Summer is the perfect time to take a dip in the pool. Whether you’re swimming in a public pool or you have one in your backyard, you need to be aware of the effects chlorine has on teeth. The amount of chlorine in drinking water is not enough to harm your enamel, but swimming pool water could over time. Here are some tips to help you protect your teeth as you swim.
How Chlorine Affects Your Teeth
If a pool has too much chlorine in it, the pH level of the water could erode your enamel. The same can be said for highly acidic drinks. If your enamel weakens, your teeth may be more prone to staining, chipping, cracking, or feeling sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. This isn’t to say that all pool water is damaging to your teeth – just the water that has too much chlorine in it.
Controlling The Chlorine In Your Personal Swimming Pool
If you mostly swim in your backyard, you can control the chlorine and pH balance. Pool water should have a pH between 7.2 and 7.8. Anything below 7.0 could damage your enamel. You can have your pool water tested by a local pool maintenance company, or you could test it yourself with an at-home kit. This is something you should do regularly to keep your water clean and safe.
The same theory goes for hot tubs as well. Although you may not have your face in the water of your hot tub often, the mist from the jets could get on your teeth. Try to keep all of your water at a consistent pH level in order to protect your enamel.
What To Do In Public Pools
You cannot control the chlorine in public pools, but you can avoid pools with low pH levels. Look around the pool to check the lining, ladders and railings. If the water is acidic, it could erode these elements just like it would your teeth. If you notice signs of erosion, you may point it out to the lifeguard on duty to see if they can adjust the water chemistry in the future.
As an alternative, you could swim in a nearby lake or natural body of water, as long as it is permitted and supervised. Natural water will not have any chlorine in it, so it will be safer for your smile. Consider these tips before your next swim, and you can keep your smile shining bright all summer.