In Australia, we are taught to avoid the sun from a very early age. It is reflected in our public service announcements, in our uniforms at school. No one likes sunburn, but recent research has shed some light on the importance of a controlled dose of sunshine. In its absence, our teeth – among other things – can suffer.
The only vitamin that our body creates for us, Vitamin D comes about as the result of a cholesterol in our skin reacting with UV rays, and are processed by your liver and kidneys in to a usable form. Without UV, your vitamin D levels remain low, which has real repercussions for your teeth.
Vitamin D plays a big role in the absorption and use of calcium, the building block for our teeth, as well as our bones and cartilage. In the absence of adequate Vitamin D, physicians note a strong correlation between greater likelihood of cavities, along with less bone retention in the jaw – something that can contribute to lost teeth. The value of proper intake, then, is high.
Luckily, we don’t need to risk a painful sunburn to gain adequate Vitamin D. Fifteen to thirty minutes of exposure around midday three times weekly is ample, with darker-skinned people requiring slightly more than those of us with paler skin. Should you be unwilling or unable to handle the sun for such a length of time, there are also Vitamin D supplements available at your chemist.
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