How Calcium Benefits Oral Health & Overall Wellness
And why your teeth and bones milk this essential mineral for all it’s worth
Mom always said, “Drink your milk." Why? Because milk is loaded with calcium, an essential mineral for building strong bones and teeth.
Did you know...
Over 86% of teenage girls and 64% of teenage boys in the United States are calcium deficient.
-U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Why children need calcium
Babies need calcium to ensure incoming teeth develop properly. And once they’re in, calcium can help vulnerable new teeth fight decay.
How much calcium 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. Discuss your child’s diet with a pediatrician or dentist to ensure your child is getting an appropriate amount of daily calcium.
Why adults need calcium
For adults, a calcium-rich diet may delay or even prevent osteoporosis, a serious disease that weakens bones as we age. And adults who smoke need extra calcium to minimize the negative effects of tobacco on teeth and gums.
How much calcium do adults need? Adults need about 1,000 mg of calcium, or three to four glasses of milk daily. Talk your doctor or dentist to finding out how much calcium is right for you.
Alternative calcium sources
Not everyone can tolerate milk or drink enough of it to meet their daily calcium needs. Luckily, there are plenty of alternative foods out there to help you supplement your calcium intake, including:
- Calcium-fortified juices
- Dark-green, leafy vegetables
- Cocoa made with milk
- Chocolate milk
- Calcium-fortified soy milk
- Calcium-fortified breads