Calcium: How Much Do Our Teeth Need?

November 30, 2018

Glass of milkWant strong, healthy teeth? You better make sure you consume enough calcium! This very important mineral plays a key role in your dental and overall health. As much as 99% of your body’s supply is stored in your teeth and bones, and it needs to be replenished regularly for it to continue doing its job.

But you probably already knew calcium was important. What you may be unclear about is exactly how much you need and where to find it.

How Much Calcium is Enough?

Everyone needs calcium, but depending on your age and life circumstances, the amount can fluctuate. Calcium is crucial for growing strong teeth and bones—that’s why babies, children, teenagers and pregnant mothers’ intake needs to be watched closely. Once you reach adulthood, calcium works to maintain the health and strength of your teeth and bones.

As you get older, you will want to increase your calcium consumption to lower the risk of developing osteoporosis. This will help prevent the condition from taking over and weakening your bones.

This list shows how many milligrams of calcium you should consume daily, determined by age:

  • Babies and Very Young Children Ages 0-3: 500 mg
  • Young Children Ages 4-8: 800 mg
  • Older Children and Teenagers Ages 9-18: 1,300 mg
  • Adults Ages 19-50: 1,000 mg
  • Older Adults Ages 51+: 1,200 mg
  • Pregnant and Nursing Mothers Younger Than 19: 1,300 mg
  • Pregnant and Nursing Mothers 19 or Older: 1,000 mg

High-Calcium Food Sources

Calcium-rich foodsDairy products are usually the first foods people think of when they think calcium, however they’re far from the only ones high in the mineral!

Be sure to keep in mind your vitamin D consumption as well. Calcium and vitamin D go hand-in-hand—your body can’t absorb calcium without it—so make sure you’re getting enough of that too.

These calcium-rich foods are great additions you can incorporate into your daily diet:

  • 1% Milk: 305 mg per cup
  • Greek Yogurt: 187 mg per typical single-serving container
  • Cheddar Cheese: 202 mg per slice
  • Collard Greens: 268 mg per cup
  • Broccoli: 86 mg per 2 cups
  • Kale: 101 mg per cup
  • Edamame: 98 mg per cup
  • Okra: 82 mg per cup

  • White Beans: 63 mg per half cup
  • Almonds: 75 mg in 23 whole almonds
  • Oranges: 74 mg per large orange or 27 mg per cup of orange juice
  • Sardines: 351 mg per 3.75 oz. can
  • Canned Salmon: 232 mg per half can
  • Tofu: 434 mg per half cup

If you need some help adding these and other high-calcium foods into your meals, check out some recipes to get inspired!