Calcium is an essential component of a healthy diet. While you may have heard of calcium giving us strong teeth, it also supports the development of strong bones and muscles, making it important for everyone from infants to adults.
Read on to learn more about the role of calcium and how to ensure you’re getting enough of this crucial mineral in your diet.
Why is calcium important?
Calcium helps to strengthen teeth and their protective layer of enamel, making it one of the most important elements for healthy teeth.
Furthermore, calcium helps to strengthen bones, reducing our risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis, particularly as we get older.
In addition, calcium can help to repair and strengthen our muscles, enabling us to stay mobile and active at all ages.
Why do infants need calcium?
Calcium is particularly important for young children to develop strong bones and teeth, including a strong jawbone to support the growth of healthy teeth.
Even young babies are developing their teeth long before the first tooth appears, making calcium important right from the start.
Calcium is present in breast milk and formula, but it’s important to continue making it a part of your child’s diet once they’re eating solid foods.
In addition to a calcium-rich diet, you should also teach children how to brush their teeth correctly so they can practice good oral hygiene as they grow, as well as keeping up with their regular dental check-ups, starting at the age of two.
Do adults need calcium?
Yes, people of all ages need calcium to stay healthy and keep teeth, bones and muscles in optimal health.
Osteoporosis - which occurs as our bones lose density - can develop at any age, putting you at risk of bone fractures. In addition, a weaker jaw can mean you’re at higher risk of losing teeth if you develop advanced periodontal disease.
Women of all ages should pay particular attention to calcium in their diet, as it can affect developmental stages such as menstruation and menopause.
How can I get calcium in my diet?
The majority of dairy foods are great sources of calcium, with milk, cream, cheese and yoghurt easily added to most daily diets.
However, if you’re lactose-intolerant or don’t eat dairy products, you’ll be pleased to learn that calcium can also be found in foods such as brown rice, oranges, beans, peas, broccoli, cabbage, sardines, salmon, almonds, and tahini paste, as well as milk substitutes which are fortified with calcium, such as soy, oat, almond and rice milk.
If you can’t get enough calcium in your regular diet, your doctor may prescribe calcium tablets.
If you need more information about calcium for healthy teeth - or if you’re concerned about any type of oral health issue - talk to your local National Dental Care or DB Dental dentist. You can make an appointment online now.