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Yesterday my self-care activity involved receiving a fluoride treatment during my semi-annual visit to the dentist.
I’ve declined the treatments in the past because the product they use absolutely nauseates me. But then it dawned on me that our well water isn’t fluoridated–and the current toothpaste I’ve been using isn’t either. (If you only drink bottled water, then you could be at risk too.)
As a nutritionist, I understand that these seemingly insignificant micronutrients often carry serious (and sometimes elusive) heath consequences. And that prompted me not to refuse it this time around. Sure, it tasted terrible, but the benefits outweighed the inconvenience of flavor in my opinion.
Fluoride offers health benefits both when ingested and when applied topically, which is why most dentists offer fluoride treatments as part of their preventive care protocols. One benefit is that it makes the surface of our teeth less prone to decay, but it also plays a protective role in bone health as well.
The reality is that sometimes taking proper care of ourselves isn’t pleasant. Going back to the gym after a hiatus can be painful. Eating vegetables that you don’t find to be particularly delicious isn’t easy. And some preventive treatments are uncomfortable to say the least.
In the end, we must simply weigh the risks and benefits, and make a decision that best aligns with what we feel is right for us.