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Tooth Sealant and BPA

When it comes to oral care, your biggest priority will always be your child’s safety. That’s why you might have some questions about whether a dental sealant is safe for your child or whether you can get a BPA-free sealant. While most dental sealants have a tiny amount of BPA, knowing more about the chemical and how it works can help you make the right decision for your family.

What Is BPA?

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a human-made chemical typically found in canned food, meat products, plastic bottles, carbonless receipts, and personal care products, amongst many other things. The Mayo Clinic notes that being exposed to BPA is a concern because there are links between BPA exposure and adverse health effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children. That said, the Food and Drug Administration’s most recent assessment concludes that BPA is “safe at the current levels occurring in foods.”

What Role Does BPA Play in Dental Sealants?

Many dental sealants have low BPA quantities, but research conducted by the American Dental Association shows that BPA release from dental sealants is very low (.09 nanograms). For reference, this amount is well below the limit proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1 million nanograms per day) for a six-year-old child who weighs about 44 pounds. This means that you get more exposure to BPA by touching a receipt or using sunscreen than through dental sealants.

However, it should be noted that regulations around the use of BPA in dental sealants or other products may differ significantly around the world. If you’re worried about your child ingesting BPA, the American Dental Association recommends that rinsing your mouth after the sealant is placed "may minimize potentially free BPA leaching."

What Are the Risks and Benefits?

School-age children between the ages of 6 to 11 without tooth sealants have three times more cavities in the first molar than kids with sealants. Untreated cavities can cause pain and problems with eating, sleeping, and talking.

While BPA shouldn’t negatively affect your child’s health, your dentist is the right person to ask if you have any questions about any risks associated with BPA or if it’s possible to use a BPA-free dental sealant.

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is a great way to prevent cavities in your kids, but it’s not easy to ensure they clean every nook and crevice between and around their teeth. This is especially true when it comes to the biting surfaces of the teeth, which contain grooves, also known as pits and fissures. That’s where dental sealants come in handy. They act as raincoats for the biting surfaces of your child’s teeth, giving them a protective layer. While the presence of BPA in tooth sealants might cause you to hesitate, we hope that now that you have more information about the chemical, you’ll feel confident about the decision you make for your child!

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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