Oral & Vision Health Blog

How Does Sunlight Affect Your Teeth?

When we go outside, anything that's not covered up is exposed to the sun--yet the thought of your teeth being exposed may have never crossed your mind. Many of us take the time to ensure that our skin is protected with sunscreen, while others simply limit their time outdoors. Even indirectly, sunlight can affect your teeth.

The good news is that our bodies benefit in numerous ways from the sunlight due to the Vitamin D it gives off. Exposure to some sunlight promotes healthy teeth by helping your body generate Vitamin D. This helps absorb calcium into your bones and teeth which helps to strengthen them. Vitamin D also helps teeth mineralize and prevents gum disease as well.

Is it even possible to sunburn your teeth?

Technically, the answer is no, but your teeth can still be damaged by sun exposure. Damage is more likely to occur if you have sensitive teeth or when you are in direct sunlight after whitening your teeth. Your lips and gums can get burned if they're not properly protected from the sun.

Follow these three suggestions for minimizing sun damage to your oral health:

  1. Use a UV-blocking lip balm of SPF 15 or higher, which helps prevent cancer.
  2. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and the possibility of burning your mouth. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  3. Brush your teeth after swimming in a chlorinated pool because chlorine can weaken your teeth.

It’s important to take preventive measures because the health of your teeth and mouth can influence the rest of your body's health. Part of taking preventive care is seeing your dentist regularly. Not only is it good to have regular teeth cleanings, your dentist will be able to spot any problems earlier, if you see them regularly. Choose a plan that covers at least two routine check-ups per year, along with covering any necessary treatments such as drinking lots of water and wearing protective gear.

You can experience the positive benefits of Vitamin D from the sun if you take the time to care for your teeth and mouth properly.

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