Consuming Calcium-rich foods in your daily routine helps to maintain different areas of your health, including your teeth.
Dairy products might be the right answer as they are rich in calcium sources, however, other food products are also rich in calcium.
Moreover, they enable you to protect your teeth and smile.
Strong teeth and bones are crucial for your overall health. Calcium is a mineral and is most abundant in your body.
It helps to keep both your bones and teeth strong.
Moreover, you can find calcium in different supplements and vitamins as it is an important mineral your body needs.
All calcium found in your body is stored in bones and teeth.
In addition to strengthening your bones and teeth, it is also important for your body’s blood vessels, muscles, and fluids.
Moreover, it helps to keep the blood vessels and muscles function in a proper manner.
Women, in particular, are more prone to these diseases and are 3 times more likely to lose their teeth if they have osteoporosis.
The recommended amount of calcium, according to Food and Drug Administration as per age group are as follows:
- 0 to 12 months: 200-250 mg
- 1 to 3 years: 700 mg
- 4 to 8 years: 1000 mg
- 9 to 13 years: 1300 mg
- 14 to 18 years: 1300 mg
- 19 to 50 years: 1000 mg
- 51 to 71 years: 1000 mg for males and 1200 mg for females
- 71+: 1200 mg for both male and female
Why is Calcium Important for your Teeth?
In most cases, many times your diet is not rich in calcium-rich foods. This puts you at risk of having weak bones and teeth.
About 99% of calcium is stored in your bones and teeth, therefore, when the calcium is low in your body, these areas suffer.
Although, with osteoporosis, not getting enough calcium can increase your risk of periodontal disease.
Studies suggest that people who do not have enough calcium in their diet are more than 50% more likely to develop gum disease than people who have enough calcium in their diet.
Moreover, when your diet is not sufficient with calcium-rich foods, you risk developing periodontitis or gum diseases as well.
There is also an increase in the risk of damage to your jaw bone with low calcium intake.
This low level can cause your teeth to loosen, thereby, leaving you at even greater risk of gum diseases.
How can you get Calcium?
Applying certain forms of calcium directly to your teeth can help to strengthen your teeth and enamel.
They can also enhance the effects of fluoride on your teeth.
However, most of the calcium comes from your diet which helps to keep your teeth and bones strong.
The following is a list of calcium-rich food source:
- Dairy Products: Milk, cheese. yogurt
- Fish: Especially sardines, salmon
- Leafy greens: Kale, broccoli, collard greens
- Calcium-fortified juice and bread
It is important to consider things to help you understand whether you need calcium or not.
Do not take soda daily as it can damage the health of your teeth and body.
Moreover, consuming it in large quantities can raise the amount of phosphorus in your blood which can draw calcium from your bones and prevent its absorption from new food intake.
It is also important to consume vitamin D as your body absorbs calcium only when there is enough vitamin D in your system.
A balanced diet provides a sufficient amount of Vitamin D and the sources include eggs and fortified orange juice.
Moreover, sunlight also helps to absorb vitamin D.
You can either take supplements or a diet full of calcium to provide your body with enough calcium.
Moreover, it helps to strengthen and maintain your bones and teeth. In case you have calcium deficiency, you can take additional supplements by consulting your doctor.
You can add the following calcium-rich foods to your diet and they will provide you the required calcium for your body.
Cow milk or goat milk is one of the richest sources of calcium in the world.
One cup of either provide 200 grams of calcium or 20% of the daily value, DV. You can either pour yourself a glass of milk with breakfast or enjoy it with a bowl of your favorite cereal.
Just like other dairy products, cheese is a great source of calcium, and meeting the calcium requirements by your body,
Moreover, parmesan cheese provides the highest amount of calcium with a ratio of 336 mg of calcium per ounce.
It is close to the amount present in Romano, Gruyere, and goat cheese.
Yogurt contains about 296mg of calcium or 30% of Daily Value, DV in 1 cup of whole milk yogurt.
However, greek yogurt contains a slightly less value of calcium, i.e. 200 mg in a single serving cup.
You can either take it with fruit or granola for a sweet and crunchy flavor or eat it simply for breakfast or for lunch.
When it comes to fortified calcium, tofu is a great choice for healthy teeth.
Raw, firm tofu with added calcium contains 86 mg of calcium per half-cup. However, tofu without added calcium contains about 100 to 200 mg per serving.
Moreover, tofu is gluten-free and contains no cholesterol. It is an excellent source of proteins as well, therefore, you can add it to egg scrambles, stir-fry, salads, and more.
5# Oragne Juice with Added Calcium
Naturally, orange has a small amount of calcium in it, however, many varieties of orange juice have fortified calcium in them.
For instance, frozen form of juice concentrate with added calcium contains about 154 mg of calcium per cup.
That is the daily recommendation and you are getting it in just one cup of orange juice.
However, juices are high in sugar, therefore, it is important to take them in moderate quantities.
Make sure to give your child the recommended amount of orange juice according to age recommendations of calcium.
Beans contain proteins, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals that fuel your body.
In addition to these, they are a solid source of calcium.
Moreover, in 1 cup of soybeans, it delivers about 515 mg of calcium, while white beans bring about 485 mg of calcium, and kidney beans provide 359 mg of calcium.
You can either roast them, steam them or whip them into a di or add them in your soups or salads as per your liking.
7# Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables provide an extra boost to your plate.
Vegetables like kale provide about 179 mg of calcium or cup, frozen collard greens provide 357 mg of calcium and cooked spinach provides 257 mg of calcium.
These provide you enough calcium. Moreover, they are a powerhouse when it comes to other nutrients, are low in calories, and high in fiber which is great for your overall health.
8# Canned Fish
Canned Sardines contains about 569 mg of calcium and salmon contains 241 mg of calcium per cup which is beneficial for your body.
Moreover, when you eat them along with bones it is even more beneficial as bones are the main source of calcium.
Because the bones of these fish are soft, you can mash them and serve as they are not detectable.
You can create a spread to serve them or make fish cakes, or if you like, you can eat whole sardines or chunks of salmon or add them to your salads.
Almonds are a great snack that contains healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.
Moreover, one cup of almonds contains about 246 mg of calcium.
You can take a handful of almonds as an afternoon snack, instead of taking sweets and it will help you feel full till dinner.
10# Soya Milk
In case you do not like regular milk, fortified soya milk is a great substitute.
Soymilk with added calcium contains about 340 mg of calcium per cup as compared to a regular cup of milk if it is not fortified, on average.
Moreover, they are different flavors available, therefore you can check the label to make sure you are getting enough calcium.
However, it is important to watch out for added sugar as it can lead to other diseases.
You can either drink it alone, use it in cereal or add it to your morning coffee.
The Bottom Line
Many food products both dairy and non-dairy have amounts of calcium along with other vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial for your overall health. They are even more important to maintain and strengthen your bones and teeth.
When it comes to oral health, calcium is an important part. It helps to fortify your teeth and keep your gums healthy. However, you don’t only need a glass of milk daily to get the required amount of calcium.
You can try other calcium-rich foods in your fridge or pantry. Eating healthy food can help you to protect your bones and teeth and in return protect yourself in the most delicious way possible.