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 dont typically think of swimming as a sport that could harm teeth, it really depends on what sort of activity youll 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 youll want to protect your teeth.1 But if your pool plans include lounging in an inner tube with a magazine, youre safe to leave the mouthguard at home. Another issue pool-goers should be aware of is swimmers calculus, a condition in which teeth develop yellow or brown stains due to constant exposure to pool chemicals. Swimmers 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 childrens teeth. Your dentist should be able to treat the stains and if its a chronic issue, may recommend increasing dental cleanings to three or four times yearly.2 Dont let a perfect day at the pool be ruined by tooth stains or a preventable mouth mishap. Whether its wearing a mouthguard for contact sports or protecting your teeth from swimmers calculus, be sure to safeguard your smile this summer.

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