Calcium and healthy teeth
An assortment of dairy products (milk, yogurt, butter, goat cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, emmental cheese, eggs and hard cheese) on a rustic, wooden table.

Brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day is only part of good oral hygiene. If you want strong healthy teeth, you also need to pay attention to the foods you eat.

Calcium, Vitamin D and phosphorus work together to play a vital role in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.

  • Calcium plays a role in making the jaw bones healthy and strong to hold the teeth in place
  • Phosphorus is needed to help calcium maximize its bone strengthening benefits
  • Vitamin D regulates the body’s balance of calcium and phosphorus and can promote absorption; it can also help to decrease gum inflammation that’s associated with periodontal disease

Calcium deficiency and your teeth

For strong bones and teeth, you should consume 1,000-2,000 mg. of calcium daily. When the body lacks sufficient calcium, it pulls it from bones and teeth. A calcium deficiency can increase the risk for dental problems including irritated gums, brittle teeth and tooth decay. These problems can lead to periodontal disease.

According to the Journal of Periodontology, individuals with a calcium intake of less than 500 mg, or about half the recommended dietary allowance, were almost twice as likely to have periodontitis, or gum disease.

Calcium rich foods to strengthen tooth enamel

Besides taking supplements to support bone strength, you can add calcium-rich foods to your diet.

  • Low-fat or fat-free milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Fortified soy drinks and tofu
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

If you don’t like milk or are lactose-intolerant, getting enough calcium can be more difficult. Look for calcium-fortified foods and drinks.

Foods to eat for Vitamin D and phosphorous

  • Best sources of Vitamin D: sunlight, fish, egg yolks and cod liver oil
  • Best sources of phosphorous: pumpkin seeds, fish, Brazil nuts, red meat, eggs, tofu, fish, lean meat, dairy and beans

Other ways to strengthen tooth enamel

  • Avoid overbrushing
  • Switch to a toothpaste specifically made to strengthen tooth enamel
  • Drink plenty of water to wash bacteria out of your mouth
  • Use a night guard if you grind your teeth