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Swimming and Your Teeth: What You Need to Know

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Swimming is one of the most popular activities during the summer. With summer here, it is very important that you be aware of the effects of swimming on your teeth and what you can do to protect your teeth from the chlorine. Though chlorine is safe to drink in small amounts, it can have a negative impact on your teeth when you are exposed to large amounts of it for extended periods of time, such as over the summer.

Condition: Swimmer's Calculus

This particular condition occurs when the chlorine sticks and creates a residue on your teeth. The result is often a discoloration, causing your teeth to turn a light-colored brown. While it is true that this is unattractive, it is an easy condition to prevent. The best way to prevent swimmer's calculus is to ensure that the pH balance of your swimming pool is kept at the appropriate levels. You should also make certain that you are always swimming with your mouth closed. At the end of your swimming sessions, rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove any chlorine from your mouth.

Condition: Eroded Enamel

Apart from simply changing the color of your teeth, chlorine can also result in the erosion of tooth enamel. In most cases, this can also result in tooth sensitivity. Like previously mentioned, this condition can be prevented by maintaining proper levels of pH and keeping your mouth closed while swimming.

Condition: Tooth Squeeze

If you plan on going diving this summer, then you are at risk for developing a condition what is called tooth squeeze. If there are any pockets of air within your teeth when you go under water into a high-pressure environment, gases will expand or contract in order to match the pressure levels around. This can cause an extreme amount of pain in your teeth, especially for dental filling, bridges, crowns, etc.

Get a Fluoride Treatment

While you should visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning, it is a good idea to get a fluoride treatment at the beginning of the summer before you start engaging in a lot of swimming activities. This will help protect your teeth and ensure that your smile remains beautiful all summer long.

Aside from the fluoride treatment, you should also maintain your regular oral hygiene routine: brush twice daily and floss once daily.

If you would like more advice on how to protect your teeth while swimming or believe that your teeth have already suffered damage from chlorine, contact your local dentist and schedule an appointment for dental services.