We know that kids need vitamin D to help them grow strong bones, but the question of whether “D” is also important for healthy teeth has never been settled. However, a new review of studies going back to the 1920s suggests that getting adequate “D” may help reduce the incidence of tooth decay by as much as 50 percent. The analysis, published in the December 2012 issue of Nutrition Reviews, evaluated 24 selected clinical trials involving data on some 3,000 children between the ages of two and 16 (with a mean age of 10) in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Austria, New Zealand and Sweden. The reviewer, Philippe Hujoel, Ph.D., D.D.S., from the University of Washington, noted that vitamin D levels in many populations are declining while tooth decay is increasing. His review looked at trials that increased vitamin D levels in youngsters through the use of intentional exposure to ultraviolet energy or by supplementing the kids’ diets with cod-liver oil or other products containing “D”. Commenting on the review, vitamin D expert Michael Holick, Ph.D, M.D., of Boston University Medical Center, said that children who are vitamin D deficient “have poor and delayed teeth eruption and are prone to dental caries (tooth decay)."