Wellness + Nutrition

Protect yourself while enjoying the great outdoors

When the weather is nice, there are so many great ways to take advantage of a beautiful day outside — from an early morning walk to late-night stargazing. Whether you’re in the mood for something active or just want to relax, here are some tips to protect your smile and overall health as you head out on your next adventure.

Make a splash

Going out for a swim — or taking part in other water activities such as kayaking or paddle boarding — can help cool you off. Hitting the water is not only fun and refreshing, but it can also benefit your health:

 Sunshine helps your body produce much-needed vitamin D.

• You require vitamin D to absorb calcium for healthy teeth and bones.

• Vitamin D may also help prevent certain health issues, such as heart disease.

Too much sun without proper protection can cause damage including sunburn, dark spots and wrinkles — and may increase your risk of cancer. 


Can you sunburn your teeth? No, since your teeth don’t have skin. But your lips can get burned. 


Tips for water activites


• Apply sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 30 or higher to protect you from ultraviolet (UV) rays, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours and after getting out of the water.

• Shield your eyes with goggles while you swim.

• Talk to your dentist if you’re swimming in a pool for more than six hours a week, as too much chlorine exposure can potentially stain your teeth and hurt your tooth enamel.

• Cover up when you’re not in the water to shield yourself from the sun. At a minimum, sport a dry shirt or cover-up, a hat and sunglasses. It’s best to wear darker clothing with longer sleeves and a collar. A scarf and specially treated sun-protective clothing with UPF 30 or higher can provide additional protection.





Go for a walk

Head outdoors and take a walk on a nature trail, around a lake or in the neighborhood.

The point is to get moving! Exercise is so important for your physical, mental and overall health. It can improve your mood, boost your energy and help you sleep better.

Even a quick walk can benefit your oral health by reducing sugar cravings, increasing immunity and lowering stress levels. Research shows that exercise may also lower your risk of gum disease.

Tips for your walk


• Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat to shade your face from the sun.

• Protect your skin from the sun’s rays by wearing sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 30 or higher, along with sun-protective clothing such as long sleeves.

• Avoid the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the sun is at its highest.

• Find some shade when possible to avoid direct sunlight exposure.

• Carry plenty of water in a reusable bottle to stay hydrated along the way. To make your water more flavorful, try infusing it with naturally sweet fruit.

• Pack some fruits, veggies or nuts for a snack. Avoid chips and crackers that can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. 



Gaze at the stars

Discover the world around you by looking up at the stars. Stargazing can be beneficial for your mental and physical health. It can help you relax, feel at peace and connect with nature.

Unwinding with some stargazing or other relaxing activities at the end of the day can relieve tension and stress that can lead to oral health problems such as teeth grinding, jaw pain, canker sores and gum disease.

Tips for stargazing


• Check the weather to see how you should dress, and if clouds or rain will obstruct your view that night.

• Find a good spot for viewing, such as your backyard or a hill at a local park.

• Research what phase the moon is in and whether there are any special events such as meteor showers or eclipses you should look for.

• Bring a jacket or blanket because the night can get chilly, even in the summertime. It may also protect you from bug bites – although you may want to bring the bug spray to be safe.

• Brush and floss your teeth before you go in case you get tired as the night goes on.



Get outside and discover all that nature has to offer — whether you’re doing something active or just relaxing. Dressing appropriately and bringing the right gear will help you stay healthy while enjoying the outdoors.