Can't get your kids out of the pool? Be on the lookout for swimmer's teeth!
Vivian Manning Schaffel: Summer's almost over, and if you are among those parents fortunate enough to have access to a chlorinated body of water, you've become used to post-swim rituals, like the vigorous ear shake, by now. But if you're raising the next Michael Phelps, you might also want to keep an eyeball open for a little something called "Swimmer's Calculus" or "Swimmer's Tooth."
The study, conducted by dentist Karen J. Rose, D.D.S. and researcher Clifton M. Carey, Ph.D., reveals that, with a lot of time underwater, teeth are continually exposed to large volumes of chemically-treated pool water. This water mixes with fluids in the mouth and causes yellow to brown deposits most noticeable on the facial and lingual surfaces of the anterior teeth -- even on swimmers as young as 5. The deposits are a combination of a protein contained within saliva as well as calcium phosphates, magnesium, fluoride and carbonates. The chemical makeup of the pool water is believed to chemically alter these, leading them to deposit on the teeth.
Fortunately, the damage is by no means permanent, but good ol' fashioned brushing isn't enough to get rid of it. If you notice your kids' teeth turning as golden as an oven-roasted chicken, take your kids to the dentist for a good ol'fashioned scraping, same as we get for a traditional teeth cleaning. That'll do the trick.
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|