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Are kids misbehaving because of dental fillings?

Jul 24, 2012

Photo Source: Afkra

Just when you thought your child was running out of excuses for breaking your favorite vase or super-gluing the dog’s tail to the refrigerator, researchers may have discovered another excuse.

A New England Research Institute study appearing in the August issue of Pediatrics shows that kids with a high number of fillings made from the plastics chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, may have small but long term behavioral problems than kids with fewer of those types of fillings

BPA is a synthetic chemical resin used in the production of plastic products, including polycarbonate food storage containers, some water bottles and water tops.

Researchers looked at 534 children between the ages of six and ten who had fillings for at least two cavities and examined their social skills before and five years after getting their fillings. The children who got the highest number of BPA-based fillings had more emotional problems five years later than the children who got fewer of those type fillings, or amalgam or urethane-based composite fillings.

Composite fillings, including those containing BPA, gained widespread use for children’s cavities almost 20 years ago because they were believed to be safer than amalgam fillings containing mercury. Also, the composite fillings were more natural looking, a fact for their popularity even today.

 The BPA findings were actually found in a study originally undertaken to review the long-term effects of amalgam fillings on psychological scores and kidney functions. But as researchers learned, no difference existed in emotional problems with children who had more versus fewer amalgam or urethane-based composite fillings.

What they did find however, were children who had the most BPA fillings were more likely to score poorly on tests that asked if they had trouble making friends or felt anxious or depressed.

Overall researchers found that 16 percent of the children in the top third of those having BPA fillings were at risk for a behavior problem, compared with only six percent of children in the bottom two-thirds.

Researchers say they aren’t sure if BPA or another chemical found in the composite resin may be responsible. Because no cause-and-effect has been established, more study is expected.

Parent can help prevent cavities by making sure their children brush their teeth twice daily, avoid sugary drinks and maintain regular dental visits.

Sources: HealthDay, Daily Mail Reporter, U.K. Yahoo News, Pediatrics

Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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