Although it is not officially summer, we in Southwest Florida are already in our pools. They are fun but you need to be aware that the chemicals in your pool (or you friends’ pools or public pools, if you want to be pedantic with the definition) can stain your teeth with prolonged exposure.
The stain comes from pools that are not properly balanced for chlorine and pH, according to a study by researchers at New York University.
“Improperly maintained pool chlorination in swimming pools can cause rapid and excessive erosion of dental enamel,” warned Dr. Leila Jahangiri, a clinical associate professor and the Chair of NYUCD’s Department of Prosthodontics, in a posting on NYU’s website in 2011.
The resulting stain is called “swimmers calculus” and the calculus is what discolors the teeth. The people most likely to see such stains on their teeth are those who spend more than 5 hours-per-week in a pool – most likely those swimmers who are in training.
One thing you can do is to rinse your mouth with clean water after each swimming session and if you develop swimmers calculus, you need to see your dentist for a professional cleaning or, if you are a swimmer who is clocking a bunch of laps daily, you might consider more frequent professional cleanings as a way to make sure you don’t develop the stains.
Proper pool maintenance can be achieved by homeowners, but remember the warnings here if you are not going to test your pool’s water at least once each week. If not, consider a professional pool-cleaning service if you and your family use your pool extensively.