Milk: Is it necessary for healthy teeth and bones?

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Milk is one of the most popular and widely consumed beverages globally. It is often considered a staple food that provides many essential nutrients, especially calcium and protein.

But is milk essential for our dental and skeletal health? Let’s delve into some insights on milk consumption, as well as some of the myths and facts surrounding this topic.

How does milk affect dental health?

Dentin is the softer inner layer that supports the enamel and transmits sensations to the nerve. However, milk is not a magic bullet for your teeth. It also contains a natural sugar called lactose.

It is also advisable to avoid drinking milk right before bed or after eating sugary food or, instead, drink water or rinse your mouth with water after consuming milk or dairy products.

How does milk affect bone health?

Milk also benefits your bone health, providing calcium, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamin K12, among other nutrients.

Milk may also help prevent osteoporosis-related fractures by improving muscle strength and balance.

However, milk alone is not enough to ensure optimal bone health. You should also exercise regularly, particularly weight-bearing workouts that stress your bones and encourage their growth.

Do you need to drink milk to get calcium?

Milk is not the only source of calcium in your diet. Many other foods contain calcium or are fortified with calcium. Some dairy-free sources of calcium include:

Leafy greens – Kale contains 150 mg per cup, collard greens contain 266 mg per cup, spinach contains 245 mg per cup, and bok choy contains 74 mg per cup.

Nuts and seeds 

Some nuts and seeds are high in calcium and provide healthy fats and protein. Almonds contain 76 mg per ounce, sesame seeds contain 88 mg per tablespoon, chia seeds contain 179 mg per ounce, and sunflower seeds contain 33 mg per ounce.

Tofu – Tofu is a versatile plant-based protein that can be used in various dishes. Firm tofu contains 861mg per cup, while soft tofu contains 434 mg per cup.

Fortified foods – Some cereals, breads, juices, and snacks are fortified with calcium to increase their nutritional value.

However, if you have trouble getting enough calcium from your diet, consider taking a calcium supplement.


Milk provides many benefits for your teeth and bones, as well as other aspects of your health. However, milk is one of many sources of calcium or other nutrients, and it may have some drawbacks for some people.


1. How much calcium do I need per day?

The recommended daily calcium intake for adults is 1,000 mg per day, and for older adults (over 70 years old) it is 1,200 mg per day.

2. What are some signs of calcium deficiency?

Muscle cramps, tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes, brittle nails, dry skin, tooth decay, and bone fractures are some symptoms of calcium shortage.

3. What are some factors that affect calcium absorption?

Some factors that affect calcium absorption include age, vitamin D status, dietary factors (such as oxalates, phytates, caffeine, alcohol, and sodium), medications (such as antacids, corticosteroids, and diuretics), and health conditions.

 4. Is cow’s milk the best source of calcium?

Cow’s milk is a good source of calcium, but there are others. Many other foods contain calcium or are fortified with calcium. Some dairy-free sources of calcium include fish, plant-based milk, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, tofu and fortified foods.

5. Are there any risks of drinking too much milk?

Drinking too much milk may have some drawbacks for some people. For example, some people may be lactose intolerant or allergic to milk proteins. Too much milk may cause bloating, gas, diarrhoea, or constipation.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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