healthy-teethWe’re bombarded with health advice and it’s often hard to know what to take seriously. We quiz the experts to find out…

This week: Is calcium good for your teeth and bones?

Dr Ellie Cannon is a GP and Woman’s medical columnist: “Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as blood clotting and muscle action. A lack of it can cause rickets in children and osteoporosis in later life, so make sure you get plenty of calcium from your diet (adults need around 700mg a day). As Vitamin D regulates calcium absorption, the two often go hand-in-hand in supplements. If you’re not getting enough calcium from your diet, it’s worth taking a daily supplement.”

Sarah West is a freelance nutritionist: “It’s vital to include calcium in your diet because your body can’t make it and it gives your body the building blocks to fuel many important functions. It’s mainly stored in the bones and teeth, and if you don’t get enough the rest of your body may take what it needs from these, leaving you at greater risk of gum disease or osteoporosis. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, sardines (with edible bones), soya milk, tofu, soybeans (edamame), kale, broccoli, white beans, almonds and almond butter.”

Dr Anousheh Alavi is a dental surgeon and scientific affairs manager for Colgate:
“Calcium is important for teeth as they’re developing because it is part of the tooth structure. After the age of 12, it no longer impacts on teeth, though it continues to help bone development.
Another mineral that helps strengthen teeth and prevents decay is fluoride, found in the drinking water of around 10% of the UK population and also in most toothpastes. The most important thing for healthy and strong teeth is an effective oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice a day, including last thing at night, with a clinically proven antibacterial toothpaste that contains fluoride, and floss or use interdental brushes as often as you can.”

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