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Keeping Your Teeth Safe in Swimming & in Sports

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During the summer months, your teeth might be especially vulnerable to injury because of the increase in outdoor sports activities. Contact sports, swimming, and diving all pose dangers to your pearly whites. 

Here are a few tips to keep your teeth safe this summer.

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Swimming & Chlorine

Swimming in a chlorinated pool frequently discolors teeth and causes them to take on a yellowish, brown hue. The pool chemicals have a higher pH level than your mouth’s saliva. The saliva in your mouth will experience a reaction to the pool water’s pH level and cause the salivary proteins to break down inside the mouth and form organic deposits on your teeth. The deposits are known as “swimmers’ calculus,” and usually appear prominently on the surfaces of the front teeth. If you swim more than six hours per week then your teeth are at a heightened risk. Often the only way to remove the deposits is to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning. 

Scuba Diving & Diver’s Mouth Syndrome

Diver’s mouth syndrome, also called barodontalgia, is caused by air pressure changes when scuba diving. It is typical for a diver to bite too hard on their scuba air regulators. The squeezing pressure of the increased bite causes pressure changes inside of the tooth. The air pressure changes cause pain that is typically more severe if you suffer from a cavity, gum disease, periodontal abscess, or root canal problems. Regular visits to your dentist will help catch any problems that might be more intense when diving. 

Sports & Athletic Mouth Guards

Sports — Summer time sports such as soccer, baseball, and softball typically do not require the player to wear a helmet. This puts the player at significant risk of sustaining a dental injury. Wearing a mouth guard while playing summertime sports helps protect your teeth from possible painful and costly injury. Your dentist can advice you on which mouth guard will work best for your bite and provide you with the protection you need to maintain your smile. 

Summer is a fun time of year and with a few precautions there is no reason why you can’t keep smiling all season long.