The Calcium Conundrum

Calcium should be an important element in everyone’s diet. It is particularly important as we grow older. We need calcium to prevent bone loss or osteoporosis. Many people do not know that osteoporosis can affect the jaw bone. If this happens it could cause your teeth to become loose or even to fall out.

A recent study found that people who get all, or most, of thcouple-relaxing-indoors-smiling HFbxDpiCBo smeir calcium from supplements (instead of food) are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack. Health care providers recommend that adults need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. So, if you should not use supplements, how do you get your daily allowance of calcium? Low-fat dairy is a good source of calcium and of other nutrients needed for bone strength. Typically, 1,000 mg of calcium can be found in about three cups of dairy per day. Some calcium can also come from vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, spinach, kale and Swiss chard.

Consuming the recommended amount of calcium each day is not the end of the story. You also need other nutrients like phosphorous. Vitamin D is essential, as well. It helps your body to absorb the calcium and carry it to the bone that supports your teeth. Ultimately, strong teeth need the nutrients supplied by a healthy and balanced diet. 

By Caroline A. Wallace, DDS, Complete Dental Care of Salem, VA