Calcium is often praised for its many health benefits like strengthening bones and teeth, but your body won’t experience those benefits if it doesn’t have enough vitamin D to absorb the calcium.1 Getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D helps reduce bone loss over time and may also decrease your chances of losing teeth.2 On the flip side, not getting enough calcium could increase your risk for osteoporosis. Developing osteoporosis can cause the jaw to weaken, leading to possible tooth loss.3
So how do you make sure your body gets the vitamin D it needs? UVB rays from sunlight and vitamin D supplements are the main sources, but they aren’t the only ones.4 Some foods naturally contain vitamin D like cheese, egg yolks, beef liver and fatty fish (tuna, mackerel and salmon).5 Because natural foods rich in vitamin D are somewhat limited, manufacturers sometimes fortify products like milk, margarine and yogurt.6
The amount of vitamin D you absorb from the sun varies significantly based on factors like where you live, air quality, skin color and more.7 Additionally, the amount you need largely depends on your age. Check with your physician to determine if you’re getting enough or if you should take a supplement.8
For the sake of your smile, get outside and enjoy the sun! Just make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF 30+ rating to protect your skin and lips from sunburn.