There’s something comforting about getting outside and soaking up the summer sun. After all, it’s warm, it helps improve our mood, and, as your dentist in Austin knows, it can also help protect our teeth. It’s true. The overall and oral health benefits of getting out into the sun every day are plentiful thanks to the power of vitamin D.
What’s So Great About Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mouth, and one of the best ways to help your body produce this essential vitamin is by getting outside and under the sun. There are so many benefits of vitamin D, from your head to your toes, including:
- Helping in calcium absorption – Vitamin D and calcium go hand-in-hand and in order for your body to get all of the benefits of calcium, you need to have enough vitamin D in your system. This duo helps build strong bones as well as strong teeth.
- Boosting your immune system – The relationship between vitamin D and the immune system is a complicated one. Essentially, vitamin D helps regulate and balance our immune systems to help keep us healthy and fight off infections.
- Aiding your pancreas – Vitamin D also assists your pancreas in the insulin-making process. In fact, studies have found that those with vitamin D deficiency are at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
- Fighting off tooth decay – Several studies on the effects of vitamin D as it relates to tooth decay have found a potentially promising connection between getting enough vitamin D and a lower risk of tooth decay. In fact, one study found that vitamin D can lower the risk of decay by 50%.
There are a whole host of health benefits tied to vitamin D, and it’s important to get enough of it every day. However, most Americans are slacking in the vitamin D department and many fall short of their daily dose. This can negatively affect your overall and oral health. Research shows a correlation between the lack of vitamin D and an increased risk of osteoporosis, serious cancers like breast, colon, or prostate, and cavities or problems with teeth development in children.
How Much Time Should You Spend In The Sun?
Figuring out just how much time you should spend in the sun to get all of the benefits it has to offer, while not overdoing it, depends on several factors including age, health history, geographic location, and skin tone. Most researchers tend to agree that 5-30 minutes of sunlight per day is enough to get all the benefits and few, if any, of the risks associated with sunshine.
More Ways To Get Vitamin D
Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D, but if you’re sensitive to the sun or if it’s hard to get outside, such as during the winter months, you may experience low levels of vitamin D. Your dentist in Austin recommends supplementing lack of sunshine with foods high in vitamin D. You can get vitamin D from:
- Fatty fish such as salmon
- Fortified cereal, orange juice, or yogurt
Your dentist in Austin is a key member of your healthcare team and we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to help keep your mouth, and your body, healthy. So this summer, get outside, soak up some rays, and enjoy all the benefits the sun has to offer. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen.