The concern in a dairy-free diet is the lack of calcium and vitamin d intake. Calcium is important for many bodily functions, including heart health, nerve function, and keeping teeth and bones strong. Vitamin D helps promote absorption of calcium in the body. At seven years old, your son has many permanent teeth that are in stages of development right now, so it is important to make sure he is getting enough calcium in his diet so that these teeth grow strong. It is also vital in the health of the gums and bones that support the teeth. Calcium intake is important throughout life!
Many people who are lactose intolerant are also calcium deficient, but luckily there are many other natural non-dairy sources of calcium, such as dark leafy greens (like kale and spinach), seeds, beans, lentils, tofu, and almonds. You may also consider using a daily supplement. The National Institute of Health recommends 1000mg of calcium per day for your child's age group. I would recommend checking with your pediatrician prior to beginning any dietary supplements.
I hope this helps.
I don't believe lactose intolerance can cause weak teeth unless the kid is not taking any other sources of calcium. You may want to test for calcium deficiency. There are plenty of ways to add calcium to diets. Please check with a pediatrician in that regard.
Fariborz Rodef, DDS
Calcium-fortified soy, almond and rice beverages
Calcium-fortified orange juice
Vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, rapini and kale
Canned fish with bones such as salmon, sardines and anchovies
Soybean-based foods such as edamame, soy nuts and tofu
Beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, white, navy and pinto beans
Nuts and seeds like almonds and sesame seed
Permanent teeth start to develop slightly before birth and afterwards, so a lot is dependent on prenatal and early feeding habits. The strength of the teeth is more genetic in nature, but prevention will help protect the teeth. The importance of calcium in good bone development (including the jaw bones) is very important, but remember, cows milk is not the only (or best source) for calcium, after all, your son is not a calf, but a human (I am not a big fan of cow's milk). Great sources of calcium include broccoli, kale (and other dark green veggies), beans, and fish. Also, some OJ and non-dairy milks are calcium fortified!
Eat healthy, brush after meals, and smile, smile, smile!!