Of all the sports that dentists get nervous about, swimming isn’t very far up on the list. In spite of this, there are very real risks to your smile that can occur while you’re getting your swim on. The chlorine in pools can pose a serious risk to your smile, and even swimming in the ocean has its dental dangers. If you and your family live to spend time in the water during the summer, prepare ahead of time by learning what to watch out for.
High Chlorine Levels Can Put Your Dental Enamel At Risk
Health Risks From Swimming You May Not Know About
Regardless of your preferred style, from doggy paddle to breaststroke, swimming is an excellent form of exercise. It’s low impact and engages every part of your body, making it a great workout for those trying to get the most out of their exercise. Long hours spent in the ocean or in a chlorinated pool can present a number of concerns, however. These five are the most commonly experienced:
- Swimmer’s Calculus – When large amounts of time are spent swimming in a chlorinated pool, it’s possible for chlorine deposits to build up on your teeth. Like plaque or tartar, this residue is yellow and sticky. Be certain to alert your dentist about your swimming habits if you spend more than six hours a week in the pool.
- Sensitive Teeth – One of the risks of not using a professional to maintain your pool is getting the chlorine level too high. High levels of chlorine can have serious impacts on your dental enamel, causing your teeth to become sensitive to temperature. In serious cases, your teeth can even become brittle.
- Oral Injury – While oral injuries aren’t a common result of spending time in the water, some water sports can result in serious oral injury. Water polo and volleyball are two examples, but accidents caused by slips and falls can occur as well. The cautious will wear a mouthguard while engaging in any kind of water sport.
- Tooth Compression – This condition is specific to those who spend time deep enough underwater for pressure to become an issue. This condition, known as brodontalgia, results from pressure changes and can cause dental pain or damage restorations.
- Lost Dental Devices – Of all the dental casualties experienced by swimmers, losing retainers probably tops the list. Be certain that you take these out of your mouth when hitting the water; you never know when a stray moment may result in the retainer getting lost.
Be certain to communicate with your dentist if swimming takes up a significant part of your leisure time. This will alert them to keep an eye out for oral health-related issues stemming from excessive time spent in the water.
What To Do To Protect Your Child’s Teeth
Thankfully the impact on your oral health resulting from time spent swimming is able to be controlled. Simply make sure that regular visits to your dentist are a standard part of your year and that you ensure that any pool you use is maintained by a professional. Back it all up with a solid routine of dental hygiene, and your teeth will be looking as great as you at the beach!