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Did You Know? Swimming Can Harm Your Teeth

June 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmarchese @ 6:43 pm
birds eye view of a young boy in a yellow shirt in a swimming pool looking up and smiling with eyes closed

This summer has seen some of the hottest days ever tracked in our known history, and what better way to beat record-breaking heat than to go for a swim? Though swimming is a popular and healthy summer activity, many are unaware that there are hidden risks involved in swimming that can potentially damage your teeth and result in a need for emergency dental care. Read on to find out how and what you can do!

How Can Chlorine Harm My Teeth?

Public pools can be a hot spot during the sweltering summer months and chlorine is often used in these pools to kill disease-causing germs. There is a hidden risk to prolonged exposure to chlorinated water, though, as it increases the chances of swimmer’s calculus. This is a condition in which the chlorine leaves residue deposits on your teeth, wearing down the enamel and causing discoloration.  Typically, swimmer’s calculus impacts those who:

  • Swim daily
  • Soak in the hot tub every night
  • Spend six hours or more a week in chlorinated water

How Do I Know If Chlorine Is Damaging My Teeth?

Typical signs of swimmer’s calculus include:

  • Teeth become discolored (yellow or brown)
  • The edges of your teeth may look transparent
  • Dental sensitivity when consuming extremely hot or cold foods

How Can I Protect My Teeth from Chlorine in Pools?

Fortunately, there are many ways you can avoid contain damaging levels of chlorine and protect your teeth from harm while still enjoying the pool, such as:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend in chlorinated water. Try swimming in a natural body of water, if that is an option for you!
  • In public pools, pay attention to signs of erosion in areas like pool linings, railings, and ladders. If there is damage, you may want to consider swimming elsewhere.
  • If you are a homeowner with a pool, check the pool’s pH balance weekly and have a professional regularly treat and maintain your pool.
  • Rinse your mouth with tap water after swimming.
  • Ensure you brush with fluoride toothpaste twice daily to strengthen your enamel.
  • Keep up with regular dental visits to catch any signs of erosion early.

Are There Other Risks to My Teeth While Swimming?

Other risks to your teeth associated with swimming revolve around water sports and activities. Here are some other common dental risks associated with swimming and how to keep your smile safe:

  • Mouth injuries from high-contact sports like water polo or water volleyball. Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums during water sports and games.
  • Tooth squeeze, or barodontalgia, can impact divers and snorkelers as pressure changes in the water can cause pain or potentially damage fillings, crowns, and dentures. It may be helpful to visit your dentist to look for loose restorations before your next dive.
  • Lost dental devices like retainers or dentures. Remove your retainer before you swim or use a denture adhesive to secure dentures and ensure the water does not loosen them.

These simple precautions can help you avoid damaging your teeth during those hot summer swims!

About the Practice

At Arbor Dental Care, you can expect advanced quality of care for you and the entire family provided by a skilled father-daughter dental team. Dr. Frank Marchese has provided dental care for 30 years and is committed to incorporating current techniques, technologies, and products into his practice. His daughter, Dr. Jeanelle “Nellie” Marchese is proud to provide excellent and comfortable care alongside her father. If you are concerned about chlorine damage to your teeth or suffered a tooth-related injury, you can contact visit the website or call (630) 969-2310 to set up an appointment.

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