Going Swimming? Shield Your Teeth!
Article by Hema Patel, DDS
Fremont Cosmetic Dentist
Summer isn’t much fun if you can’t take a few plunges into a swimming pool, but, as we all know, pool water can dry out our skin and hair. What most people don’t know is that it can also permanently stain and erode our teeth.
One study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology back in 1986, concluded that, out of 747 competitive swimmers surveyed, 39 percent suffered from enamel erosion of their teeth.
In a more recent paper, in May 2011, dentists from the New York University College of Dentistry reported the case of a 52-year-old man who had complained of his teeth’s sensitivity, staining, and enamel loss—all symptoms that had come on quickly, in about five months. The only sudden change in the man’s routine was his newly adopted, 90-minutes-per-day swimming routine. Upon further inquiry, the researchers learned that the patient did not have professional pool maintenance, and he didn’t know the pH of his pool water. Their conclusion was that the pool water’s pH was to blame for the man’s dental problems.
So, if you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your back yard, it is a good idea to have it maintained professionally. If you do choose to maintain it yourself, use pool pH strips to check the pH level of the water. If you keep the pH number at about 7.2-7.8, you should avoid spoiling your teeth!