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Does pool bleach whiten out teeth?

  1. Sep 10, 2005 #1

    EnumaElish

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    Does anyone know whether the chlorine in a swimming pool could significantly lighten out the color of teeth? Or have any significant effect at all on teeth or skin?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2005 #2
    Just in case you're tempted to put chlorine tablets in your mouth: don't even think about it. :smile:

    I don't know about your teeth, but the inside of your mouth may turn white as all the cells die.
     
  4. Sep 10, 2005 #3
    The chlorine in swimming pools is far to diluted to have any affect, even if it did have a "whitening affect" in it's self.
     
  5. Sep 10, 2005 #4

    Chi Meson

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    I think you have to soak overnight.
     
  6. Sep 10, 2005 #5
    Fluoride is added to toothpaste and tap water, and can help reduce cavities. Could chloride ions do the same?-->unless pool chlorine is not the dissolved elemental Cl anions I'm thinking of...
     
  7. Sep 11, 2005 #6

    Chi Meson

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    My last comment was semi-serious. The chlorine in pool water would both whiten teeth and preobably reduce cavities (by killing certain bacteria on the teeth); but the concentration of chlorine found in pools is so small that you would have to have a very, very long soak, face down, mouth open to have a significant effect.
    The effect on your skin and hair, in the same time duration, would be worse.

    A small amount of fluorine, taken internally in city tap water, evidently has a beneficial effect for our teeth. I don't know what makes it so, but chlorine does not have the same effect (internally) as far as I know. Anyone?
     
  8. Sep 11, 2005 #7

    EnumaElish

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    Could/does chlorine have an adverse effect on the teeth? Apparently it has power to erode, because it erodes stains.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2005 #8

    LURCH

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    I spent 3 weeks in West Africa in 1991. Because I am a white man from the US (whimpy immune system), I and all my co-workers had to drink water with chlorine in it. The concentratiom was much less than you would find in your pool, but more than in city tap-water (even in my town, which has way to much chlorine in the water), and it was all we could drink for the duration of our visit. When i returned, friends and familly comented on how white my teeth looked.
     
  10. Sep 12, 2005 #9
    As I understood it, it is not an internal effect of flourine that is beneficial for teeth, it is instead the effect of the flourine in water as the water is passing through the mouth that has a beneficial effect. It has to do with the F- ion replacing an OH- ion which forms the outer layer of tooth enamel. From what I understand the F- ion makes the new molecule have a higher dissasociation energy, which decreases a bacteria's effectiveness at breaking the bond of the tooth enamel so that it could then attack the teeth.

    This could be based on a misconception of some sort, it could have been that taken internally, your body will then use F- ions instead of OH- in producing tooth enamel which then has the above effect. However, I remember hearing this explained once by a chemistry professor, and I believe the above is how it was explained to me.

    ~Lyuokdea
     
  11. Sep 12, 2005 #10
    It could have also been that you got a tan, a darker skin pigmentation tends to do a lot more to make teeth look white than does the actual color of the teeth themselves.

    ~Lyuokdea
     
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