July is here, which means summer is already halfway through! To escape the intense heat, you may be spending more and more time poolside. Although this is a great way to get some exercise and cool off, it’s important to know that swimming can be bad for your teeth. To protect your smile this summer, keep reading for the link between chlorine and your oral health.
The Link Between Chlorine and Your Oral Health
According to the American Chemistry Council, ear pain, skin rashes, and coughing were just a few symptoms that people struggled with before chlorine was added to pools. So, it’s easy to see why this chemical is so essential. However, prolonged exposure can erode the enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and dental discoloration. Named “swimmer’s calculus,” this condition is found most often in swimmers who spent more than six hours a week in chemically treated water. With that being said, it’s better to be safe than sorry and protect your smile while at the pool this summer.
Tips for Protecting Your Smile at the Pool
To keep your teeth bright and healthy, make sure to implement the below best practices:
- Check the pH balance of the pool – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If you can’t find this information, look for erosion on the pool linings, railings, and ladders. This indicates that the pool water is too acidic.
- Wear a mouthguard – If you play water polo or volleyball, the last thing you want is for an accidental elbow or rogue ball to knock out one or more of your teeth. Fortunately, a custom mouthguard from your dentist can help protect your smile from sustaining a serious dental injury.
- Practice good oral hygiene – To keep your teeth and gums in pristine condition, brush for two full minutes twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash regularly. You should also rinse your mouth with water after you’re finished swimming and avoid poor dental habits, like chewing on ice and consuming too much sugar.
Why You Should Visit Your Dentist This Summer
It may be hard to believe, but 2021 is already halfway through. So, if you haven’t visited your dentist for your first dental checkup and cleaning of the year, now is the time to do so! These appointments play an essential role in catching problems like tooth decay and oral cancer in the early stages. Plus, a professional cleaning will clean all of the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth to prevent dental issues from developing in the future.
If going to the pool is one of your favorite summertime activities, you’ll be happy to know you don’t have to give it up for the sake of your oral health. Just keep the above best practices in mind to keep your smile in pristine condition throughout the season!
About the Practice
At West Brookfield Dental, our multi-specialty team is united behind a simple, but important, mission: to provide nearby patients with the high-quality dentistry they deserve. At our state-of-the-art dental office, we are proud to offer a wide array of smile-enhancing treatments, from essential preventive care to much-needed restorative services. If you are struggling with tooth sensitivity or are simply overdue for your six-month checkup, don’t hesitate to get in touch via our website or by phone at 508-867-2777.