Most people love to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! For those of you who love catching some rays, you’re in luck! A little sunshine actually helps your teeth during orthodontic treatment. A little sunshine has been found to have several benefits, such as improving mood, our immune functions, and catalyzing vitamin D production in our bodies. Keep reading for some advice on how sunshine can help your teeth from Dr. Dennis Flanagan at Dennis J. Flanagan DDS MS.
While in braces, healthy teeth and gums are of vital importance. Vitamin D actually helps to support oral health in two ways:
- It helps our bodies to absorb and utilize calcium
Vitamin D has several major functions. One of its major functions is moderating other vitamins and minerals – including calcium. Calcium is crucial because it fortifies our teeth and supports jaw and bone strength. Several studies have shown greater cavity risk for people who live in regions with little sunlight – sometimes as much as double the risk.
- It may help fight periodontal disease
Vitamin D is also an anti-inflammatory. Periodontal disease, which is the result of inflammation of the gums due to harmful bacteria, is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. Several studies have found that people with high vitamin D levels are less likely to experience bleeding gums and gum detachment.
Also, for you busy folks, it’s not as hard to get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sun as you would think. Often 10 or so minutes of sun exposure a day is enough! However, on those cloudy days, make sure you get other sources of vitamin D instead. This can be done by eating foods like: egg yolks, fatty fish, fortified milk & juices, and vitamin D supplements to help keep your vitamin D levels up. So, go out and soak up a little sun today! As always, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, please contact our office.