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Dental Fillings Linked to Slight Behavior Problems

Study Finds Composite Fillings May Release BPA, Linked to Depression, Stress in Children

Dental Fillings and Kids' Behavior: Perspectives

There is no cause for concern at this time, say two dental experts who reviewed the findings for WebMD.

More research is needed, says Paul Casamassimo, DDS, director of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center.

"We need to be constantly vigilant with kids and look at what we do and find out if these are valid findings over the long term," says Casamassimo, chief of dentistry at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

"It's a surprise finding that needs to be verified," says Mary J. Hayes, DDS, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association (ADA) and a pediatric dentist in Chicago.

According to the ADA, BPA can become part of dental fillings or sealants, typically as a byproduct of other ingredients that degrade over time or as a trace material when it is used as a starting ingredient.

The ADA says a typical one-time exposure of BPA from a dental sealant with bis-GMA in a typical child would be two to five times lower than the estimated daily exposure from food and the environment.

BPA doesn't belong in dental fillings for children, says Alex Formuzis, spokesman for the Environmental Working Group. "No product that is used on children or that children are exposed to should contain this toxic chemical."

A spokesperson for the Dental Trade Alliance, an industry group, declined to comment on the findings.

No response was received from Dentsply Caulk, a dental materials manufacturer.

Message for Parents

Maserejian and her team have begun a new study measuring urinary BPA levels in children who have received dental fillings

Until more research is in, Maserejian says, "parents can just try to prevent cavities."

According to the CDC, that is best done by starting good oral health habits early, including:

  • Brushing your child's teeth twice daily until your child can handle the toothbrush alone.
  • Monitoring your child's brushing.
  • Making sure they use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
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