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calcium rich foods

From Milk to Greens: Calcium-Rich Foods to Boost Your Oral Health

Do you want a smile that radiates confidence and health? A great strategy to achieve this is to focus on your diet, specifically incorporating calcium rich foods. Sadly, many of us overlook how much what we eat impacts the health of our teeth and gums—a major part of our general well-being. The right diet could mean the difference between a constant struggle with dental issues and enjoying a healthy, brilliant smile.

Let’s explore how calcium-rich foods can significantly enhance your oral health.

Why Are Calcium-Rich Foods Essential for Oral Health?

Calcium plays a fundamental role in our body. Being the main component of our teeth and bones, calcium intake is crucial for bone health, specifically promoting bone density and strength. A diet deficient in calcium may lead to dental problems, and it becomes a risk factor for oral issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

Moreover, calcium helps maintain balanced blood pressure, and its proper levels are necessary for optimal nerve and muscle function. Daily intake of foods that are good for your teeth is a key component of maintaining overall well-being, including your oral health.

What Foods Are High in Calcium?

1. Milk

Milk is food for healthy teeth. Known for its high levels of calcium, a cup of milk contains around 300 milligrams of calcium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin D, which further aids calcium absorption. For those with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, alternatives like almond milk, rice milk, or soya milk, which are now often fortified with calcium, can be excellent options. They not only provide ample amounts of calcium but also often match the protein content of cow’s milk, ensuring a well-rounded dietary intake.

2. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like collard greens and turnip greens are an excellent source of calcium. One-half cup of cooked collard greens contains 134 milligrams of calcium. Additionally, these leafy vegetables are low in oxalic acid, which can interfere with calcium absorption. They also offer a wide array of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K, making them a great fit for any balanced diet.

3. Oranges and Orange Juice

Fruits like oranges or calcium-fortified orange juice are another source of calcium. In fact, one orange holds over 60 milligrams of calcium. While juices don’t naturally contain high calcium levels, fortified fruit juices can provide up to 300 milligrams of calcium per cup. This easy-to-consume option can be included in your breakfast to start meeting your daily calcium needs early.

4. Sesame Seeds

Sprinkling sesame seeds on your meals can help boost calcium intake. Alongside a delightful crunch, these seeds offer a good calcium source. In addition, sesame seeds are rich in other essential nutrients, including magnesium, which plays a role in calcium absorption and retention. Just a tablespoon provides an impressive 88 milligrams of calcium.

5. Cheese

Parmesan cheese is rich in calcium. Apart from being a great source of protein, it provides about 331 milligrams of calcium per ounce. Cheese also contains a good amount of vitamin D, which, as mentioned earlier, helps boost calcium absorption. Ricotta cheese holds the honor of the highest levels of calcium per cup among all cheeses.

6. White Beans

White beans offer a vegan diet option and a remarkable calcium source, providing 191 milligrams of calcium per cup. They’re also packed with dietary fiber that aids digestive health. Add them to salads, soups, or stews to add a calcium punch to your meals while also enriching them with plentiful fiber and protein.

7. Fish

Fish, specifically salmon with bones, is rich in calcium. Canned salmon contains edible bones that are high in calcium, which is especially beneficial when it comes to levels of calcium. This not only boosts bone health but contributes to heart health as well due to the rich omega-3 fatty acids present. Moreover, sardines also give you a whopping 325 milligrams per 3-ounce serving while simultaneously offering a good protein source.

8. Fortified Foods

Foods like tofu made with calcium sulphate or calcium-fortified cereals are good calcium sources. These provide a non-dairy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet. They are additionally often fortified with vitamin D, which assists in effective calcium absorption.

9. Seeds and Nuts

Chia seeds and almonds are rich in calcium and offer additional benefits from omega-3 fatty acids. These supply a heart-healthy addition to your diet. Almonds specifically provide approximately 76 milligrams of calcium per ounce, while a mere tablespoon of chia seeds offers 90 milligrams of calcium.

10. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is not only high in protein but also offers a good calcium source, with about 138 milligrams of calcium per cup. Combined with its health-boosting probiotics, it’s the best food for teeth. Additionally, it’s a good source of vitamin A, another essential nutrient for maintaining oral health.

What Are the Best Habits for Improving Calcium Absorption?

Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D supplementation can enhance calcium absorption. Sunlight and certain foods like mushrooms can help maintain a balanced vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also good food for teeth and guards against gum disease and tooth decay, so it’s doubly beneficial for your oral health.

Regular Exercise

Physical activity, particularly weight-bearing activities, can help your body absorb calcium and improve bone health. Regular exercise also contributes to maintaining optimal blood pressure and cardiovascular health. There’s a strong link between heart health and oral health, further accentuating the importance of physical activity.

Balanced Diet

Eating a wide variety of foods containing an array of nutrients can provide optimal conditions for calcium absorption. Also, ensuring you have sufficient protein intake can facilitate the transport of calcium throughout the body. Pay particular attention to your intake of calcium-rich foods, but remember, a balanced diet overall is what will ultimately contribute to your oral and overall health.

Limited Consumption of Caffeine and Alcohol

Excessive caffeine and alcohol can interfere with your body’s calcium absorption. Both caffeine and alcohol tend to dehydrate your body, which can inhibit calcium absorption. If you do consume these beverages, try to do so moderately.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco use can lead to a decrease in calcium absorption. This can negatively affect the strength and health of your bones. If you smoke, consider quitting, not only for your calcium absorption but also for overall health.

Avoid Excess Sodium

A high-sodium diet can cause your body to eliminate more calcium in your urine, thus decreasing the body’s overall calcium levels. Try to limit your sodium intake to enhance calcium absorption.

Adequate Hydration

Drinking plenty of water can help transport calcium and other nutrients within the body. Hydration is also important for maintaining the health of your kidneys, which play a critical role in managing the body’s calcium levels.

Take Your Next Steps to Better Oral Health With Smile Lake Anna

Building a healthy smile means more than regular trips to the dentist. That’s why, at Smile Lake Anna, we aid our patients in forming dietary habits that fortify their oral health. A critical part of this is integrating calcium for teeth enrichment. Let our dedicated team help you find the right balance.

Reach out to us at (540) 895-7330 or send an email to info@smilelakeanna.com to book an appointment. It’s time to make the connection between your diet and your oral health. With Smile Lake Anna, embrace a healthier lifestyle for a brilliant, confident smile.

Dr. Michael Clark DDS - Smile Lake Anna
About Dr. Michael Clark

Dr. D. Michael Clark has just opened a modern digital dentistry practice called Smile Lake Anna in Virginia. Focusing on a family atmosphere, it offers from routine checkups to advanced treatments using up-to-date technology and serves patients of all ages.

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