A POTENTIAL CARCINOGEN IN YOUR MEDICINE CABINET

Colgate, the manufacturer of Colgate® Total has come under fire recently with the revelation that Triclosan, an active ingredient of their popular toothpaste can cause cancer. Triclosan is a popular antibacterial agent that is found on several day to day items.

This is concerning, as Colgate is a very popular brand and their cavalier attitude toward the Triclosan scandal may end up becoming a major PR nightmare.

Other companies, such as Crest, which also came under fire for the microbeads in their toothpaste, have been phasing out Triclosan after it was revealed to be potentially carcinogenic. Colgate has stated that they are not planning to remove Triclosan from Colgate® Total. This is a gamble by Colgate, as the FDA also reported that Triclosan has caused serious problems in lab rats.

Colgate has defended their position by stating that Triclosan needs to be consumed in large quantities by humans for their to be harmful effects. This does not lessen consumer concerns, as Triclosan was pushed through FDA approval as the agent was developed and reported on by Colgate itself.

I never personally recommend Colgate. I find it too abrasive and many of my patients have experienced increased sensitivity while using Colgate® Total. There are other toothpastes that are far more effective than Colgate® Total. While some of my old favorites like Viadent are no longer in production, there are plenty of alternatives to Colgate® Total that provide equal or better cleaning and freshening properties.

Rembrandt, Ultrabrite,Tom’s of Maine, and Sensodyne offer different solutions for different types of patients. Natural-based toothpastes have also become very popular in recent years, but their efficacy has been called into question. The one general toothpaste that has received high marks and even endorsement by the ADA is Tom’s of Maine. However, I do not believe that all-natural toothpastes are really all that effective. I also cannot currently recommend Crest because of its high abrasiveness and the microbead controversy.

I would advise avoiding Colgate® Total for several reasons, and to switch it out as soon as possible. Your oral and total health is too important to leave to chance.