June 18, 2021
Your son or daughter has been begging you to let them go swimming for months now, and since summer is here, the time is finally right. Before they dive in, though, you’ll want to take a few precautions. Just as you would make sure your little one puts on sunscreen where they go swimming, you should also consider another risk of chlorinated pool water: oral health problems. Is swimming bad for your child’s teeth? Read on as a pediatric dentist provides the answer and gives tips on how you can protect your kid’s smile.
How Swimming Might Harm Your Child’s Teeth
The risk of swimming-related oral health issues isn’t terribly high, but as a parent, you already know that you can never be too careful. Here are some of the problems to watch out for:
Spending too much time in the pool can cause chlorine deposits on the teeth, which make them look yellow or brown. To prevent this, make sure your child spends less than six hours in the pool a day.
Chlorine levels that are too high can wear down your child’s tooth enamel, making them vulnerable to sensitivity and cavities. If you have your own pool, get the chlorine levels regularly checked by a professional. According to the CDC, the pH levels should be between 7.2 and 7.8.
Playing water sports like chicken or volleyball and slipping on the wet ground near the pool can cause painful injuries. Tell your kids to be careful during their water activities and remind them not to run!
If your child goes swimming with an older dental restoration, such as a filling or a crown, there’s a chance that it could fall out in the pool. Your child might not even notice! Keep an eye out for toothaches after swimming; it could mean that your kid’s restoration needs to be replaced.
Tips for Protecting Your Child’s Smile When They Swim
To make sure your little one’s smile remains bright and healthy this summer, have them:
- Wear a mouthguard if they play contact water sports.
- Visit their dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. Consider getting dental sealants for added protection against cavities.
- Stick to a routine of flossing every night and brushing twice a day, even during summer vacation.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, which strengthens enamel and reduces the risk of decay.
By taking the right precautions, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your son or daughter will be safe while they have fun by the pool all summer long!
About the Author
Dr. Maggie Davis is a Board-Certified pediatric dentist in Palm Harbor, FL as well as a Diplomate in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry – an achievement that fewer than three percent of all dentists have accomplished! As a mom of three young boys, she understands the importance of keeping your kid’s smile safe. That’s why she uses the latest dental technology to make dental care as fun and effective as possible for her young patients. She also offers multiple preventive services, including professional mouthguards and dental sealants. To learn more, visit her website or call her pediatric dental office at 727-786-7551.
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