What Can Calcium Do For Your Teeth?

Calcium is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Not only does it help build strong bones and teeth, but it’s also vital for proper muscle and nerve functioning. It even helps blood clot! What’s the right amount? Do you know?  Our Pioneer Hills Dental team can educate you on how much you need, why, and how to get it.

Why Is Calcium Important for Your Teeth?

The majority of American’s diets are low in calcium. But what most don’t realize is that they are putting their teeth and bones at serious risk by not getting an adequate amount each day. When the body doesn’t have enough it leeches the mineral from teeth and bones, which can increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities.  99 percent of the body’s calcium reserves is stored in the bones and teeth so when your calcium is low, those are the areas that suffer.  Diets that are deficient in calcium raise your risk of periodontal (gum) disease as well. The health of your jawbone is also at risk without the proper amount.  Low levels can cause weakening/loosening of teeth leaving you at even greater risk for gum disease.

Calcium Is Important for Total Body Wellness

We know about the importance of calcium for strong teeth and bones, but do you know that it is required for every cell of the body to function in a healthy way? Besides acting as a cellular cement for bones, calcium is used by nerves and muscles, and it also contributes to proper blood clotting.  WebMD also reports that incorporating extra calcium into a low-fat diet will promote fat-burning and therefore help with weight loss goals.

How Much Calcium Do You Need?

In studies of calcium intake and gum disease, the participants with the healthiest teeth consumed more than 800 mg each day. At the same time, those who consumed less than 500 mg of the mineral each day were 54 percent more likely to develop gum disease. The Food and Drug Administration recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for women younger than 50 and for men of any age, and 1,200 mg for women over 50. How much do kids need? Children age 4-8 need about 800 mg, or three, eight-ounce glasses of milk daily, and those age 9-18 need about 1,300 mg, or four glasses of milk. Babies need calcium to ensure incoming teeth develop properly. And once they’re in, this important mineral can help vulnerable new teeth fight decay. Discuss your diet, or the diet of your child, with Dr. Wolbaum to ensure you are getting an appropriate daily amount.

The Power of Calcium and Phosphorus

As we discussed earlier, calcium plays a role in making the jaw bones healthy and strong to hold the teeth in place, however, it needs phosphorus to maximize its bone-strengthening benefits. Children’s teeth need adequate calcium and phosphorus to form a hard structure during development.  Good phosphorus sources include: cereals, wheat germ, soybeans, nuts, particularly almonds, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, grapes, citrus fruit, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body — even stronger than bone — it’s still susceptible to tooth decay when exposed to acids in the mouth. Because enamel is composed of mainly calcium phosphate, a calcium-rich diet is essential during tooth development.

How Can you Get Calcium?

Certain forms of calcium applied directly to the teeth can strengthen and repair enamel and enhance the beneficial effects of fluoride.  But, most of this mineral that you will be supplying to your teeth and bones will come directly from your diet.  The following list will help you find good sources of your daily needs:

  • Dairy foods: milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Fish:  especially sardines and salmon (with bones)
  • Leafy vegetables: kale, broccoli, collard greens
  • Calcium-fortified juice and breads
  • Pudding

There are a couple things to consider to help you get the calcium you need. Watch the amount of soda you are drinking. This is not only a good idea for the health of your teeth and body, but consuming large quantities of soda raises phosphate levels in the blood, which can leach calcium from your bones and prevent the absorption of new amounts of this mineral.

It is also important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D. Calcium is absorbed by the body and used only when there is enough vitamin D in your system. A balanced diet should provide an adequate supply of vitamin D from sources such as eggs and fortified orange juice. Sunlight also helps the body naturally absorb vitamin D, and with enough exposure to the sun, additional food sources may not be necessary.

Call for a Consultation

Pioneer Hills Dental, located in Aurora, CO is a general and family dentistry practice. We are passionate about helping you and your children achieve and maintain optimal oral health and a beautiful smile! We focus on prevention, tooth preservation, and awareness and make every effort to treat our patients the way we treat members of our own family. We offer comprehensive care for your dental needs in a relaxed and efficient atmosphere.  We look forward to meeting you and your family! Call us today at (303) 766-8811 to make an appointment.