There’s nothing better than taking a dip in the pool when it’s hotter than blazes – and it’s almost never been steamier than it is this month! Swimming is great fun for kids and good for their overall health, too, but did you know that the chlorine in the pool’s water can actually affect their little smiles in a not-so-positive way? If you’ve been wondering if swimming is bad for your teeth, a McKinney dentist has the answer below.
Effects of Chlorine on Teeth
Even if you keep your mouth closed when you swim, some chlorinated water may still seep in. When it’s your child that’s swimming, there’s no way to prevent them from opening their mouth. In fact, they may make a game out of collecting water in their cheeks and spitting it back out – which really exposes their tooth enamel to the chlorine in the water.
Unfortunately, the pH levels in chlorinated water can cause enamel erosion, which can lead to the following symptoms:
- Discoloration of the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity, especially to heat or cold
- Edges of teeth beginning to look transparent
How to Protect Your Child’s Smile
Because most kiddos swim for short periods of time only in the summer, you should know that, in all likelihood, your child will not experience damage to their teeth as a result of the pool. However, this can be more of a concern in pools that have been overly chlorinated. If you own your own pool, the CDC recommends pH levels to be between 7.2 and 7.8, and the free chlorine concentration should be at least 1 part per million.
It is still important to take steps to protect your child’s smile from enamel erosion. Even if it is unlikely to occur from swimming, other things pose a threat – like drinking carbonated beverages, eating lots of candy, and chewing gum with sugar.
Some ways to prevent enamel erosion include:
- Encouraging your child to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day
- Using toothpaste with fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel
- Helping your little one floss between their teeth
- Scheduling two checkups and cleanings with your pediatric dentist
Now that you know a little more about how to protect your child’s teeth this summer, go have fun! The water is calling you and your little one.
Meet the Pediatric Dentists
Dr. Justin and Dr. Sage lead the team at Sprout Dentistry for Kids. They pair up to provide excellent dental services for little ones with a variety of needs – from basic checkups and cleanings to tooth extractions and more, including holistic dentistry! To learn more about protecting your smile from the summer elements or to book a dentist with your pediatric dentist in McKinney, contact their office via their website or by phone at (469) 813-7127.