According to a statistic gathered by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals in 2017, there are nearly 10.4 million residential pools and over 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States. It’s no surprise that swimming is one of America’s favorite pastimes! Although swimming is considered a low impact sport and a fun way to enjoy a hot summer afternoon, pools have a drawback: chlorine.
You may be thinking, “but chlorine keeps me and my family safe from germs.” This is true, however, chlorine can affect your teeth and gums. Chlorine is a cleaning agent that makes water acidic, and acid can mess with your mouth by reducing saliva production. Saliva production is an essential part of a healthy mouth. It protects the enamel on your teeth and keeps unwanted germs from lingering, but when an acidic solution gets in the way, your enamel can be exposed and vulnerable to the following:
- Stained Teeth: Without that extra saliva aiding in the extermination of bacteria, those tooth-staining foods and beverages have the chance to discolor your smile.
- Tooth Sensitivity: An increase in acid from a pool can weaken the nerves in your teeth, which can lead to pain while eating and drinking.
- Tooth Decay and Gum Disease: A lack of saliva can lead to a surge of germs and bacteria. Without saliva to wash away those remaining food particles and germs, your mouth is prone to decay and disease.
Do I Need to Steer Clear from the Pool?
Don’t worry! As long as you educate yourself and family about chlorine exposure and take the appropriate measure to protect your mouth, you are good to go! Consider these tips before diving in:
- Pack a toothbrush! While packing your swim bag, grab your brush, and enjoy a few minutes of cleaning after you’ve gone for a dip in the water.
- Remain hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids can aid in the production of saliva, which will prevent dry mouth and protect your teeth.
- Keep your mouth shut while swimming and make sure to inform your children about the dangers of drinking pool water!
Have a question? Contact us to learn more about keeping your smile healthy and glowing.