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Kids Exposed to BPA in Dental Sealants


Millions of American children are exposed to bisphenol-A (BPA) in dental sealants, according to a paper published September 6th online in the journal Pediatrics.

How are children exposed to BPA in dental sealants

The exposure results when BPA is released from dental resins through salivary enzymatic hydrolysis of BPA derivatives. Detectable BPA exposure in saliva was found up to 3 hours after resin placement.

Widespread use of dental sealants have been available since the 1990s. Their use is recommended to prevent tooth and gum decay both by The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Abby Fleisch of Children’s Hospital in Boston and colleagues undertook a systematic compilation of literature characterizing BPA content of dental materials which they critically evaluate to assess BPA exposures from dental materials and potential health risks. Their goal was to develop evidence-based guidance for reducing BPA exposures while promoting oral health.

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The researchers state, “The evidence is strong that resinbased dental sealants improve children’s oral health. Also, BPA exposure from dental materials seems transient and can potentially be controlled.” BPA exposure can be reduced by cleaning and rinsing surfaces of sealants and composites immediately after placement.

It is absolutely clear that BPA is a toxic chemical and an endocrine disruptor. There are precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce BPA exposure from dental sealants: removal of residual sealant by rubbing with pumice on a cotton roll or having the patient gargle for 30 seconds and spit immediately after application of the dental sealant or composite.

It is recommended that pregnant women, unless unavoidable, forgo any dental procedures that would exposure her to prudent to unpolymerized dental resin materials during pregnancy.

The researchers stress the need for additional studies An initial research need is to assess all to further assess the potential systemic absorption of BPA and BPA derivatives from saliva at concentrations released by dental materials.

Preventive Oral Care Can Prevent BPA Exposure from Dental Fillings

Abby F. Fleisch, Perry E. Sheffield, Courtney Chinn, Burton L. Edelstein, and Philip J. Landrigan; Bisphenol A and Related Compounds in Dental Materials; Pediatrics published online September 6, 2010 (10.1542/peds.2009-2693)