Dear Dentist: What's in those Sealants?

My children were handed this pamphlet at the dentist last week. It's a basic tri-fold number discussing the merits of dental sealants. It attempts to cover the basics: What are sealants? When should children get sealants? How are sealants applied?

Although this might have passed muster ten years ago, doc, you've omitted a critical piece of information. Nowhere in this pamphlet is the question addressed: of what are the sealants made?

From the post-WWII period up through the blythe '90s, we were a society that felt pretty good trusting science, technology and innovation. But poor regulation of big chemical companies and a toothless* FDA has me feeling like a paranoid crank. 

In Julia's Child I make the joke that the days of secret ingredients are over.

"But remember when it was perfectly acceptable to advertise a secret sauce? Remember that?"

"That was before the finger-in-the-chili days, wasn't it?"

Secret sauces and mysterious dental fixitives are over for me. Many dental sealants are made with BPA. I know more than one parent who has rearranged the kitchen to eliminate BPA lined cans and water bottles only to find the same ingredient in the dentist's office. How long will it take before the publishers of chipper dental pamphlets understand that things have changed? A page has been turned. If you want my interest in your product, it's no longer sufficient to show me smiling children with healthy teeth. I'm going to need a little more information.

 

*I crack myself up.