Summer days are perfectly spent around the neighborhood pool. While many parents worry about sunburns or jumping too close to the edge, there is another less obvious risk that swimming pools can bring. Did you know that chlorinated water can damage your teeth? While an occasional dip in the pool is nothing to worry about, if your child is all-day splasher or swims competitively, you may need to take some precautions to protect their smile.

The problem with pool water and your dental health comes down to chlorine and acidity. Just like chlorine water can turn your hair green or your skin super dry over time, it can also produce some consequences on your teeth. Acidic water can damage or weaken the enamel of your teeth. This can cause sensitivity, staining and extra plaque development. “Swimmer’s calculus” is the term for the brown deposits of plaque that can form on the teeth of athletic swimmers. Don’t worry; you don’t have to make your kids stay out of the pool all summer to avoid extra dental visits. There are some things you can do to ensure your daily dips in the pool don’t compromise your smile health.

Check the pH.  Most pools are kept at a pH of 7.2 to 7.8. However, if your pool manager or lifeguard allows the water to get more acidic, your teeth are susceptible to damage.

Close your lips. If you don’t open your mouth in the water, your teeth can’t be bathed in chlorine. Encourage your kids to keep a tight mouth when going under water.

Drink water when toweling off.  Another way to protect your teeth after a long swim is to rinse with your mouth out with fresh drinking water as you get your body dry. This helps your mouth return to a neutral pH.

At West Hill Family Dental, we want to keep you away from unplanned dental visits this summer. For more dental safety tips or to schedule your routine dental checkup, call our office today!

Posted on behalf of West Hill Family Dental