Calcium is essential for the healthy development of bones and teeth – but how can you be sure you are getting enough?
While the NHS states that eating a healthy diet should provide the required amount of calcium, parents of fussy eaters – or fussy-eating adults - might need extra reassurance that they are not putting the health of their teeth and bones at risk.
Why is calcium important to teeth?
Calcium is responsible for the structure of teeth and bones. It is also essential to maintain the strength of teeth and bones. If the body lacks calcium it will draw on its own reserves threatening to weaken bones and teeth.
Weakened bones and teeth are more susceptible to breaking and fracturing and as such it is vital to get enough calcium in your diet.
How much calcium do I need?
The Government sets the recommended level of calcium per day as:
- Children aged 3 years and under 350 mg/day
- Children aged 4-6 450 mg/day
- Children aged 7-10 550 mg/day
- Boys aged 11-18 1000 mg/day
- Girls aged 11-18 800 mg/day
- Adults aged 19 upwards 700 mg/day
Realistically a diet that features bread, dairy, pulses and vegetables should meet those levels. However, some people face huge restrictions on what they eat due to allergies, while some people engage in fad diets, and fussy eaters refuse entire food groups.
Dairy has always been a major source of calcium in our diets however the fast emerging trend for vegan dieting will mean finding alternative sources of calcium. Many children also refuse to drink milk despite their parent’s best efforts.
Thankfully calcium comes in plenty of food forms including the following:
- Pulses (in particular white beans)
- Tinned sardines
- Enriched soya milk
The good news is that a meal of beans on toast is actually a pretty good source of calcium and will take a child well on their way to the daily requirement, while most youngsters enjoy broccoli and oranges.
As a rule 2-3 portions of dairy will meet the recommended daily amount, if you can’t make that there are plenty of other tasty sources of calcium to help out.
If you have any concerns about the condition of your teeth contact Bhandal dental surgery.
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