Chlorine and Your TeethIt’s important to know how swimming affects your teeth so that you can keep your smile healthy and bright all summer long. Many people associate the strong smell of chlorine with swimming and it brings up lots of happy poolside memories. Chlorine is added to pool water to help make the water safe by fighting bacteria that could make people sick, but it’s also a chemical that can have negative effects. If too much chlorine is added to pool water, it can actually damage the outer layer of your teeth and lead to increased dental sensitivity. But even at proper levels, chlorine can also cause a condition called “swimmer’s calculus” that can lead to staining or discoloration of your teeth. Swimmer’s calculus usually only affects people who spend 6 hours or more a week in chlorinated water, but that can be pretty common during hot summers, especially if you have easy access to a pool nearby! Swimming is such a great way to cool off!
How to Protect Your TeethIf you find yourself spending a lot of time in the pool during the summer, talk to your dentist about how to protect your teeth from the risks of chlorine. Your dentist might recommend additional fluoride treatments to help strengthen your teeth or more frequent dental cleanings to help ensure that any residue from the chemicals in pool water are promptly cleaned away.
Other Risks by the WaterWhen learning about how swimming affects your teeth, it’s also important to consider your activities in the water! Do you play sports like volleyball, basketball, or other fun games with your family or friends? If so, talk with your dentist about dental safety in the pool! Protecting your smile doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful — it can be as simple as slipping on a mouthguard before jumping into a quick pickup game — but practicing dental safety can help to keep you healthy and having fun all summer long!
Call our Helotes Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.