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Health Watch: Summer Activities Can Hurt Teeth

stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some popular summer activities, like swimming, can hurt your smile. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl explains

Cooling off in the pool is a summer favorite. But the chlorine can damage your teeth.

“Chlorine can cause enamel erosion,” said Dr. Lana Rozenberg, a Cosmetic Dentist.

Chlorine keeps pool water clean by killing bacteria, but dentists say it’s highly acidic, and over time, chlorinated pool water can severely soften your teeth.

“When the teeth are softer they are prone to tooth decay,” said Dr. Rozenberg.

And that’s not all. Dentists say we do more damage to our teeth during the summer months than any other time of the year.

“We’ve seen patients with a lot of soft enamel and a lot of staining,” said Dr. Jennifer Jablow, a Dentist. She says another big summer tooth decay culprit are seasonal drinks, like lemonade, ice tea, and sports drinks.

“They’re preserved with something called citric acid,” said Dr. Jablow.

Studies show some seasonal drinks contain three times the amount of citric acid than most sodas. That’s something Andy Wyss found out the hard way.

“My teeth were sensitive and I had a little stains here and there,” said Andy.

A recent visit to his dentist and Andy found out his high consumption of sports drinks was eroding his teeth.
“That was totally new to me,” said Andy.

Other summer favorites that can erode your smile include citrus fruits, certain salad dressings, and white wine.

“One way to combat white wine is cheese, cheese is high in calcium and what it does is counteract the affects of wine by refilling the calcium ions and combat the acidity of the drink,” said Dr. Rozenberg.

Dr. Rozenberg also says never brush your teeth immediately after drinking or eating something highly acidic. It can cause even more damage.

“The teeth are softer at that point so what you want to do is wait an hour before you brush,” said Dr. Rozenberg.
Andy is now using a new, heavily fluoridated toothpaste to help restore the enamel on his teeth.

“I have my smile back,” said Andy.

One more thing that can take some dazzle away from your smile experts say ladies should be careful with summer shades of lipstick. Coral and peach tones can make your teeth appear more yellow.

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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