As a person ages, bones become frailer, and you may often hear of elderly relatives and friends who get fractures from simple stumbles and falls. You don't want this for yourself, so you're trying to educate yourself on how and why bones become less resilient and more brittle over the years. A lack of calcium can be the culprit and a detriment of this substance can also affect your dental health. Much of the calcium can be derived from the foods we eat. These items may include milk and milk products, soy products, dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, enriched breads, and sardines. If a body doesn't get enough of this mineral as it ages, either in foods or in vitamin form, it'll start to pull the necessary calcium from the bones and teeth themselves, making them brittle and fragile. Osteoporosis is the condition of having extremely thin and brittle bones and is much more common in men than women. The body needs more calcium as it grows. As individuals reaches their upper years, (for women, it's after menopause) the amount of calcium supplements needed increases to up to about 1,200 milligrams a day. Many vitamins will come with added magnesium and potassium, and it is suggested that the calcium also be taken with vitamin D and vitamin C to assist in the absorption of the supplement. There are many studies now that confirm that it's the appropriate balance of these essentials that will help a body and slow the aging process the most. As most individuals age, a bone density scan becomes part of a yearly physical. This scan uses x-rays to determine how dense the minerals in your bones are. Patients are sent to a lab where tests are performed to determine this bone density just as regularly as mammograms, and sometimes for many women the tests are performed during the same appointment. The more dense the minerals, the stronger the bones will be. Making a point to consume milk and dairy products, engage in strength training, take calcium and complementing supplements, and get annual bone density scans are all proactive means of combating calcium deficiencies. Ask your doctor what the appropriate dosages of this important mineral should be for you. Also, taking all of the necessary precautions as you get older will help you prevent bone fractures and other issues.