Summer vacation is almost at an end and the little ones are enjoying their final days in the swimming pool. Besides prickly fingers and water-logged ears, parents should also be looking at their child’s teeth!
If your child’s teeth are turning yellow or brown, it might not be cavities or gingivitis, but a common condition known as “Swimmers Calculus” - Repetitive exposure to pool water chemicals which cause yellowish to brown deposits to form on the teeth.
The yellowish to brown deposits are similar to common plaque or tartar that form on the teeth but tend to be much darker in color and thus give a very unsightly appearance. 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.
Dental researchers reported last month that competitive swimmers - - those with structured programs that keep them in the water for more than six hours a week -- sometimes develop brown spots on their teeth. These stains have been reported in swimmers as young as 5 years old who maintain intensive training schedules, according to the researchers, Karen J. Rose and Clifton M. Carey.
The spots, called swimmers' calculus, are yellow to dark brown and occur most frequently on the front teeth, Rose and Carey said ...