Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that aid in the prevention of oral gingivitis and plaque. Because toothpastes and gels containing triclosan help protect the mouth from bacteria that cause gingivitis and plaque, these products are considered to be medicines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Triclosan can also be found in products that help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Some drug and cosmetic cleansing products used to remove dirt and germs from the surface of the skin contain triclosan.
Triclosan is approved by FDA and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label directions. Parents and caregivers should be aware that children under the age of 6 should not brush with an anti-gingivitis or anti-plaque product unless they are specifically instructed to do so by a dentist or a healthcare provider.