Summer is almost here, and we know you’ll be slathering on the sunscreen to protect your skin … but the good news is that a little bit of sun exposure helps you get enough vitamin D. Combine that with some calcium-rich foods, and you are on your way to keeping your teeth (and bones) healthy and strong.
Vitamin D is important for your overall health, including your teeth. The vitamin is produced in the skin of humans when they are exposed to ultraviolet B light from the sun. Unfortunately, perhaps due to our office-bound culture and the use of sunscreen to protect our skin, there has been an increase in vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium and phosphate from your diet, which help build healthy teeth and bones. In addition, the vitamin increases the amount of good antimicrobial proteins that fight the bacteria that cause dental caries.
For vitamin D, people ages 4 to 70 should get the current recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 600 international units (IUs), while people over 70 should get 800 IUs. For calcium, all people ages 4-51 should get 1,000 mg/day; males 51-70 should get 1,000 mg/day; females age 51-70 should get 1,200 mg/day; and all people over 70 should get 1,200 mg/day.
Here’s how make sure you get the RDA of both the vitamin and the mineral.
- Get 10 to 15 minutes of sun on your uncovered face and arms twice a week.
- When choosing a vitamin D supplement, choose a USDA graded supplement that contains vitamin D3.
- Dairy, fish and leafy greens are rich in vitamin D and calcium. Salmon and sardines; milk, cheese and yogurt; kale, broccoli and collard greens are all good choices. Cereal and orange juice may also be fortified — just check the label. And always check with your doctor if you are pregnant before changing your diet or adding any kind of supplement.
For more information on how vitamin D and calcium can help your teeth, please contact us at Enlighten Dental Care. Call us for an appointment at (336) 765-0904 or complete our online form.