Teeth Sealants in Reality
We've discussed teeth sealants and their uses in another article, and we've also given you some information about their potential dangers in a separate article.
In this article, we'll focus on some additional reasons why more and more dentists are starting to believe that dental sealants may not be as harmless as most people think.
Many holistic dentists (aka biological dentists) advise their patients that some dental sealants are made of materials that contain dangerous substances called xenoestrogens.
These compounds can be potent carcinogens, and concerned holistic/biological dentists are warning their patients not to have dental sealants which contain xenoestrogens applied to their teeth.
Many teeth sealants also contain significant amounts of fluoride.
Although many toothpaste formulations contain fluoride and public water supplies are often fluoridated to deter the formation of childhood cavities, holistic/biological dentists recognize that fluoride is a metabolic toxin and a substance that can damage the teeth.
Their contention regarding the dangers of fluoride is supported by the text of the warning label on the back of the tubes of fluoridated toothpaste many of us use.
Take a look at the back of your tube of toothpaste and you'll probably see what we mean.
Hidden Disadvantages of Sealants
Although dental sealants can be a significant deterrent to tooth decay by providing a protective barrier on the teeth, an increasing number of dental patients are going to holistic/biological dentists to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
And, not only do many holistic/biological dentists warn against the use of teeth sealants, many also advocate the removal of any dental amalgam (the material used in traditional mercury-silver fillings) patients have in their mouths.
Although amalgam must be removed safely and properly, most holistic/biological dentists are able to safely remove and replace the amalgam with materials they consider to be safer.
The use of fluoride in toothpaste and urban water supplies is another very common practice being called into question by many holistic/biological dentists.
As mentioned above, fluoride is a metabolic toxin, and holistic/biological dentists are concerned about the risks involved with repeatedly exposing children and adults to this poisonous substance on a daily basis.
Vulnerability of Children
The development of an irreversible condition known as dental fluorosis is one such risk.
Typically, dental fluorosis occurs when a child ingests excessive amounts of fluoride while his or her teeth are forming. Most of the developmental process involved with tooth formation occurs between the ages of three months and eight years old, making that the critical period for fluoride exposure. Children over eight years of age are not considered to be at risk for developing dental fluorosis.
As mentioned above, a child's overexposure to fluoride during the teeth's formative years can result in dental fluorosis. Often, the tiny white specks or streaks on the teeth that are seen in mild cases of dental fluorosis are the first visible sign of fluoride overexposure.
Fortunately, most cases of dental fluorosis are fairly mild, and the streaking or speckling on the teeth can be virtually unnoticeable. Moderate and severe cases are also possible, however, and are characterized by more noticeable discolorations of the teeth.
The most severe form of dental fluorosis causes a black and brown mottling of the dental enamel and cracking and pitting of the teeth. Each child will react to fluoride overexposure differently, but in general, the degree to which a child will experience dental fluorosis depends on the age of the child at the time of the overexposure, the amount of fluoride the child is exposed to, nutrition and other factors.
Fluoride causes these effects by damaging cells known as "ameloblasts," which are the cells responsible for forming dental enamel. The damage to the ameloblasts gives rise to a tooth mineralization disorder which permanently alters the internal matrix of the teeth and causes the sub-surface enamel to be more porous than normal.
Avoidable Sources of Fluoride
Naturally, holistic/biological dentists are aware of the fluoridation of public water supplies and the inclusion of fluoride in commercial toothpaste.
One of their objections to teeth sealants relates to the significant fluoride levels contained in many sealant materials.
You can avoid some fluoride intake by using fluoride-free toothpaste and drinking mineral or filtered water instead of standard tap water. Drinking water from a private source needs to be monitored for its fluoride content.
Most holistic dentists believe we can eliminate another source of fluoride and avoid even more exposure to this toxin by not using teeth sealants.
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