Swimmer’s Calculus is Not Advanced Math!

“Can chlorine from a pool turn my child’s teeth yellow or brown?”

swimmers and the effect of chlorine on teechRecently, I received this very question from a concerned mom. My three boys swim and play water polo competitively, so the question rang pretty close to home. An article from the Academy of General Dentistry states the following regarding this phenomenon: “Athlete swimmers, who often swim laps more than six hours a week, expose their teeth to large amounts of chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives like antimicrobials, which give the water a higher pH than saliva, causing salivary proteins to break down quickly and form organic deposits on swimmer’s teeth. The result is swimmer’s calculus, hard, brown tartar deposits that appear predominantly on the front teeth.”

To answer the question directly, swimming a lot can cause you to get yellow to dark brown stains on your teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist should be able to remove these stains for you at a routine cleaning appointment. At home, I recommend using an electric toothbrush with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda toothpaste. The slight grit in the toothpaste can help remove these stains between dentist visits.

~ Dr. Zachary

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