Aerial view of foods and drinks that contain calcium for your child's oral health

Is Calcium Important for My Child’s Oral Health?

September 30, 2021 8:10 am

Calcium is a nutrient with a variety of purposes in the human body. For example, it builds strong bones and teeth and is critical for proper functioning of your heart and muscles. It makes up 1-2% of an adult’s body weight, with 99% of the body’s calcium being stored in the bones and teeth.

Throughout the day, we lose calcium through our bathroom excretions, sweat, skin, nails, and hair. Our bodies can’t make calcium so we need to get this mineral from food.

Effects of a Calcium Deficiency

If you don’t get enough, your bones and teeth get weaker and you become more vulnerable to irritated gums, tooth decay, and chipped, cracked, and broken teeth. Children can also develop bowleggedness (in which the legs curve outward at the knees when the feet and ankles are together) and experience stunted growth.

How Much Calcium Do Kids Need?

Newborns need 200 mg of calcium a day. Babies between 6 to 11 months old need 260 mg of calcium a day. These needs are met with breastmilk or formula. Do not give your child other types of milk before their first birthday.

Children 1 to 3 years old need 700 mg of calcium a day. Kids 4 to 8 years old need 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Children and teenagers 9 to 18 years old need 1,300 mg of calcium a day.

How to Get Enough Calcium

There are many good sources of calcium. While dairy is the most common source, you can also find calcium in hard cheeses, yogurt, fish, oranges, figs, prunes, dates, edamame, almonds, white beans, chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), kale, broccoli, fortified bread, and fortified soy or almond milk.

Getting enough vitamin D is important too! This nutrient helps your body absorb calcium from food. You get vitamin D from sunlight, fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods.

Strong Smiles at Clover Dental Kids in Columbus, OH

Along with daily oral hygiene at home and a balanced diet with plenty of calcium, regular dental cleanings and exams will help your child have great oral health. If you have any questions about calcium or need to schedule an appointment with our team for your child at Clover Kids Dental, please contact us today!

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