Q. Can a dental night guard contain BPA? Instead of getting a new dental night guard after three months or so, I continue to use it until it doesn’t work. Sometimes they last a few years. I haven’t noticed any problems, but I’m concerned about hidden harm.
A. BPA (bisphenol A) is an estrogen-like chemical that has been used in a variety of hard plastic products. The FDA recently ruled that children’s drinking cups and baby bottles can no longer contain BPA because of concerns about the potential for hormone disruption.
Dental night guards are designed to protect teeth from grinding during sleep (bruxism). They are often made of hard clear plastic, but it is not easy to determine if they contain BPA. Although dental associations reassure patients that there is no reason to worry about BPA exposure from dental materials, you could ask your dentist to acquire BPA-free night guards. Otherwise, replace your mouth guard more frequently, since BPA is released more readily from plastic that has undergone wear.
If you would like to learn more about the health effects of BPA, here are some recent news stories you might be interested in: