Happy New Year, Non-Toxic Kids readers! Wishing you a happy, healthy and productive 2009.
In a matter of days, I’ve had two questions on this blog about BPA used in dental sealants. And fortunately (or unfortunately, depending how you look at it), I’ve found out first hand all about this.
We’ve all heard a great deal this year about BPA in plastics, canned food and baby bottles. But you may not have heard that some dental sealants used to fill cavities contain BPA.
BPA (bisphenol A) has been linked to numerous health problems, including liver and heart disease, hyperactivity, and damage to the reproductive systems of children. And I have a blog record of no less than 31 posts about it, as I referenced in my post a few days ago about BPA being one of the hot topics of the year.
When I was dutifully bringing my 3 year old daughter to the dentist for a cleaning, I was told she had a cavity. First of all, I was horrified. We’d been religiously brushing her teeth as soon as she’d got ’em. And flossing, for a year or so. Of course, I felt like a mom who lives her kid a bottle of Doctor Pepper before bed. Anyway–you can see where this is going, right?
Before I talk about BPA, let me mention fluoride. I’ve been as freaked out about it as many other parents, but I am particularly concerned about healthy teeth. I had braces, oral surgery and numerous discomforts for my pearly whites. You might say I am a bit neurotic. We live in a rural area with no fluoridated water, so our pediatrician recommended fluoride drops. I did some research, and decided it was best to give these drops to our girls, but not to worry if we missed a night or two. Well, I guess I should have worried. Now our oldest as a cavity and more “troubling spots” as the hygienist described. I almost fell off the chair. Now we use a prescription toothpaste (she can spit, so she doesn’t ingest too much of the fluoride), and we bagged the drops, so they don’t get too much. With my youngest, we brush her teeth with Tom’s of Maine with fluoride.
I’m just too scarred by seeing my oldest in a chair with a huge needle in her gums to worry as much about fluoride. Okay, sorry, now back to BPA–
So I asked if the sealants they use contain BPA. Thankfully, they had just switched to using a sealant without BPA, because of patient requests. My daughter’s sealants won’t have it, but my cavities sure do. I also have an ancient silver one that probably contains mercury.
The take home message (tired parents are saying, finally!): Ask your hygienist. If they don’t know, ask the dentist. And if they say the sealants do contain BPA, but are “safe”, explain that you know differently and ask that they switch to sealants that are BPA free. They exist and are available.
Readers, have you asked your dentist about BPA in sealants? Have you experienced a cavity in your young child? I’d love to hear your comments.
By the way, I read every comment that you post here. Sometimes I am not very good about writing back in a timely manner, but I do read and appreciate every comment on this blog. One of my goals for Non-Toxic Kids this year is to have more discussion and participation from readers. I know you are out there, after over 30 comments on the giveaway!
PS- I’ll pick the winner in the next day or so!