Swimmers risk stained teeth
Frequent swimmers may be at
risk for developing yellowish-brown or dark brown
stains on their teeth.
Those who swim more than six
hours a week continually expose their teeth to
chemically treated water. Pool water contains
chemical additives such as anti-microbials, which
give the water a higher pH than saliva. As a result,
salivary proteins break down quickly and form
organic deposits on swimmers' teeth.
The hard, brown deposits, known
as "swimmers' calculus," appear most frequently
on the front teeth. Incidence of brown tartar
is as high as 58 percent in children who swim
regularly in elementary through high school.
Brushing more often and more carefully
hasn't been proven to help. In fact, overuse of
tartar control toothpaste can cause irritation
and inflammation of the gums. However, swimmers'
calculus can normally be removed by a professional
dental cleaning. Those who swim competitively
should be sure to visit their dentist and hygienist
Courtesy of the Academy of General