As great as the air conditioning feels at this time of year, spending time outdoors is crucial for good oral health. On top of just being fun, outdoor activities provide your body with nutrients that are required for your smile to thrive. This is because spending time in the sun’s rays gives your body vitamin D. It is estimated that 1 billion people in the world are suffering from vitamin D deficiency which can cause problems like rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist in Denton about the importance of vitamin D and how you can be sure that you’re getting enough.
How Does the Sun Influence Your Smile?
Spending time in the sun is the best way for your body to absorb vitamin D. This is crucial for the body because it regulates the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body. In fact, if you didn’t absorb any vitamin D, you would have an extreme calcium deficiency that would lead to all sorts of problems for both your oral health in Denton and the rest of your body. They include:
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Underdeveloped teeth
- Muscle weakness
This shows how important it is to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin D through both your diet and by spending time outdoors.
How Much Time Do You Need to Spend in the Sun?
The amount of time you need to spend in direct sunlight depends on the amount of melanin in your skin. This is because melanin protects skin from overexposure to the sun’s rays. Because of this, people with darker skin tones tend to need to spend more time outdoors than people with lighter skin tones in order to absorb the same amount of vitamin D. Caucasians should spend about 10-30 minutes in direct sunlight a few times a week. People with darker complexions require anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours more. Midday is the best time to absorb vitamin D because the UBV rays are the most intense. This makes a huge difference in the amount of the vitamin you’re absorbing.
What Other Ways Can You Get Vitamin D?
Absorbing it directly from the sun is the best way to get vitamin D, but you can also get it through certain foods and beverages. Here are a few:
- Fortified cow’s milk
- Fatty fish
- Egg Yolks
- Portabella mushrooms
If you don’t think you’re getting enough vitamins, you could also try a dietary supplement or multivitamin. This way you can be sure that you are getting enough of the vitamin to prevent calcium deficiency so you can show off a healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Todd Balington is a family dentist serving patients of all ages in Denton, TX. After earning his Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida, he pursued his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. He’s been working in the field for 14 years. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (940) 383-3300.