The journal of Pediatrics recently conducted a study to analyze the effects of dental sealants and fillings among children ages 6-10. Many pediatric dentists today use sealants and fillings that include resin bis_GMA, which contains small amounts of BPA (bisphenol-A) – the toxin that was banned from baby bottles and sippy cups last year after the FDA expressed concern about its effects on children. According to this study, kids who received metal fillings (which have their own problems, releasing small amounts of mercury vapor, a substance widely believed to cause brain and kidney damage in certain doses), were less likely than those treated with composites to exhibit problem behaviors (16.3% versus 11.2%) and difficulties with social relationships (13.7% versus 4.8%). Note: the researchers did not measure BPA levels before and after the fillings.
Jonathan Shenkin, DDS, MPH, and spokesperson for the ADA says there could be another explanation to the psychosocial outcomes: “Typically, kids who get cavities drink a lot of sugary beverages, such as soda, from cans that can contain BPA, so if this chemical causes anxiety and other behavioral problems, the culprit could be the kids’ diet.” Hey could be the soda itself. Or the rotten moods often produced by extended trips to the dentist. The testing will continue.