Materials and Safety
Sentinel Mouthguard products are not only BPA-free, they are not manufactured with bisphenol-S (BPS) or any other bisphenol compounds. In addition, our products DO NOT contain any of the following: methyl methacrylate (MMA), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl, phthalates, silicon, latex, or gluten (yes, people have really asked about gluten).
We have assembled a list of common materials that have been used in the past – as well as what is presently used – to inform consumers what they should be looking for.
Back in the old days, to make an orthodontic night guard, a dentist or lab technician would take a clear orthodontic resin, mix it in a cup, roll it into a hotdog shape and then place it over the patients teeth to let it set. What was in that clear orthodontic resin material? Probably not the safest ingredients. The good news is, as dentistry has evolved, the dental night guard has come a long way. New, better, and safer methods have been implemented. The safety of plastics has become an increasing concern. Now more than ever, with a careful eye, we are watching what we are exposing ourselves to daily. Over the last 20 years there have been big changes in plastic regulation. A common one we hear about is BPA (Bisphenol A), which was banned by the FDA in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012 because of the growing concerns related to health risks. Now, you may have noticed many companies proudly stamping the BPA free labels on common plastic products. However, in order to be “BPA free” some of these companies started substituting BPA with a different compound called Bisphenol S. Researchers believe BPS is even more dangerous and potentially more toxic than BPA. As a consumer, it is important to know what to look for. Though the debate is still ongoing between scientists as to how harmful exposure to BPA really is, more and more evidence is pointing towards both BPA and BPS to be endocrine disruptors. It is good measure to ensure your plastic is not only BPA free, but BPS free as well.
The dangers of using acrylic resin in night guards
Acrylic resins are commonly used to make a hard occlusal night guard. The monomers in acrylic resins when mixed with polymers can be the cause of allergic reactions in some individuals. Allergic reactions typically include soreness in the mouth, burning of the mouth, tongue, and gum area. These acrylic resins also typically include methyl methacrylate. Sentinel Mouthguard does not add any acrylic resins to hard night guards. Our products are MMA free.
Why no methyl methacrylate?
The polymers in acrylic resins generally contain methyl methacrylate (MMA) and may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract in some people. Repeated exposure can result in drowsiness and dizziness. Methyl methacrylate monomer can irritate the skin, and even cause redness, irritation, itching, and inflammation of the contacted areas.
How are your appliances MMA free?
Our hard material contains no MMA as it is an “acrylic-like” material. It has the “feel” and durability of the hard acrylic, and is guaranteed to be non-toxic and safe to use in the mouth daily.
What is leaching?
Leaching is the term that describes the transfer of chemicals from plastics into our food or water (if we’re talking about plastic containers or bottles), or into our bodies if we’re wearing a plastic dental appliance at night or during the day. Individuals that must wear plastic dental retainers to keep their teeth from shifting wear their appliances an average of 20 hours per day. A night guard user typically wears his/her device between 6 to 10 hours per day. Can this be harmful? Yes, if the material is not free of harmful chemicals such as BPA, BPS, and Phthalates. The chemical BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It can disrupt your hormone system and can cause obesity, asthma, cancer and heart disease. An example of leaching is a soft acrylic night guard that starts to feel harder in the mouth overtime. This is not good as it is occurs when the plasticizers have leached out.
What’s up with PVC (also known as polyvinyl chloride or vinyl)?
There are some vacuumed formed materials made of PVC still on the market today. This material can contain phthalates which can disrupt hormones, much like BPA. It can be leached into your system through the constant wearing of your night guard. Many governments and industries are actively working to eliminate PVC. Sentinel Mouthguard products do not contain PVC. At present, EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate, is the standard soft night guard material. It is considered very safe to use to make soft night guard appliances or to be used when forming a dual laminated night guard which has a soft inner lining (EVA) and a harder, outer layer. Again these are BPA, BPS, Phthalate free and MMA free. Additionally, the material is gluten, silicone and latex free. All Sentinel Athletic Mouth Guards, Sentinel Soft Night Guards, Teeth Whitening Trays and Tongue Biting Trays are made with EVA materials. Sentinel Hard Night Guards are made using Copolyester. All Sentinel Mouth Guard products are safely designed and solely intended for oral use.