Take my sister’s children for instance. When she took her children to the dentist for some routine cleaning, the dentist advised that she get her children’s teeth sealed – as a routine kind of option. She felt it would probably be a great idea to have her children’s teeth coated in plastic, and she got it done right away. The next morning, her children, who were completely healthy up to that point, woke up in pain. They felt sick, too. What was going on?
Contrary to popular belief, dental sealants for kids aren’t new. They’ve been around for a quarter century now, and they are quite approved by the American Dental Association. There have been all kinds of studies done that show that 70% children with dental sealing done had no dental cavities or problems 15 years later. Only 15% of children without dental sealing grow up without any problems. Without a doubt, these protect your teeth. The problem though is the kind of plastic they are made of.
They make dental sealants for kids out of a number of different plastic-based materials. These plastics need to be very strong – they coat the chewing surface of each tooth. They also need to be tooth-colored so that there isn’t a cosmetic problem involved.
Apparently, scientists tend to cut corners when there are requirements like these. When you need a material that matches the color that you have in mind and that is very strong, you tend to overlook some of the other dangers if you finally get your hands on something.
They make dental sealants for kids out of plastics with names like cyanoacrylates and polyurethanes. You’ve heard these names before – they come up when people discuss the chemicals found in baby bottles. These plastics contain BPA.
You have probably already made your mind up on BPA. Either you’re someone who is concerned about how it is a kind of synthetic estrogen, or you just feel that these things don’t matter because they are everywhere.
In some lucky children like my sisters’ kids, these chemicals will cause an allergic reaction. And they will have those sealants removed right away. In others, the BPA does what it does. One doesn’t really know where it will take one.