We all know that getting out into the sunshine can benefit our overall health by boosting mood and increasing vitamin D levels. But can sunshine also be good for oral health? While this may seem like an odd question to ask, your dentist in Rocky Mount wants you to know that it’s actually not that far fetched – as the benefits of sunshine, especially the added dose of vitamin D, can in fact benefit your oral health.
The Benefits of Sunshine & Vitamin D
There are countless benefits of sunshine and vitamin D. Research has shown that sunshine, in particular, helps us sleep better, feel better, and may even help us lose weight. But it’s the power of vitamin D that we get from the sunshine that truly makes your dentist in Rocky Mount happy. Some ways that vitamin D helps our teeth and our bodies include:
- Stronger Teeth – Without vitamin D, our bodies aren’t able to absorb calcium properly, and without calcium, we aren’t able to build strong bones or teeth. This makes both calcium and vitamin D an essential duo for the health of our smiles and our bodies.
- Less Tooth Decay – Stronger teeth tends to mean less tooth decay, at least that was the thought behind all of the research that studied the connection between vitamin D and decay. The results of these studies suggest that those who get an adequate amount of vitamin D have a reduced risk of tooth decay. One study even found that getting enough vitamin D can lower the risk of decay by 50%.
- Better Immune System – Study after study shows a positive correlation between vitamin D and a strong, more effective immune system. While this connection between vitamin D and the immune system is complicated and complex, there’s really only one thing you need to know. Vitamin D helps regulate and balance the immune system so it’s prepared to fight off germs.
Where to Get Vitamin D
The best way to get enough vitamin D is to get outside and soak up the sun. But this isn’t always an option. When the sun is out of reach, supplement your vitamin D intake through the foods you eat such as:
- Fatty fish such as salmon or tuna
- Fortified cereal, orange juice, or yogurt
Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D, and when our levels are too low, our bodies are at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency that could lead to osteoporosis, increased risk for type 1 diabetes, and even breast, colon, or prostate cancer.
Take some time this summer to enjoy the sun and get outside. Aim to get between 5 and 30 minutes of sunshine every day, but also make sure you know your limits. Recommended sun exposure varies based on age, health history, skin tone, and other factors. Wear sunscreen if you’ll be outside for a prolonged period of time.
While vitamin D is a great way to help protect your teeth and your body, it doesn’t replace regular visits to your dentist in Rocky Mount. Be sure to schedule dental appointments every six months.