Pool Season Is Coming: What Does That Mean for Teeth?

Child jumping into pool

​That swimming pool you love so much could be causing issues for your mouth. All those warm, sunny days spent taking a dip in the pool to cool off could mean bad news for maintaining that pearly-white smile.

You could potentially be subjecting your teeth to tooth staining. This is due to the high pH level in the chlorine potentially causing brown calculus deposits to collect on the surface of your teeth.

Also, those who take frequent, deep dives in their pool are at a greater risk to develop barodontalgia. Barodontalgia causes pain from a change of pressure, more commonly known as “tooth squeezing.”

You can also have an increase of calculus buildup, meaning more dental plaque forms on the surface of your teeth.

You should also avoid older swimming pools that are gas-chlorinated. This is because they score dangerously high on the pH level, making the pool more acidic. This acidity causes corrosion of the enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth that protects them from damage.

If I Swim a Lot, What Can I Do for My Teeth?

If you are deeply concerned for your teeth, be sure to check the pH level of the pool. A safe pH level would be between 7.2 and 7.8.

If you spent the day in the swimming pool, be sure to brush your teeth and floss as soon as you can once exiting the pool. Removing those harmful acids from the surface of your teeth will help keep that enamel safe from corrosion.

You also want to keep your mouth closed while you are swimming, keeping the chlorine out. While this is easier said than done, you want to try to mitigate as much harmful exposure as you can if the pH level of the pool water is too high.

You can also purchase toothpaste that contains xylitol, an alcohol that is crystallized and comes from xylose. This ingredient will help combat against those acidic pH levels in your pool. You can also use the power of baking soda to help keep your teeth healthy as well.

So, before you go diving off that diving board, be sure to remember that, while swimming is good fun, you should make sure your teeth are taken care of after that swim.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on February 10th, 2020