Confession: I tend to be a bit "granola." Meaning that I tend to be semi-impressionable about natural remedies and finding ways that are more preventative in nature rather than relying ONLY on the most intense sorts of medical treatments if at all possible. (And it is NOT always possible.) At the same time, I tend to be skeptical, too. Which means that while, yes, I'd love for a natural remedy to be some sort of magical elixir for us all that bypasses harsher treatments, I'm quite aware that our modern medical procedures and inventions are incredibly life-saving and/or the best options we have to care for ourselves sometimes.

Obviously that's a rather far-reaching statement, but on a smaller scale, one self-experiment I've done is with toothpaste.

We've heard in the headlines that there are dangers associated with fluoride. We've heard it's a carcinogen and that it can be particularly dangerous for children. Yet, when you dig in you'll find the the links between cancer and fluoride remain not yet proven. However, there's been enough chat about it and educating guessing that I think it's safe to say we don't need to start spreading fluoride toothpaste on our toast or anything. Oooh. Gross.

However, many experts have expressed concern over the trend of fully doing away with fluoride in our toothpaste. According to Consumer Reports, fluoride is "one of the most important ingredients in toothpaste, helping to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay."

Thankfully, we live in a country that has better-than-average oversight on the levels of certain things--such as fluoride. However, be particularly careful with the amount of toothpaste you are using on your child's toothbrush. It's true that there are risks of kids who ingest too much toothpaste. They can get streaking on their teeth if you're not careful. However, if you limit the toothpaste to a pea-sized amount, the risk will be minimized.

I did notice that when I went through my "no fluoride phase," I didn't always feel my teeth were as strong as they'd been. So I did a bit of research and begrudgingly began using fluoride toothpaste once again. But only in the morning...and just enough. ;)

See? I'm still a skeptical granola, but I do want strong teeth.