Does Pool Water Damage Your Oral Health?

Does Pool Water Damage Your Oral Health?

Chlorine is necessary for killing harmful bacteria that can linger in swimming pools. However, the chlorine in pool water can also be damaging to your teeth. Here are some factors to keep in mind whether you own your own pool or just go swimming in one frequently.

THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF CHLORINE

Frequent swimmers who spend more than six hours per week in chlorinated water are at risk for developing a condition known as “swimmer’s calculus.” This occurs when chlorine leaves residue on your teeth, leading to yellow or brown discoloration. Improper levels of chlorine in a pool contribute to a pH balance that can erode tooth enamel, which heightens sensitivity and leaves your teeth more vulnerable to decay. That is why it is important to monitor the pH balance of your pool to make sure it stays within the CDC recommendations of 7.2 to 7.8. If possible, hire a professional to maintain your pool’s chemical treatment levels.

PROTECTING YOUR TEETH WHILE YOU SWIM

Luckily, you do not have to miss out on the fun of swimming in a backyard or public pool next summer. There are a few steps you can take to minimize the damaging effects of chlorine on your oral health. Try your best to keep your mouth closed while you are in a pool, and always rinse and brush your teeth after going swimming. If you swim enough to be at risk for swimmer’s calculus, you might want to look for a toothpaste with added calcium, phosphorus, or baking soda to protect your teeth from the acid found in pool water. Finally, chlorine can damage the plastic on orthodontic appliances like retainers, so make sure to remove retainers before swimming. Contact our office to learn more about the effect of pool water on your oral health.

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