Do Swimmers Need to Do More to Protect Their Teeth?
Posted on 9/10/2019 by Giri Palani
Ask any long time swim parent what they know about swimming and then brace yourself; you will hear about summer meets that last all day, coolers packed with snacks, trips across the state to finals and regional meets and the difficulties of dealing with dry skin and hair.
One of the things you may not hear about is how swimming can have a negative effect on your swimmer's oral health, especially if your child is a competitive swimmer.
Butterfly, Back, Breast, Freestyle and Brush
While the first four strokes are necessary for an Individual Medley, the last stroke is important for a swimmer's oral health. If your competitive swimmer spends more than 6 hours in the pool a week training, you should seriously consider increasing the number of visits your swimmer makes to our office for a cleaning. We suggest 3-4 times a year for the serious swimmer.
But why the increased need for cleanings and paying more attention to your swimmer's oral health? Well, for starters, pools are full of chemicals that keep microbes and other nasties at bay. While this is beneficial for keeping bacteria away from your swimmer, it can have a direct effect on the pH balances of the water and also your swimmer's mouth.
Skin and hair are not the only things drying out in the chemically treated pool water either, your child may suffer from dry mouth and decreased saliva production. Decreased saliva flow means that the bacterium that naturally occurs in the mouth is not being properly rinsed out. This can lead to enamel erosion and decay.
We love all sorts of sports in our office and our staff is constantly learning new things about how each event can affect your oral health. If you have a swimmer in your home, give us a call today and schedule their next checkup!