We’ve all heard that calcium builds strong bones and promotes overall health. You’ve seen enough “got milk?” ads to have that message ingrained into your mind for a lifetime. But a lot of people are generally unaware of why calcium is so important to your health.
What calcium does for your body
Calcium promotes bone strength, but it also promotes healthy muscles, a strong heart, and healthy nerve transmission. Teeth are similar to bones in that they rely on calcium to be strong. In fact, 99% of the calcium in your body is stored in the teeth and bones.
As you continue to consume calcium, your teeth and bones will remain strong and fortified. It’s never too early to start promoting great oral health in your children, and making sure that your children get enough calcium every day is a great place to start.
How much calcium does your child need?
There’s a lot of guesswork when it comes to parenting. Making sure that your child gets enough vitamins and minerals, and enough of them, may seem like a daunting task. As your child ages and grows, their necessary daily calcium intake will increase. You’ll want to adjust their diet accordingly as they grow, to make sure that they’re getting everything they need to have strong and healthy teeth.
So how much calcium does your child need every day?
0-6 months: 200 mg
7-12 months: 260 mg
1-3 years: 700 mg
4-8 years: 1,000 mg
9-13 years: 1,300 mg
14-18 years: 1,300 mg
Good sources of calcium
Although there are plenty of calcium supplements out there that you can take, your body will absorb calcium the best through food. Luckily, a lot of your child’s favorite foods already have calcium. Dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, milk, and even ice cream, have calcium. Dairy is one of the best sources of natural calcium, but there are plenty of other sources of calcium to choose from as well. Leafy green vegetables, such as bok choy, kale, and broccoli, are great sources of calcium, as well as other vitamins and minerals.
If you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting enough calcium, or if you’re worried that maybe their diet isn’t very “mouth healthy” and promoting good oral health, bring them into the office and we can do a quick evaluation and make an educated suggestion based on that visit.