Protect Your Child’s Teeth from Chlorine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chlorine is “an antimicrobial agent used in drinking water and swimming pools.”

Taking a swim in the pool to cool off or relaxing in a Jacuzzi is a great way to enjoy your summer days. The last thing you’re thinking about is the harm you and your family may face from poor pH balance in chlorinated water.

Why is chlorine in swimming pools?

Bacteria can live in both hot and cold temperatures, but they thrive the most in warm, damp environments that have a neutral or low acidic pH balance, such as our swimming pools. For this reason, chlorine is added to pools to help prevent harmful bacteria from developing by controlling the pH level.

Having the correct chlorine levels in a public or private pool makes it safe for your family to play water games, swim, or just float and soak up some sun in a bacteria free atmosphere. According to the CDC, your pool’s pH should register between 7.2 to 7.8 to prevent any unwanted threats.

How can chlorine damage your teeth?

When your family is exposed to poor pH balance it can damage their teeth. Five common dental issues your family could face from over swimming in chlorinated pools may include the following:

  1. Swimmer’s Calculus: Chlorine can cause residue to stick to your teeth. This buildup can turn your teeth yellow or even brown, varying on your exposure. Swimmers who develop this condition typically spend over 6 hours a week in unbalanced chlorinated water.
  2. Tooth Sensitivity & Tooth Decay: Chlorine pools with an unsuitable or more acidic pH balance can cause your dental enamel to erode, leading to tooth decay.
  3. Mouth Injuries: Playing water polo or water volleyball can leave your family at risk for losing teeth or facing a jaw injury. We suggest that you and your family members wear a custom mouthguard when playing any sports.
  4. Dry Mouth: It is likely that you will accidentally swallow some pool water. However, this can cause dry mouth. Decreased saliva in your mouth will increase the risk of developing cavities and gum disease. Make sure you bring bottled water with you to the pool to stay hydrated.
  5. Lost Dental Devices: Be sure to secure your plastic dental devices such as retainers and Invisalign trays before swimming. They can get lost or damaged in the pool. If you have a partial or full denture, it is recommended that you use a denture adhesive to ensure a secure fit between the dentures and your mouth.

How do you protect your family’s teeth from chlorine?

Keeping your pool clean with chlorinated water is a great way to maintain a safe environment. To protect your family’s teeth, it is best to follow these tips:

  • Brush with fluoridated toothpaste and rinse with warm water after being in the pool
  • Keep your mouth closed while swimming or submerging under chlorinated water
  • Have a professional check the pH level of your at-home swimming pool
  • Ask lifeguards or staff at your public pool what they are doing to keep the water clean; if they are using chlorine or non-chlorine-based solutions and how often they are checking the pH levels
  • If you notice any changes to your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist

At Advanced Children’s Dentistry, your Garden City Pediatric Dentist, we want to make sure your child’s teeth are protected from the lurking risks of chlorine in swimming pools. Call to schedule an appointment at (516) 758 – KIDS.

Advanced Children’s Dentistry is proud to serve the surrounding cities: Mineola, Hempstead, West Hempstead, Franklin Square, Uniondale, New Hyde Park, Westbury, North New Hyde Park, Roosevelt, Freeport, Valley Stream, Baldwin, Elmont, Massapequa, Levittown, Glen Cove, Long Beach, Hicksville, Oceanside, Wantagh, Oyster Bay, Merrick, Roslyn, Carle Place, Williston Park, Old Westbury, Albertson, East Meadow, Garden City Park, Floral Park, East Garden City and many more.

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