Do Late Teens Still Need a Significant Calcium Intake for Their Teeth?
You’ve probably heard that calcium is very important for growing teeth and bones. Calcium is an essential mineral to help young bodies grow up strong. But once your teen has grown up into a strapping young man or woman, do they still need so much of it in their diets?
Today we take a look at why it’s important to keep calcium levels up, even when your child is in their late teens.
What does calcium do?Calcium is an essential part of our teeth and bones. When we are still growing, this means that your teeth and bones are still growing too. Without the correct calcium intake, these bones and teeth won’t be able to grow correctly – and will be stunted. Calcium is also useful in other areas around the body, such as regulating blood pressure, in muscles when they move, in the nerves, and in the heart.
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The bonesIn terms of bones, while we’re growing, calcium saves up in the bones and stores for later. Later on, our bones become less efficient at this function. That’s why it’s so important to have a healthy calcium intake early on in life.
Later on in life, particularly among women, our bones can become brittle and we can even develop osteoporosis. Our bones have this saving of calcium function until we are about 30, so it’s important to nurture it, well at least until then.
We don’t stop growing until our early to mid 20sWhile we do the majority or our growing as a teenager, as a huge growth spurt, did you know that people continue to grow slowly, generally until around their mid 20s? So, while you might not notice much growth from your teenager in their late teens, it is usually still happening. This means that the bones are still growing, too – requiring that calcium intake.
How much calcium is recommended?From the ages of 9 until 18 it’s recommended that kids get 1300mg of calcium in their diet. This is equivalent to 4 servings of whole milk, however non-milk drinkers can substitute with cheese, ice cream, yoghurt, and other forms of dairy. If your late teen is a vegan they need to be much more careful about consuming the correct amount of calcium. Consider calcium fortified soy or almond milk, check out the calcium levels of deep green veggies, or get them to take a calcium supplement.
Check up on your late teen’s teeth health by booking in an appointment with us at Dental Avenue Parramatta. If your teen’s teeth are particularly soft, we can recommend a course of action for getting more calcium into their diets. Remember that your child is still growing so they still need a big dose of calcium.