Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus

Calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus all play a vital role in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and gums in both children and adults.

Calcium plays a role in making the jaw bones healthy and strong to hold the teeth in place. However, calcium needs phosphorus to maximise its bone strengthening benefits. Children’s teeth need adequate calcium and phosphorus to form a hard structure during growth.

Vitamin D regulates the body’s balance of calcium and phosphorus and can promote absorption. Vitamin D can also help to decrease inflammation of gums which is associated with periodontal (gum) disease*. Low vitamin D levels in children and pregnant women can affect the development of children's teeth, potentially making them more susceptible to fracture and decay.

A healthy diet is essential for healthy teeth. The list below shows just some of the foods that contain calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus.


  • Dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt
  • brown rice
  • oranges
  • cabbage
  • beans
  • broccoli
  • salmon
  • peas

Vitamin D

  • Natural sunlight, dairy products
  • eggs
  • some cereals
  • oily fish (tuna, sardines etc)


  • Cereals
  • wheat germ
  • soya beans
  • almonds and other nuts
  • meat
  • poultry
  • fish
  • eggs
  • grapes
  • citrus fruit
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes

Related links:

Food and drink for maintaining healthy teeth
General teeth tips and facts information
Eating well and maintaining healthy teeth during pregnancy


* American Academy of Periodontology, 2008, ‘Nutrition and Your Oral Health’ in Australian Dental Association (ADA), accessed 13 July 2010 from