Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children in the U.S. A new study finds parents may want to be more vigilant about which fillings their dentist uses to fix those cavities.
Zoe Gottlieb is getting her annual checkup at the dentist. She's only seven but she's already had a couple of cavities.
Now a new study in the journal pediatrics looks at what's in those fillings. Researchers found fillings made with the chemical Bisphenol-A or BPA may be
linked to behavioral and emotional problems as children get older.
"Those children have higher risk of depression or anxiety or other social, psychological issues," said Pediatric Dentist Jill Lasky.
Dental fillings made with BPA have been popular because they are the color of
teeth, but research has linked the chemical to hormone disruption. The chemical is used in plastics and canned goods. Advocates have fought to have it banned in baby bottles and other products for children.
But researchers stress that more study is needed and that it's still unclear just how much BPA, if any, is in the fillings and whether any is getting into the body.
"I would not avoid dental filling material because of this one potential risk," Lasky said.
Lasky says there are BPA-free options available, which is what her practice offers.
"The reason that we come here is so that the kids are having safe products being used on them," said Zoe's mom, Julie Gottlieb.
Still, dentists say the best advice is to brush and floss regularly so that fillings are never needed.
Teresa Garcia - CBS News
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