We’ve all been told to drink milk for strong, healthy bones; but did you know that calcium rich foods are necessary to keep your teeth strong? In fact, 99% of our calcium is stored in our bones and teeth! Consuming enough of this element can protect your mouth from disease and decay. Read on to learn more about how much calcium is required for you.
How Much Calcium is Necessary?
Getting enough calcium shouldn’t be hard to do if your diet consists of dairy, fruits, and veggies, although the amount that is necessary varies by age.
Let’s take a look at a few general calcium intake recommendations:
- Kids that are 8 years old or younger should receive 500-800 mg per day
- Children and teens that are between 9-18 years old need 1,300 mg per day
- Adults should aim for 1,000 mg a day
- Adults above the age of 71 need at least 1,200 mg per day
*Calcium needs may vary by gender, especially for women that are pregnant.
Calcium Rich Foods
Dairy is heavy in calcium although there is a large array of other options! Incorporating these foods in your diet will help you achieve your calcium intake:
- Kale: 101 mg per cup
- Okra: 82 mg per cup
- Broccoli: 86 mg per 2 cups
- Collard Greens: 268 mg per cup
- Edamame: 98 mg per cup
- 1% Milk: 305 mg per cup
- Greek Yogurt: 187 mg per most single-serving containers
- Cheddar Cheese: 202 mg per slice
- White Beans: 63 mg per half cup
- Almonds: 75 mg in 23 whole almonds
- Sardines: 351 mg per 3.75-ounce can
- Oranges: 74 mg per large orange and 27 mg per cup of orange juice
- Canned Salmon: 232 mg per half can
- Tofu: 434 mg per half cup
Calcium During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your calcium intake increases in order to support growth and development for your baby. Believe it or not, your child’s teeth begin to form while in the womb! In order to ensure your little one has strong teeth and bones, you should be consuming roughly 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium per day. Make sure to speak to your doctor about any necessary changes you should be making to fulfill these needs.
Calcium as We Age
As we get older, our bones and teeth begin to deteriorate. It is especially important to monitor your calcium intake and practice good oral hygiene in order to deter tooth loss.
As always, we recommend visiting your dentist every 6 months so that the experts can monitor the structure of your teeth and provide tips to keep your smile healthy and strong!