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  #1  
Old 04 October 2012, 07:23 PM
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Icon81 Toothpaste + orange juice = death

Comment: I've been seeing these posts about using toothpaste before orange
juice can kill you. (Toothpaste before orange juice, dead.) I think this
is a complete myth, but I was wondering what the reason is for this myth
coming about, and the truth about what it means. In a search engine I saw
some things about chemical reactions from toothpaste changing the flavors
of things like Orange juice, but how did this progress to death, and where
did this originate from?
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  #2  
Old 04 October 2012, 07:26 PM
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It does taste really bad, but you don't die from it.
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  #3  
Old 19 October 2012, 05:48 PM
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I have a friend who would presumably have died in high school were this true. He does tell tales of the "orange juice-toothpaste reaction," which (IIRC) causes calcium carbonate to form in your mouth, feeling very weird on the teeth. I may not have that correct, but death, no. (If it were true, given that both toothpaste and orange juice are commonly used in the morning, I think we'd all have been warned about it long ago.)
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Old 19 October 2012, 06:35 PM
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Independent of whether or not you drank orange juice, if you (or especially a child) swallow a significant amount of toothpaste you should call poison control or consult a physician immediately.

Swallowing "a lot" of regular toothpaste can cause pain and even intestinal blockage. Fluoride is poisonous (if you swallow too much).

A medical professional can tell you how much is "a lot" is. My understanding is an occasional accidental swallow when tooth brushing is no danger, but don't make a habit of it. Eating toothpaste out of the tube is bad, though.
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  #5  
Old 19 October 2012, 07:00 PM
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Both DH and I were told by our respective (different) dentists not to brush my teeth after drinking orange juice for another reason - the toothpaste could spread around the citrus, which serves as an acid, and can end up leading to tooth erosion.
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  #6  
Old 19 October 2012, 08:46 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
Both DH and I were told by our respective (different) dentists not to brush my teeth after drinking orange juice for another reason - the toothpaste could spread around the citrus, which serves as an acid, and can end up leading to tooth erosion.
I think a couple people could use new dentists.
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  #7  
Old 19 October 2012, 09:36 PM
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So, you can drink the orange juice, but not spread it around your mouth

I guess I should stop rinsing my mouth with orange juice then
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  #8  
Old 20 October 2012, 01:50 AM
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I'll bet that is a perversion of what I read the other day. that article was saying not to brush for a half hour after drinking oj or other citrus because the acid weakened the enamel and brushing too soon could cause damage. That was a health article of dubious reference but it at least makes some sense.
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  #9  
Old 22 October 2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
I think a couple people could use new dentists.
Not at all, the information is correct.
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  #10  
Old 22 October 2012, 11:16 AM
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I've also been told not to drink anything except water within half an hour before brushing my teeth. Acidic food and drinks soften the enamel and brushing will damage the roughened surface. Drinking oj immediately after brushing would just take horrible.
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  #11  
Old 22 October 2012, 11:02 PM
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I've seen a similar thing, but I think it went like this:
Beer before liquor, never sicker.
Toothpaste before orange, dead.

I am pretty sure it wasn't intended to be a statement about whether or not there is actual medical danger there, but that the taste you get drinking the orange juice after brushing your teeth is just so awful that it's worse than being sick and hungover.

Or am I just stating the obvious that everyone already knew?

PS Hi again, it's been years.
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  #12  
Old 23 October 2012, 06:43 PM
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Default Orange Juice and Toothpaste

If I might chime in, perhaps I can clarify. Although I would never presume to be all-knowing, a few years as a health care professional has lead me across this question once or twice.

The issue at hand is that most toothpastes are actually abrasive to tooth enamel. Indeed, I often brush with nothing more than a dip in mouthwash to avoid such abrasion. The combination of scrubbing with abrasive agent and an effectively caustic [acidic] substance is that, yes, they work in concert to break down enamel.

The solution? Swish with water FIRST to get that OJ out BEFORE brushing. Eliminate as much acid as possible prior to foaming your fangs. That includes sodas, diet powered drinks, etc.

Happy Dentition!

Newbie [old lurker]
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  #13  
Old 24 October 2012, 04:13 AM
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My guess is someone used "toothpaste+orange juice= death" in a humorous way to exaggerate how nasty the taste is then someone took the joke literally.

Is the nasty taste only from mint toothpaste, or is it caused by something in the toothpaste itself other than the flavor?
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  #14  
Old 24 October 2012, 09:31 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
Not at all, the information is correct.
I can't find a reliable source that says that it is. Some sources that might be reliable (like dentists) can't seem to link to an actual study of that shows a medically significant (as opposed to a statistically significant) affect.

If it is a pH affect then a rinse or two with water will swing the pH of the mouth up pretty close to 7. Besides, AFAIK toothpaste is pretty well pH buffered so it should almost instantly swing the pH of the tooth surface, and entire mouth, up near 7 if not higher.

Pubmed has several articles on the affect of orange juice (and other acids) on the loss of tooth enamel with and without brushing. The numbers I see are that the thickness of enamel lost is down near the wave length of light (couple hundred nanometers of thickness) and even that requires brushing directly with OJ or repeating the entire process many times.
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