Who doesn’t love to spend a day by the pool in the summertime? According to a report compiled by the CDC in 2017, swimming is the most popular recreational activity for children and teens ages 7-17 years old. Although swimming is a healthy way to enjoy some vitamin D with your friends and family, exposure to chlorine can be detrimental to your teeth, unless you take the proper precautions.
Chemicals can affect your teeth and gums in different ways—chlorine included. The benefit of chlorine is that it keeps your pool water clean by creating at acidic environment, however acid can make it difficult for your mouth to produce saliva. Saliva production is an essential part of a healthy mouth, protecting the enamel on your teeth and keeping unwanted germs from lingering. But when an acidic solution gets in the way, your enamel can be exposed and vulnerable to the following:
1. Tooth Decay and Gum Disease: When the optimal saliva production isn’t met, this can lead to extra food particles and bacteria. Without saliva to wash away the remnants, bacteria can become prevalent.
2. Stained Teeth: Sans saliva, you aren’t equipped to clean your teeth properly after consuming tooth-staining foods and beverages. Ultimately, you will be left with a discolored smile.
3. Tooth Sensitivity: The more acids that come into contact with your enamel, the more susceptible you are to weakened nerves in your teeth, which can lead to pain while consuming food and beverages.
Do I Need to Steer Clear from the Pool?
Not at all! As long as you educate yourself on the effects of chlorine and take the proper measures to protect your teeth, you are in good shape. Consider these tips before diving in:
- Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids can aid the production of saliva, preventing dry mouth, therefore protecting your pearly whites.
- Pack a toothbrush! Before you dash out the door, grab your brush, and enjoy a few minutes of cleaning after you’ve gone for a dip in the water.
- Keep your mouth shut while swimming. Make sure to inform your children about the perils of drinking pool water too!
Feel free to contact us regarding your mouths health, we are here to help!