Should You Wear a Mouthguard When Swimming?

If you plan to take to the water to stay cool this summer, your swim bag probably includes sunscreen, a sun hat and a towel – but what about a mouthguard?

While we don’t typically think of swimming as a sport that could harm teeth, it really depends on what sort of activity you’ll be participating in. If you play sports such as water polo or water volleyball, you risk getting hit in the face with the ball, and you’ll want to protect your teeth.1 But if your pool plans include lounging in an inner tube with a magazine, you’re safe to leave the mouthguard at home.

Another issue pool-goers should be aware of is “swimmer’s calculus,” a condition in which teeth develop yellow or brown stains due to constant exposure to pool chemicals. Swimmer’s calculus typically only affects swimmers who spend more than six hours a week in chemically treated water. Let your dentist know if you notice these stains on your teeth or your children’s teeth. Your dentist should be able to treat the stains — and if it’s a chronic issue, may recommend increasing dental cleanings to three or four times yearly.2

Don’t let a perfect day at the pool be ruined by tooth stains or a preventable mouth mishap. Whether it’s wearing a mouthguard for contact sports or protecting your teeth from swimmer’s calculus, be sure to safeguard your smile this summer.

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21544
2 http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=S&iid=331&aid=1324


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