Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, discusses BPA-free orthodontics. She is the author of the bestselling book, Age With Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California. Helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole-body health and author of the bestselling book, Age With Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living. Today our topic is BPA free orthodontics. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.

Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi John, how are you?

What Does BPA Mean?

John: Good, thanks. So Dr. Nammy, what is BPA?

Dr. Nammy: BPA stands for a bisphenol A. It is a compound that is in a lot of processed materials. It is a material that actually causes cancer. It’s linked to low fertility, male impotence and a lot of other toxic effects.

John: Is this the same material that I sometimes see in water bottles where they’ll say that something is BPA free?

Dr. Nammy: Yes, it exactly is. And it’s that plastic that’s made out of … that contains a bisphenol. And that’s the stuff overtime when it stays in your mouth, you are taking that in all the time. So that’s linked to cancer and that’s our biggest concern.

Orthodontics and BPA

John: Okay. So what parts of typical orthodontics contain BPA?

Dr. Nammy: So, there are only certain orthodontics. A lot of times you will see advertisements for these smile derived, all of these other plastics are made in China or elsewhere out of the US. They’re the ones that contain bisphenol A. That’s number one. The second one that’s really concerning as well is even with traditional orthodontics with brackets, those brackets get put on with composite. Many of the composite or the plastic material contained bisphenol in it as well.

So you really want to be careful when you go to the dentist that you really ask, “Are you using composites that are bisphenol free?” And then also the type of aligners you may be getting, which is really popular nowadays that they are bisphenol free.

John: Yeah, I would imagine that just having something like that in your mouth constantly, 24 hours a day or close to that, would just be really even worse for you than say drinking out of a plastic water bottle where you might be only doing it a small portion of the day.

Dr. Nammy: Yeah. And the thing with the plastics is you’re chewing on it. So you’re releasing all those compounds because that … You’re not chewing on a plastic water bottle versus when you have these aligners that are in the mouth, you’re chewing on them or clenching on them. And when you clench on them, it starts breaking that material down. So if you looked at the way that synthetically, how did it actually break down, you would see that the bisphenol actually comes out and it binds to your body and stops it from working properly and also leads to cancerous cells.

What Are BPA-Free Orthodontics?

John: Wow. So what are BPA-free orthodontics? Do they work just as well as other orthodontics?

Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. So BPA-free orthodontics means that you’re avoiding bisphenol A. It can be easily done. You can do that with … My favorite is I use Invisalign, but we have a different product with them to make sure that there’s no allergies or anything like that. Also, the type of composites that we actually use in our practice are bisphenol free.

So you can ensure that you’ll be cancer-free. You also prevent a lot of gum disease. You also have something that is really good looking and also you don’t have to risk any impotence or any fertility or anything of that nature as well.

Benefits of BPA-Free Orthodontics

John: What are some of the other benefits for a patient in getting BPA-free orthodontics?

Dr. Nammy: Other than your life? The benefits of BPA-free orthodontics are really safety. We value safety, especially in this day and age where we are not aware of a lot of things and when we are aware of a product that can cause cancer, we necessarily don’t want that in our mouth and in our body because it’s the additive effect.

Your mouth has access to your entire immune system because it’s the beginning of your gut. You’re swallowing these materials into your body. You’re giving it direct access to your intestine and your belly, which is where your entire microbiome lives. That’s where your entire immune system lives and if you break down that immune system, you have taken out all your defenses.

John: All right, that’s really important information. Dr. Nammy, thanks again for speaking with me today.

Dr. Nammy: My pleasure, John.

John: For more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call (415) 578-9347.