Lady brushes her teeth with toothpaste.

There has been a lot of media coverage lately regarding Triclosan and its harmful effects on humans. Triclosan is a chemical compound which is a key ingredient in soap, as well as toothpaste.

The US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) ruled in September, 2016, that Triclosan be removed from all over the counter hand and body washes. In Australia, Woolworths, Aldi and Colgate-Palmolive have committed to removing “ineffective” antibacterial ingredients from their products. However, whether this includes Triclosan from toothpaste is not clear.

What Is The Problem With Triclosan?

The primary reason the FDA has banned Triclosan is that scientists believe that the compound may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, which is a serious concern in today’s world. Research has shown that soap and warm water is equally as effective as soap containing the substance; hence there is really no need for it to be present.

What has people more worried, though, is that there is also some question over whether Triclosan is associated with allergies, altered hormone regulation, and even cancer in humans. Studies have only been done on animals though, using much greater doses of Triclosan than humans are ever exposed to, hence no conclusion regarding the risk to humans can be drawn at this time.

So, Should I Stop Using Toothpaste?

Triclosan is considered a very important ingredient in toothpaste because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties and the benefits of toothpaste for maintaining good oral health are well established. To stop using toothpaste due to the presence of Triclosan would increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. At this stage there is no recommendation to discontinue the use of toothpaste from any of the governing health bodies. If you are worried about it, switch to a fluoride containing toothpaste which does not contain Triclosan.

There is sure to be more media coverage on this matter, so watch this space…

At Sailors Bay Dental, we offer a range of dental and orthodontic services. If you’re interested in learning more about oral health or just want a general checkup, please contact us on (02) 9958 0400 today.