Illustration: Kagan McLeod
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Toothpaste with Triclosan
Science says: Triclosan, an antibacterial agent found in many personal care products, is currently under review by the FDA. Troubling results from animal studies showed that it could reduce levels of thyroid hormones, which play a key role in regulating metabolism. Other recent studies suggest that long-term use of products containing triclosan can increase bacteria's resistance to antibiotics. It may be risky to have triclosan in your toothpaste since it can readily be absorbed through the mouth.
For safety's sake: Until the official rulings from the FDA are in, I'm avoiding toothpastes that contain triclosan, and I recommend that you do, too. There are plenty of triclosan-free options available—just check the ingredient list on the label. And don't fret about losing out on triclosan's antibacterial power: Brushing and flossing twice a day will still remove bacteria.