It’s Summertime! The sun is boiling the sidewalk and sitting inside of your car is like submitting yourself to a sweltering torture test. You reach into your trunk, pull out your towel, and either slide on some noisy flip-flops or wince-hop from shady pavement to shady pavement, all the way to the pool. On arrival, you take a second to enjoy the rippling sight of it, grinning in excitement before jumping into the pool and savoring the cool burst of relief.
Summer is Swim Season, and people flock to beaches, lakes and pools in huge masses. But when it comes to pools and chlorine, your beautiful smile might not be as excited as the rest of you. That’s because, according to research by the New York University College of Dentistry, chlorinated water can erode or stain the enamel in your teeth. Scientists determined that excessively chlorinated water contains low pH levels, making the water more acidic. Exposing our teeth to the acidic water for too long can lead to the formation of hard brown or yellow deposits of tartar, all while potentially dissolving our teeth.
“How can you tell which water is likely to be ‘excessively chlorinated’?” you might ask. Well, public pools tend to be the biggest offenders. That’s because pools often sanitize using chlorine gas, rather than chlorine granules. Using gas leads to more hydrochloric acid in the water, subsequently lowering the pH levels and raising the acidity. If you ever take a dip and notice your eyes tearing up or your nose feeling a burning sensation after smelling the water, it’s probably considerably acidic. Even worse — poorly maintained pools can become breeding grounds for the coxsackie virus, especially in children. You’ll know you have it when you experience high fevers and sores on the roof of your mouth!
A report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that 39% of a swimming team showed signs of dental enamel erosion, and 15% of studied frequent swimmers had similar symptoms, including gritty, transparent, yellow and/or painful teeth. So follow these 4 Swim Suggestions to ensure your pearly whites come out all right! Dr. Jill Smith at Dental Health and Wellness Boston wanted to share with her readers and her patients these valuable facts and tips to protect your teeth.
1) Keep Your Mouth Closed Underwater. This may sound like a no-brainer, but it happens more often than you might think.
2) Drink a Glass of Fresh Water After Exiting the Pool. This neutralizes all that CIH acid and rinses away the problem.
3) (If you own the pool in question) Buy Pool pH Test Strips. Keep the pH in the 7.2 — 7.8 range.
4) If you do notice stains, discoloration or pain, Visit Dental Health and Wellness Boston and Speak With a Dentist! Dr. Jill Smith and her talented staff offer a wide range of healthy dental products such as GC Mi Paste to re-mineralize and strengthen your teeth and are trained and experienced in dental cleanings and recoloring, and we provide a number of whitening services such as KOR “WOW White”deep bleaching and BriteSmile Whitening to help you achieve a beautiful smile.
Dr. Smith and her staff of dental professionals are equipped to help you with this and any other dental need you might have. If you’d like to schedule a screening, book an appointment, get a cleaning, or ask other questions, please contact us online or at (617) 910-4780.