Can Swimming Pools Cause Tooth Staining?
Chlorinated pools can change the way minerals stick to your teeth. Brushing before swimming is a good practice. Here's why.
With summer well under way, many children and adults are spending more time in swimming pools.
One side effect of swimming in chlorinated water can be increased staining and tartar deposits on the teeth.
Why does chlorinated water stain your teeth?
Water in swimming pools tends to be alkaline, changing the properties of your saliva and allowing minerals to stick to your teeth, instead of dissolving the way they normally would.
Also antimicrobial additives in pool water can break down proteins in your saliva, leaving dark deposits on your teeth.
How can you prevent staining from pool water?
Since pool water reacts with minerals and plaque on your teeth, it is important to brush thoroughly BEFORE going for a swim.
Some pools may not be properly balanced, leading to an acidic pH level, which can cause enamel erosion. Immediately after swimming, it is best to rinse thoroughly with water, but do NOT brush immediately after swimming to reduce the risk of erosion.
Choosing a salt water pool, or making sure your pool is properly maintained and tested will reduce the risk of staining and erosion due to pH changes and antimicrobial chemicals.
Also, for avid swimmers, more frequent cleanings at your dentist may be beneficial in order to remove deposits and reduce staining.