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Healthy Teeth and Vitamin D

We have heard over and over that calcium helps to maintain strong teeth and bones, but did you know that Vitamin D is just as important? Vitamin D allows calcium to be absorbed by the body, so without Vitamin D your bones and teeth will be weak and brittle. Most people get adequate amounts of Vitamin D from the sun. 10 to 15 minutes of sensible sun exposure to the arms and legs at midday 2 to 3 times per week may provide an adequate amount of Vitamin D for people not at high risk for skin cancer. But, for most of us (especially in Arizona) we know not to go outside without our sunscreen and this makes it difficult to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D. But, don’t worry because you can also get it from plant sources and you can find it in your vitamin aisle. Often it is already paired with the calcium (for example Citracal and Caltrate are great brands–but don’t overlook the generic because often it has the same ingredients but for less price). Current FDA guidelines recommend 100IU (international units) per day for kids and 400 to 600 IU/day for adults. (Some newer studies are recommending closer to 1000IU/day for adults). Adequate Vitamin D levels can reduce muslce and bone pain, and decrease the incidence of falls and fractures. It is also showing in some studies to lower the incidence of some cancers and heart disease. Not to mention that you will have a healthier, prettier smile and less painful dental visits!