You know you need calcium for strong bones, but did you know it also helps keep your teeth strong and clean? Here’s something that might surprise you: 99% of our body’s calcium is stored in our bones and teeth! Your oral health relies on 7 vitamins and minerals to stay healthy: Vitamins A, C, D, and K, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, which helps strengthen your jawbone and harden tooth enamel.
The Role of Calcium in Your Teeth
Our teeth love calcium because part of their makeup is calcium compounds. As we age, though, the calcium phosphate that makes up tooth enamel can weaken and erode. Getting enough calcium into your system helps fortify your teeth, protects tooth enamel, and contributes to healthier gums.
Calcium Deficiency and Dental Loss
Many of us equate calcium with bone loss or osteoporosis in major bones like those in our back, legs, and hips. But osteoporosis can also cause your jawbone to become weak. That’s because when the rest of your body lacks calcium, it pulls it from other sources like your teeth. When that happens, you risk losing teeth, weakening roots, and irritating gums. The shape of your jaw may change as well.
Don’t Forget About Vitamin D
Researchers say calcium and Vitamin D are the perfect pair for helping to prevent bone and tooth loss. When combined with a good at-home oral care routine, regular dental exams and cleanings, adequate calcium intake can let you hold on to your own teeth as you age.
How does Vitamin D help? It enhances the calcium absorption rate by your body which means your bones, including the jawbone, stay strong and healthy.
How You Can Get More Calcium in Your Diet
You’ve probably heard the best way to get calcium into your diet is through foods and beverages like milk, yogurt, and cheese. But you can look past the dairy aisle to find other great sources of calcium (especially if you’re lactose intolerant). Green vegetables like broccoli, salmon, and calcium-fortified cereals are all good choices. You can also take a daily multivitamin that contains calcium.
There’s no need to go overboard with your calcium intake, though. Too much of a good thing can actually have adverse effects on your oral and overall health! Gum disease, plaque, and heart disease have all been linked to an excess of calcium in the body. The National Institutes of Health recommends consuming at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day for the average adult.
The Many Ways to Improve Your Smile
Brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings are all part of building and maintaining a healthy, white smile. Eating a balanced diet that includes enough calcium is an additional step that helps support the health of your teeth as you age. You should also try to avoid sugary drinks and snacks as often as possible as they eat away at your tooth enamel.
To learn more about how getting enough calcium can help you improve your smile, schedule an appointment today with Caven Dental today.