are barely enough to make you hungry. If there were additional stimuli like an aroma or strong scent it can potentially push you to hunger, but it is unlikely.
Lastly the effect on our taste buds is also something that needs to be considered. Most toothpastes contain sodium laureth sulfate. This compound makes the toothpaste foamy, but it also acts as a suppressant for the sweetness effect of the paste on our taste buds. This same compound also intensifies the bitter taste of the tooth paste. This is why citruses like oranges or grapefruits taste so strange immediately after brushing your teeth. This in turn may be the reason you lose your appetite, as the brain remembers the unpleasant sensation after you eat one of these fruits immediately after brushing your teeth.
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