Most of us have heard by now of the importance of getting enough calcium in our diets to prevent bone loss as we age. But for many men and women getting enough calcium is a direct contradiction to what ever our most recent diet plan describes. The shocking truth is that new research has uncovered calcium as a preventive tool in oral care.

About 99 percent of the calcium in the human body is held in the bones and teeth. Calcium maintains healthy teeth and protects your teeth in an indirect way. Your teeth themselves are relatively inert, meaning that the calcium they contain usually stays there. Your jawbone is the potential problem. Like other bones, it gradually surrenders calcium for needs elsewhere in your body if you’re not consuming enough. As your jaw weakens, your teeth loosen, creating gaps where bacteria can invade, triggering infection, inflammation, and bleeding. In fact, the condition of your teeth and gums can be a window to the overall health of your bones. Not surprisingly, the first signs of osteoporosis are sometimes found by your dentist.

Nutritional recommendations to help keep you smiling include:

Drinking lots of water. Keeping your mouth moist is important in warding off tooth decay and periodontal diseases because it washes away food and neutralizes plaque.

Brushing and flossing after eating sticky foods such as raisins, fruit rolls or candy

Next time you are at your local San Diego dental office, ask how you can help protect those pearly whites