Swimming Pools And Your Teeth

Phoenix_Dentist In the Valley of the Sun, there can be as many as five months out of the year when residents or visitors can enjoy swimming in a pool. But Phoenix dentists also know that an extra-long pool season can bring some surprising risks to a swimmer’s mouth. There are three primary ways in which spending time at the pool can negatively impact your dental health.

  1. Swimmer’s teeth. Phoenix dentists probably see more than their fair share of this condition, which mainly effects those who spend more than six hours per week in a pool. The chemicals used to treat pool water have a higher pH level than saliva, and can lead to “swimmer’s calculus,” a build-up of hard, brown deposits on teeth that must be removed through a professional cleaning at the dentist’s office.
  2. Poolside slips and falls. Any sporting activity where falls are a possibility can lead to damaged teeth or tooth loss, and pools are no exception. To avoid falls or slips, keep drinks and food away from the pool deck, follow instructions for using ladders to get into or out of the pool, and observe the directions about proper footwear use in or near the pool.
  3. Dehydration and dry mouth. Despite the presence of water, swimming is a vigorous exercise, often conducted outdoors in hot weather. It’s easy to become dehydrated, which can lead to dry mouth, which can damage your teeth and gums. If you swim for exercise, drink water during your workout, and start hydrating before you are thirsty.

“Having a long pool season is one of the fun aspects of living in the Valley,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a Phoenix cosmetic dentist. “A little bit of awareness can ensure an enjoyable swimming experience and keep your teeth safe, too.”

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