The best way to stay cool during a hot summer day in Texas is to jump into your local swimming pool. Everyone who has been to their local pool is more than familiar with the potent aroma of chlorine, which is used to keep the water clean of harmful bacteria.
While this chemical compound is used to keep you safe while you swim, you might be wondering how exposure to this chemical could affect your teeth. While chlorine is generally safe for most individuals, there are certain effects it can have on teeth, including slight discoloration.
Luckily, the average summer swimmer won’t see a significant impact from exposing their teeth to chlorine from a swimming pool. More often than not, competitive swimmers usually see this dental discoloration, often referred to as “swimmer’s stain” or “swimmer’s calculus.”
Chlorine and Teeth: How It Affects You And How To Protect Your Smile
Chlorine itself does not directly cause staining on teeth. However, prolonged exposure to chlorinated water, particularly in improperly balanced pools or frequent swimmers, can lead to dental discoloration and enamel erosion.
The main culprit behind the swimmer’s stain is the combination of chlorine and the minerals present in the water. When chlorine interacts with these minerals, it can form chemical compounds that lead to a poor PH balance in your mouth. This means the chlorine can adhere to the tooth enamel, causing staining and damaging your teeth’s appearance.
To better protect your teeth from chlorine exposure and swimmer’s stain, here are a few tips our dental professionals recommend:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Regularly brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss to remove plaque and prevent stains from adhering to the enamel.
- Rinse your mouth: After swimming, rinse your mouth with clean water to wash away any residual chlorine or pool chemicals.
- Visit your dentist: Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining oral health. Your dentist can identify and treat any stains or discoloration caused by chlorine exposure.
- Consider wearing a mouthguard: If you swim frequently, using a custom-fit mouthguard can offer an extra layer of protection for your teeth. It acts as a barrier between your teeth and the pool water, reducing direct contact and potential staining.
Remember, the likelihood of chlorine staining your teeth is relatively low, especially with proper oral hygiene practices. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential effects and take preventive measures to maintain a healthy smile.
If you’re concerned about tooth stains or discoloration, please make an appointment to see us at Rio Dental & Orthodontics. Our professionals take a comprehensive approach to dental care, meaning we want our patients to feel comfortable as we address their oral health needs and smile goals. No matter their age, we want all of our patients to look and feel their very best!
Please contact us now to schedule your family’s next dental checkup.