The neck bone’s connected to the head bone…

If you were asked to name the bones in the human body, what would be the first few answers out of your mouth? Skull? Ribs? Humerus? Femur?

What about your teeth? Yes, your teeth are bones, but they often get neglected when it comes to thinking about the human skeleton.

The bottom line is: Your teeth are bones and they need plenty of calcium and vitamin D to stay healthy.

But, what if milk and other dairy products aren’t a part of your daily diet? Whether your taste buds reject or you’re lactose intolerant, you are among the millions of people who do not get enough calcium.

Getting enough calcium in your diet is crucial for bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin D is necessary for your bones to use that calcium to remain strong. That’s why it’s so important to consume as much calcium and vitamin D as possible- even if you despise dairy.

Should you supplement?

If you’re not a milk-drinker, or a yogurt-eater, or like to chow down on cheese, calcium and vitamin D supplements are readily available. While calcium is much more effectively absorbed through dietary sources, about 43 percent of adults take a calcium supplement and about 37 percent of adults take a supplement that includes vitamin D.

Talk to your general physician or pharmacist to determine how much calcium and vitamin D you should be getting daily.

Milk-Free Ways to Get Your Calcium

Many fortified foods are available for those of us who are calcium-deprived. Calcium-fortified orange juice with calcium-fortified cereal is a great way to start your day. Plain yogurt, Romano cheese, tofu, Swiss cheese, and sardines are also high in calcium. Of course, milk is still the number one source of calcium. Sneak milk into your diet by trying soy or rice milk. Also, consider using milk in a smoothie, soup, sauces, or coffee drinks for a yummy, calcium and vitamin D-rich diet choice.

Your teeth and bones need lots of vitamin D and calcium to remain healthy and strong, so finding a way to sneak them into your diet is essential to your oral and overall health. For all of your dental needs, call Lake Forest Dental Arts, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, at (847) 234-0517 to reserve an appointment with Dr. James Fondriest.

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