Spending some time in the summer sun isn’t just refreshing and relaxing; it can also be highly beneficial to your health. Sunlight offers a variety of benefits, from boosting Vitamin D levels to increasing the release of serotonin in your brain. But what you may not have realized is that the sun helps contribute to healthy gums as well. In this post, you’ll learn how spending some time outdoors during the summer can ultimately help you protect your smile.
What Effect Does Sunlight Have on Your Body?
The radiant energy in sunlight allows your body to turn cholesterol in your skin into vitamin D. This essential vitamin plays an important role in the immune system. Specifically, it helps activate the cells that fight infections, allowing quicker immune response times. It can also help you maintain strong bones by improving their ability to absorb calcium. Vitamin D can be found in certain foods and supplements, of course, but the sun is considered the most important natural source of this nutrient.
How Does This Benefit Your Smile?
The vitamin D that you get from sunlight is vital for a fully functioning immune system, which is key for protecting your oral health. Specifically, it helps improve your defenses against gum disease, which occurs when harmful bacteria infect your gum tissue, leading to swelling and soreness. Untreated gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults, so it’s important to do everything you can to keep your gums as safe as possible. High vitamin D levels allow your body to start fighting the infection early on, minimizing the damage and giving you and your dentist plenty of time to address the issue. In other words, spending some time in the sun can go a long way towards helping you keep your smile intact.
How Can You Safely Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sunlight?
Of course, while sunlight can help your body, there’s also the well-known risk of sunburns to consider. To keep your skin safe while ensuring that you get your daily dose of vitamin D, keep the following tips in mind:
- Try exposing your skin to the sun around midday, when the sun’s rays are their most intense; this way, you don’t need to spend as much time outside to get the vitamin D you need.
- Use the appropriate factor sunscreen if you plan on spending an extended amount of time in the sun. Don’t forget to cover your lips.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Following the right precautions will allow you to safely enjoy the summer sun while also taking the first steps towards improved oral health. And if you need additional tips for taking care of your smile during the summer, don’t hesitate to call your family dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Vince Fava graduated from dental school in 1995, and between 2000 and 2005 he served as a clinical instructor at the University of Toronto’s department of periodontology and department of oral diagnosis and emergency. He continues to expand his clinical knowledge and skills through formal continued dental education. If you have questions about gum health or would like to schedule a summer appointment at his Bramptom practice, Torbram Dental, visit his website or call (905) 792-7163.