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Swimming and Your Teeth

Now that the nicer weather is here, you’re probably itching to get into the pool. Did you know that being in the pool can affect your teeth?

Various chemicals used to treat the pool can cause staining on your teeth. In fact, there’s even a name for it: Swimmer’s Calculus. Pool water causes a build up of salivary proteins on your teeth and causes a brown stain. Some sources say you would need to be in a pool 6 or more hours a week for this to happen, but others report less time.

The best prevention is to brush your teeth as soon as possible after swimming. Once the staining is visible (something you can see), only a professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist will remove it.

Over-chlorinated pool water is highly acidic. Swimming in it can cause cavities because it erodes your tooth enamel, causes your teeth to feel gritty or rough, and makes them appear transparent or yellow. It can also make your teeth sensitive.  A pH of 7.2 or above is ideal for pools.

So go ahead and swim this summer—just make sure you brush your teeth afterward to keep your smile bright!

You can learn more about staining, cavities, acid erosion, and sensitive teeth in the Patient Education section of www.drjrobb.com.


Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who is taking new patients. She can be reached at 440-960-1940, 1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. www.drjrobb.com