What is Triclosan?
You may have heard the name “Triclosan” a lot in the news recently, but you may or may not understand what it actually is, or if it’s something you even need to be concerned about. Dr. Jack Bodie DDS can help set the facts straight about Triclosan, and help you decide if oral care products containing this controversial ingredient are right for you.
So what is Triclosan, anyway? Simply put, Triclosan is a chemical agent developed in the late 1960’s as a pesticide, but that was repurposed in the late 1990’s as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Initially used in hand soaps and lotions, Triclosan was soon found to work well in toothpaste, not just for its antibacterial properties, but also for its ability to reduce redness and swelling of the gums due to gingivitis and periodontitis, and to reduce plaque by 40% over fluoride alone. Sounds pretty great, right? It sure seemed that way- until earlier this month when the FDA banned it for causing a whole host of serious medical problems, such as hormone disruption (which can cause anything from early puberty to infertility), bacteria resistance (superbugs, anyone?) and even cancer in lab rats. But here’s the kicker- they only banned it in topical form- not in toothpaste, which you actually ingest. Suddenly, the ingredient on the tips of millions of toothbrushes was on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
So why was it banned in lotions and soaps, but not in toothpaste? According to the FDA, the benefits of Triclosan (exclusively found in the best-selling Colgate Total line of oral care products) far outweigh the risks. But as with any consumer product, that choice is ultimately yours to make. So, should you keep using Colgate Total? Or should you switch to a product that contains no Triclosan? If you’re torn between the risks and the rewards, Dr. Bodie is here to help!
When it comes to Triclosan, there’s really no right or wrong answer. It just depends on your mouth and your personal preferences. If you are concerned about this ingredient in your toothpaste and would like to find an alternative, make an appointment with Dr. Bodie to discuss your options. He can recommend many products that will reduce plaque and inflammation without the use of Triclosan. If you’d like to continue using Colgate Total, Dr. Bodie recommends coming in for an oral health evaluation to see if you would benefit from continuing to brush with Colgate Total, or if there’s another product that might be a better fit. You could be treating problems you don’t even have- and could get the same or better results from a toothpaste with ingredients that are proven to be safer. To set up an appointment, give us a call at 972-512-0926 today!