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Competitive Swimmers Need to Protect Their Oral Health

Posted on 2/17/2016 by Raymond Liu
A woman swimming in a pool endangering her oral health! When you think of sports that can be dangerous for your teeth and oral health, hockey, football, boxing, and baseball are probably some of the first that come to mind. In fact, swimming might not even cross your mind as being dangerous for your teeth, but it certainly can be. Competitive swimmers need to take precautions to protect their teeth from both chipping and staining.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, competitive swimmers are at risk for developing dark brown or yellow-brown stains on their teeth. This is because swimmers who spend more than six hours per week in the pool will expose their teeth to significant quantities of water treated with chemicals.

Pool water has a higher pH than saliva because of its chemical additives, and this causes the proteins in the saliva to break down to form organic deposits on the teeth, resulting in hard, brown tartar deposits.

In addition to the issue of staining, chipped teeth are also problematic with swimmers. Coming to the surface quickly after swimming under water can cause swimmers to hit the hard side of the pool, causing the front teeth to chip. Diving can also fracture the teeth, as can hitting the bottom of the pool or slipping and falling on the slick flooring directly outside of the pool.

What Can Swimmers Do to Protect Their Teeth?

It is recommended that swimmers increase the amount of times that they visit their dentist each year to 3-4. Regular cleanings are needed to remove tartar deposits on the teeth before they can cause decay and other problem.

Additionally, if you are a competitive swimmer and you chip your tooth, it is important to seek treatment right away. Dental bonding, a crown, veneers, and other options are available to restore the appearance and function of your tooth.

If you are a competitive swimmer and are concerned about your teeth, please contact our office to set up an appointment.
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