Chemicals Causing Permanent Damage to Children’s Teeth

Research from INSERM which was presented at the 2016 European Congress of Endocrinology revealed worrying findings that early exposure to two chemicals found in food packaging and fungicides may cause irreversible damage to children’s teeth.

The chemicals BPA and vinclozolin are known as endocrine disruptors (EDs) and this study examined whether they could be related to molar incisor hypomineralization (MIH) which affects up to 18% of children from 6-9 years old. MIH means that enamel does not develop on the molars and incisors, causing extreme tooth sensitivity, increased risk of tooth decay and tooth discolouration. Unfortunately, if this enamel doesn’t develop it will never grow back, so it is a lifelong problem.

They undertook a series of experiments with rats which produced some interesting findings. They believe that these chemicals may lead to MIH by blocking hormones needed for development of tooth enamel. In order to reduce the risk of enamel weakening, they recommend minimizing exposure to the chemicals from the third trimester of pregnancy until a child is five years old. Find out more about the study

These chemicals are not the only factor in the development of tooth enamel of course. To protect tooth enamel and promote its growth for your kids it’s important to look at nutrition, diet and oral health. When children are young and their adult teeth are developing, make sure they have good nutrition and the right amount of fluoride, as this will affect how prone to tooth decay they are.

Once teeth appear, ensure they are eating foods which contain calcium and phosphorous to encourage remineralization of tooth enamel and limit their intake of acidic foods or beverages and sugary foods which destroys enamel. Good foods for tooth enamel includes; dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, fish such as sardines with edible bones and protein-rich foods. Also encourage good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly. Find out more

At MarDenta, we provide quality dental care for the whole family in Marbella. Our passion is lifelong oral health for all our patients and we will advise you on how to keep your kids’ teeth healthy and help them develop good habits in terms of brushing, flossing and caring for their teeth. We are patient, kind and friendly and so we will also make their early experience of the dentist the best that it can be, avoiding fears of the dentist in later years. Come in and see us for a consultation with your kids, or just on your own and we can let you know what we can do for the whole family.