Protection Against Swimmer’s Calculus

Even in the higher altitudes of Placerville, summer heat causes kids and adults to look for relief, and they often turn to water — not just to a tall, refreshing glass of ice water, but perhaps an entire body of water! Of course, there’s not a lot of beachfront property in Placerville, but there are nearby creeks and rivers. More convenient are swimming pools, either public or private. Along with such pools comes chlorine, used to protect swimmers from waterborne germs. Depending how much time you spend in that chlorinated water, you could develop a condition called swimmer’s calculus.

What is Swimmer’s Calculus?

Calm down, because we’re not talking about doing advanced math while swimming. Swimmer’s calculus is a condition that happens to teeth when they are exposed to chlorinated water for extended periods of time. Simply put, chlorine stains teeth, making them yellow or brown. Fortunately, you’d need to spend six or more hours a week exposed to the chlorine for this condition to develop. If you spend at least that much time doing water sports like athletic swimming or water polo, keep an eye on the color of your teeth.

Calculating a Restoration

So, if you spend more than usual time in the pool and notice your teeth turning yellowish or even a light shade of brown, let us know! The Placerville Dental Group has the tools and know-how to remove the stains and bring back a white shine to your smile. Nevertheless, here is a list of dental concerns around the pool, some of which will reduce the chances of getting swimmer’s calculus.

  • If you swim at home, monitor your chlorine levels carefully. Overchlorinated pools do not make them more sanitary, and they might strip the enamel off your teeth or cause them to be more sensitive.
  • After swimming, grab a swig of water and swish it around, then spit it out to remove any residual chlorine. In fact, take a shower to remove any excess chlorine from your body.
  • If you do sports around the pool, strongly consider using a mouthguard to prevent dental injuries.
  • Although mouthguards work well for protecting your teeth, retainers and other removable dental appliances do not. Make sure to put those back in their case while you are in the water, and then reattach them when you are finished.
  • Changing water pressure, or air pressure, causes air in our bodies to expand and contract. If you are dealing with extended periods of an increase of pressure (underwater) or a decrease of pressure (high altitude) and the air in your body cannot compensate, it could result in pressure on the nerves inside your teeth. The result is usually pain, with possible ramifications on any restorative dentistry, like crowns or fillings.

Summer is a time for fun activities and playing in the water is wholeheartedly included. If you have any questions about swimmer’s calculus or suspect you might be developing the condition, It’s not the end of your fun. Give the Placerville Dental Group a call or schedule an appointment online. We can help to brighten your smile so you can enjoy the summer in and out of the water.


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