Most of us have heard and know that calcium is very important for bone growth and maintenance, especially as we get older. But not many are aware that calcium is equally important for our teeth.
Calcium is very important for dental health, starting from when babies grow their first teeth. Most babies already consume a healthy dose of calcium either through breastmilk or formula, and as they grow into children, they usually continue their healthy intake with plenty of milk. However, as we grow older, most of us lose our taste for milk, and our calcium consumption comes strictly from cheese and yogurt, which aren’t as calcium enriched as milk.
While most people see this as potentially hazardous for bone health, particularly those who are prone to osteoporosis, it’s also just as hazardous for dental health. Keeping a moderate intake of calcium will help keep teeth strong and healthy, which could help reduce the need for partial dentures or full dentures.
The daily dietary calcium requirement for people of ages 31-50 is 1000mg. For those older than 50, the requirement increases to 1200mg per day. To give you some perspective on how much this is, an 8 oz. glass of milk contains 300mg of calcium.
So in theory, three to four glasses of milk will take care of this daily minimum. This is great for adults who still enjoy drinking milk, but for the rest, it will take some effort and some research to find how to receive the needed calcium. Obtaining calcium from dairy products (or even soy for the lactose intolerant) is the safest way to consume the daily requirement. There are over-the-counter calcium supplements available, in pill and chocolate forms, but before you look into these options, talk to your doctor first. Consuming too much calcium can be just as bad as not consuming enough.
If you have any questions about the health and strength of your teeth, be sure to ask your dentist and talk with him or her about the amount of calcium in your diet.