Swimming and Enamel Erosion: What’s the Connection?

stephanieThe summer is approaching fast and swimming pools are opening up everywhere. They can be a great way to exercise and to keep kids active while school is out.

They can also be very damaging to your enamel. Enamel is a hard coating that covers each one of your teeth. It is the hardest thing in your body, but it can also suffer damage from chipping and erosion. If a pool is not properly taken care of it can help aid in erosion of the enamel.

How Pool Water Damages Tooth Enamel

When a pool does not have a balanced pH level, which measures the acidity in the water, the pool can damage the tooth enamel of the swimmers. For community swimming pools, when you are splashing around, diving under, or even swimming underwater you can start to feel a sensation in your eyes. This is normally blamed on the level of chlorine used in the pool water, but it is linked directly to the water having a low pH level.

Maintaining a Regular Pool pH Level

Many communities have adapted to checking the pH levels of their pools regularly. The recommended pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8. The pH level of water is 7 and considered neutral. Therefore, no pool should be too low when the pH level is measured, but slightly above the neutral mark. The chlorine that helps to eliminate bacteria and keep the pool water clean can become less effective if the pH level in the water is not monitored and within the proper recommended limits.
The local pool stores should carry pH testing supplies for your personal swimming pools. These supplies are normally in the form of pH testing strips. You can buy these inexpensive strips to help test the pH level of your swimming pool, community pools, splash parks, and other water activities. Aside from eroding tooth enamel, pools with really low or high pH levels can cause the swimmers to feel sick or receive a tummy ache.

Should I add Chlorine to my Personal Pool?

Chlorine is very helpful in maintaining a clean swimming pool. It kills bad bacteria and keeps the water clean and from turning green. However, there is a possibility of using too much chlorine and it wreaking havoc on your teeth. The pool store, or your local big brand stores, should carry chlorine packs or buckets that have instructions on the side. The instructions should include how much chlorine should be put into a specific sized pool. If there is not a chart showing your pool size, speak with an employee regarding how much chlorine your size pool should have. Also purchase the pH testing strips to help control how effective your chlorine additions are.

Swimming is a great past time and can help people lose weight at the same time, but it can also harm you. Be sure to keep a track of when you eat so that you do not suffer from cramping while in the pool. Also keep a watchful eye on the pH levels of the pool before diving in. It is recommended that you do not brush your teeth after swimming in a pool that has been treated with chlorine. Instead, brush your teeth at least thirty minutes after you have left the pool. If you start to notice your teeth turning yellow or any type of discoloration or chipping, contact a dentist immediately.

For other questions concerning swimming and enamel erosion, or other dental complications, please contact us today at 443-808-1958. We look forward to helping you with all of your dental needs.

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