I received a question via ‘Ask Suzanne’ from a parent concerned about BPA being placed in their children’s cavity fillings. Thanks for this question!
With the debates regarding BPA usually targeting baby bottles or canned food items, the topic of BPA in our dental work may have flown under your radar. (I mean really, how much BPA information is one parent able to retain?) I’ve heard grumblings on other blogs about this issue, but the information on BPA leaching from household plasticsfar outways this topic. Studies have found detectable levels of BPA in the saliva of patients after they received sealants or fillings. Maybe not a big deal for adults who have a larger mass to absorb chemicals, but what about a toddler or child that requires dental work? The thought of BPA leaching even a miniscule amount into my kid’s mouth is a horrible thought.
Most pediatric dentists have said the affect of this is minuscule – no affect. See more on these opinions via this news clip from CTV news. But the words of Aaron Freemen, policy director of Environmental Defence, from the same interview, put me on edge.
“Regardless of how low the exposure level may be, BPA is a toxic substance that shouldn’t be used in any consumer products. This is not the sort of chemical that we should be putting in people’s mouths, particularly children’s mouths.”
BPA is, after all, the chemical that Canada declared dangerous. Would you want something toxic put in your mouth? Of course not.
So as parents, what can we do? If your child (or yourself) is getting a cavity filled, ask your dentist if the sealant or filling contains BPA. Remember, we’ve just stopped using mercury-based amalgam fillings after years of controversy. Hopefully your dentist can put you at ease. If your dentist is using BPA what are the alternatives? Alastair Nicoll, president of the British Columbia Dental Association says, “derivatives of BPA are still the most common ingredient in sealants and fillings because alternatives such as porcelain don’t work as well and aren’t as practical.”
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