Chlorine and Tooth Erosion - Make A Splash! But Watch Your Teeth.
Summer is finally here and what a better way to celebrate than a cool dip in the pool. Who would have thought that daily afternoon swims could potentially put your sparkling smile at risk? New York University College of Dentistry researchers found that improperly maintained chlorination in swimming pools can cause “rapid and excessive erosion of dental enamel.” Enamel is the hard shell protecting your teeth. Improper pH levels can also result in “irreversible” damage to an individual’s teeth. The study was based on a 52-year-old patient, who experienced extremely sensitive teeth, dark staining and rapid enamel loss over a five-month period. The man had just begun a swimming routine in a pool that was not professionally maintained. Dental professionals concluded that improper chlorination of this pool led to dental erosion. Protect your enamel with these 7 tips: •Choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. This helps strengthen tooth enamel. Gently brush at least twice a day, paying special attention to your gum line. •Make sure your swimming pool chemicals are balanced. •Swim with your mouth closed and avoid taking chlorinated water into the mouth. •If swimming at a public pool, ask for the most recent chemical measurements. Most public pools will take these measurements hourly. •Floss at least once daily to clean between teeth and under the gum line. •Try to limit between-meal snacks. •Limit soft drinks and sports drinks. Drink plenty of water instead to keep the mouth moist.