When summer comes around, each year people are warned about the dangers about too much sun exposure. However, a new study has highlighted some of the positive benefits that getting outside can have.
Research published in the journal of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology has supported previous studies that link a lack of sunlight and gum disease.
With around one billion people thought to be deficient in vitamin D, the new findings could encourage people to make the most of the sun this summer.
Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) Dr Nigel Carter OBE highlights the importance of getting outside for oral health.
With gum disease being one of the most common chronic diseases in the world – often leading to painful abscesses and tooth loss – people often feel helpless when it comes to reducing their risk, he said.
“While getting a bit on sunshine should not replace your daily oral health routine like twice daily brushing, it’s a simple addition that could make a positive difference,” Dr Carter added.
The findings could provide a valuable marketing ploy for dental practices. With it being harder than ever to stand out from the crowd with digital marketing, dentists could instead go for a more traditional approach.
By creating a stand outside, it will not only grab the attention of locals but also gives a positive reason as to why you are there. Simply telling people that sunlight can improve dental health on a leaflet is likely to be missed or even dismissed, but setting up an attractive and engaging stand full of information on how to improve dental health – including getting enough vitamin D – can be far more effective.
Dr Carter added that vitamin D is key for the immune system as it activates infection-fighting cells, which boosts the response to any problems.
Of course, when soaking up the sun people still need to make sure their skin and eyes are well protected.