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Avoid These Toxins to Protect Your Child's Teeth

Avoid These Toxins to Protect Your Child's Teeth

The WBA heavyweight title fight in June, 1997 will always be referred to as “The Bite Fight,” because Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear. These days, kids are having a much tougher bite fight, as they develop so-called cheese molars—that’s permanent teeth with a pale yellow color and a compromised enamel coating. Also known as molar incisor hypomineralization, or MIH, this condition causes teeth to chip and break and makes them very sensitive to hot and cold.

For years, dentists and pediatricians have looked for a way to prevent this irreversible condition. Finally, a team of endocrinologists in Paris may have figured it out. They were able to trigger development of cheese molars in lab rats by experimenting with the effects of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA)—found in plastics and on store receipts—and the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin. So avoiding those triggers may be the solution!

Vinclozolin is being phased out here; in 2006 it was banned in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. But BPA and its cousin BPS are widely used. So buy packaged goods in glass whenever possible, avoid handling receipts and wash hands after touching them, and opt for the safest plastics.  

Safer choices include 1, 2, 4, and 5.

1-Nylon, safe for one-time use
2-high-density polyethylene
4-low-density polyethylene
5-polypropylene

Avoid using 3, 6, and 7.

3-polyvinyl chloride (pvc)
6–polystyrene (for styrofoam)
7–includes toxic polycarbons and nontoxic compostable “green” plastics, made from corn, potatoes or rice.

Medically reviewed in May 2018.

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