On topic with Dr. Dill: 

The pros and cons of summer sunshine

Even from 93 million miles away, the sun powers our planet. And it doesn’t stop there! Sunshine (or the lack of it) can have a big influence on your personal health and well-being. Let’s break down what’s good and bad about spending time in the summer daylight.


To shield your skin and lips from the sun, apply SPF 30 sunscreen and lip balm approximately 15 to 30 minutes before heading out. This helps your skin fully absorb the SPF. Also, be sure to reapply every couple of hours to remain protected.


Look on the bright side

From stronger bones to better mental health, sunshine can greatly benefit your emotional, oral, and overall health.

Vitamin D from sunshine helps your body absorb calcium for strong teeth and bones. And don't worry, using sunscreen regularly does not cause vitamin D deficiency.

Moderate exposure to sunlight can greatly reduce blood pressure, although more studies are needed to determine why.

Sunlight causes your body to release serotonin, a hormone that helps you feel relaxed and calm. This can improve your mood and help reduce stress-related issues like tooth grinding (bruxism).  

Releasing serotonin during the day also boosts your body’s production of melatonin at night, helping you sleep soundly.

Catch some sun — but don’t overdo it

The benefits of sunshine are real, but as with many good things, moderation is key. Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause immediate issues and contribute to long-term health risks:  

Short-term overexposure can cause chapped lips, sunburn, dehydration, and temporary but painful eye irritation (known as photokeratitis).

Long-term overexposure can cause issues like the early development of wrinkles, skin blemishes, cataracts in the eye (which can limit your vision), as well as lip and skin cancer.

For more smile-friendly tips, check out our summer safety checklist and our tips for staying cool in the summer heat.

Enjoy your time in the sun

Time spent under blue skies and sunshine can improve your oral and overall health. Just be sure to protect yourself from the risks of overexposure!


Meet Joseph Dill, DDS, Delta Dental’s Chief Dental Officer. With more than 35 years of experience in the dental field, including 10 in private and public health practice and 20 in dental insurance, Dr. Dill provides expert insights and helpful advice to keep you smiling bright.

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