This is an important question that you might not have thought about. We all know that UV light is not good for our skin or our eyes and take prompt measures to keep them both protected when we go outside into the sun or when we know we are likely to be irradiated to UV radiation in some environment.
And yet, it's worthwhile to wonder whether we should protect our teeth as well, considering the fact that they are also exposed when we smile.
The Effect of UV Radiation on Teeth
Teeth can be exposed to UV radiation in a variety of circumstances. One of them is when we're out in the sun and open our mouths. The other is when we go for a UV-assisted teeth whitening procedure. During such procedures, the teeth whitening gel is applied carefully to the teeth and then a blue light is radiated on it to speed up the process of whitening.
In both of these processed, the teeth themselves aren't in direct danger from the UV light, unless they have a very weak enamel. However, the lips and gums are very susceptible to blue light and could easily get burned. This could lead to gum disease or worse: lip cancer.
Too much exposure to the sun can also leave you with a dry mouth, which means saliva production is going to see a drop. While not all the benefits of saliva are known, we certainly know that it has something to do with preventing bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.
On the other hand, a healthy amount of sunlight is necessary as it leads to the synthesis of vitamin D in the teeth. Vitamin D is important in the absorption of calcium, which makes for stronger teeth.
So, while you certainly need sunlight for healthy teeth, you should limit your exposure and also take measures to protect your lips and gums. Wear UV-blocking lip balm (SPF 15 or higher), drink plenty of water, and don't stay too long in the sun. As for teeth whitening, have it done by a professional, such as ourselves, so that you know that you are in the right hands.
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