Do Late Teens Still Need a Significant Calcium Intake for Their Teeth?
Calcium is an essential mineral that is very important for the health of growing teeth and bones. It is well known that young children should be incorporating calcium-rich foods into their diets to help support their growing bodies. You may find it surprising that it is important to keep calcium levels up, even when your child is in their late teens.
What is calcium?
Calcium is essential for the growth of our teeth and bones. Insufficient calcium levels may affect children’s growth and development, stunting the formation and strength of teeth and bones. In addition, calcium plays an important role in other body systems, as it helps support our muscular, nervous and cardiovascular health.
Babies, toddlers and young children need a high daily dose of calcium to help support their rapidly developing bodies. It is also obvious that young teens develop at a rapid rate, experiencing a dramatic growth spurt during puberty. But human growth does not stop in the teen years. In fact, while subtler than these significant growth spurt periods, humans continue to grow and develop into their early to mid-twenties. So as long as you are growing, your bones are growing too – requiring that high calcium intake.
As we age, and in particular among maturing women, bones can become brittle. Women may even experience the development of a disease called osteoporosis. Ageing also affects teeth and oral health. Dentists in Parramatta often see evidence of poor calcium intake in patients as they age. The good news is that much of this deterioration can be prevented in youth.
While we’re growing, and during the first 30 years of life, our bones are able to store calcium and draw on these reserves later in life as our bones age. Having a healthy calcium intake from an early age will help maintain good health throughout your lifetime, including strong bones and the prevention of tooth decay.
How much calcium is recommended?
Calcium can be consumed from a healthy, well-balanced diet. From the ages of 9 until 18, it is recommended that children consume 1300mg of calcium in their daily diet. This is equivalent to four servings of full-cream milk, cheese, yoghurt, and other forms of healthy dairy. Children can obtain an extra boost of calcium from occasional treats such as milk chocolate and ice-cream.
It can be more of a challenge for vegans to obtain high enough levels of calcium. As such, vegans should ensure that they are incorporating calcium-rich foods daily into their diets. Examples of vegan calcium sources include calcium-fortified soy and almond milk, almonds, chickpeas, and deep green leafy vegetables. It may also be worthwhile considering including a daily calcium supplement. It is always important to speak with your GP before taking any medications and supplements. Also, speak with your dental clinic Parramatta to discuss whether a supplement is appropriate for your child to help support healthy teeth.
Dental Avenue Parramatta’s team of expert dentists are here to help advise on your teen’s oral health, including a course of action for getting more calcium into their diets. Regular checkups will help support your teen in having great oral health now and into their future. Book an appointment with Dental Avenue today.
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