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The Relationship Between Sun Exposure and Your Oral Health

During the summer months, we tend to think about protecting our skin from harmful UV rays and sunlight by applying sunblock or limiting our exposure to the sun. But we often don’t think about our teeth – is the sun harmful to your enamel?

The short answer is no. It is very unlikely that your teeth will be damaged by too much sun exposure. On the contrary, some sun may actually be good for your teeth!

Our body’s natural process of producing Vitamin D involves soaking up the sun through our skin. This important vitamin helps the body absorb calcium more efficiently, which in turn helps to strengthen your bones – teeth and jaw included.

However, there might be other summer activities that you might want to moderate in order to protect your oral health.

  • Limit your alcohol intake: Summer parties usually means more beer and liquor, so try to moderate your drinking. The sugar in those drinks can damage your teeth if you don’t take the extra step to care for your oral health.
  • Apply lip balm with SPF: When we apply sunblock to our face, we often forget about our lips, which are already fairly weak to UV rays. Try a lip balm with SPF higher than 30 for good protection and comfortable wear.
  • Brush your teeth after a dip in the pool or ocean: The chlorine that’s present in most pools can be harmful to your tooth enamel, and ocean water may bring unwanted bacteria into your mouth.
  • Buy a mouthguard if you’re physically active: If you like to play volleyball or go rock-climbing, guarding your teeth against physical impact could lessen your chances of getting a cracked tooth.

Before you set off for vacation this summer, consider visiting your dentist to help protect your oral health. You could ask to get a sealant, which will aid in the fight against decay and cavities. Your dentist may also work with you to create a custom care plan suited to you and your family’s needs.

Let Dr. Stephen Coates and his dental team in Long Beach, CA help your family with their dental care. Call 562-434-6414 to set up an appointment, or book through this online system.

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