Though it seemed like spring weather would never come this year, our Polaris dentist and staff are happy to see the green grass and fresh blossoms. Like you, we are ready for sunshine and fresh air to replenish the vitamin D we crave. Vitamins are essential to your oral health, and vitamin D is no different. Yet, it is a unique vitamin in how it works with our bodies.
How do I get vitamin D?
Natural sunlight, dairy products, and eggs are the most common ways to add vitamin D to your diet. Certain fish are another source. Vitamin D strengthens bones and teeth and adds to your oral health longevity. A lack of vitamin D produces weak bones that become brittle over time. Northerners especially suffer from a lack of vitamin D in the winter, so let’s take a look at how these sources work for your body.
Natural sunlight is not just soaked into our bodies and, presto, you have vitamin D. Instead, the natural light allows our skin to synthesize, or manufacture, the production of vitamin D. We get the most vitamin D from being outdoors and allowing our skin to absorb the sun’s rays. The downside is our association with sunscreen. The upside is that it doesn’t take much sun to begin the process. Our Polaris dentist understands the need for sunscreen protection. If it is possible and okay for your health, a few short minutes in the sun will give your body the start it needs to produce vitamin D.
When sunshine isn’t the answer for vitamin D, you can increase the amount of milk and dairy in your diet. Vitamin D gives our bones and teeth the tools it needs to absorb the calcium that makes our bones strong. Additionally, it keeps our gums and soft tissues healthy, therefore reducing the risk of gum disease. As you age, you’ll need to continue increasing the amount of dairy to your diet in order to keep your bones and teeth strong.
Eggs are a great source of protein and have the bonus of containing a small amount of vitamin D. A single egg contains roughly 20% of the vitamin D daily recommended value. Our Polaris dentist recommends supplementing your vitamin D intake with a glass of milk in order to get the nutrition your body needs. Eggs alone are not a single source of vitamin D.
Mackerel, tuna, and salmon are perhaps the best source of vitamin D next to sunlight. These fish offer high levels of vitamin D as well as act as a great source for omega-3 fatty acids. The combination of these lower cholesterol while giving us healthy bones, teeth, and tissues.
Your options may seem limited when it comes to vitamin D, but with a little imagination and creativity in the kitchen as well as a few minutes outside, you’ll have all you need to give your body the vitamin D boost you need. Ask our staff at your next dental exam about how nutrition pays a role in your oral health success and be sure to visit our Facebook page for new updates.