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Soak Up the Sun for a Healthier Smile!

June 2, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — northborough @ 4:58 pm
Woman lounging on beach, enjoying the sun

When it comes to human health, the sun often gets a bad rap. After all, it can cause skin cancer, burns, and premature signs of aging. However, that is only one side of the story. Spending time in the sunlight could actually benefit your teeth and gums! How can soaking up the sun contribute to a healthier smile? This blog post explains.

The Amazing Power of Vitamin D

When the sun’s UVB rays contact your skin, they interact with a special protein in your body. That protein is then converted into vitamin D3, a nutrient that is critical for oral health. Here are a few ways in which vitamin D can support a sound smile:

  • Facilitate calcium absorption. Calcium is absolutely essential for strong bones and teeth. However, the human body cannot properly absorb it unless adequate amounts of vitamin D are available to help.
  • Reduce the risk of tooth decay. Research indicates that vitamin D may reduce the risk of tooth decay by as much as 50%.
  • Support your immune system. Vitamin D is important for reducing inflammation throughout the body and lowering the risk of infections. Therefore, it can help to reduce your risk of gum disease.

How Much Sunlight Do You Need?

According to an estimate from the National Institutes of Health, around 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. have a vitamin D deficiency. If you are in that group, simply spending more time outdoors could help you get more of this vital nutrient.

The exact amount of time that you should spend in the sun depends on a number of factors, such as the latitude where you live, the amount of melanin in your skin, and the clothes that you are wearing. During summer, most people need less than 30 minutes of midday sun exposure to meet their daily vitamin D requirements. If you have fair skin and are wearing shorts and a t-shirt, you might need less than 10 minutes outside.

It is important to note that sunscreen can interfere with vitamin D production. Try spending a few minutes outdoors without any SPF on your skin. After that, be sure to use proper sun protection.

Other Ways to Get Vitamin D

Due to the weather or other reasons, some people find it impractical or impossible to get their vitamin D through sun exposure. If that is true of you, you can boost your vitamin D levels through your diet. Fatty fish, milk, and eggs are all good sources. You could also start taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

Are you getting enough sunlight? Spending a few minutes outside each day could help you to enjoy a healthier smile.

Meet the Practice

The team of oral health experts at Northborough Dental Associates is proud to provide gentle and compassionate care for our community. If you would like personalized advice on how you can improve your smile’s well-being, we are ready to speak with you. Contact our office at 508-571-0358.

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