Brushing? Check. Flossing? Check. Twice-yearly cleanings? Check and check. You may think you’ve got good oral health in the bag, but an article in Whole Living may make you think again. The magazine takes a look at holistic dentists, practitioners who view the mouth as “a barometer of the body’s overall health.” Holistic dentists treat all the usual problems, but they also look at inflamed gums and infected teeth as part of broader health problems, and they prescribe healthful diet, sleep and exercise alongside mercury-free fillings. Not sure you’re ready to switch to the holistic approach? Whole Living offers “unorthodox” oral health tips to add to your dental hygiene: Brush twice a day with a soft bristle brush. Choose a toothpaste free of fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate. Eat alkaline foods such as beans, fruits, and greens. Rinse your mouth with warm sea-salt water and a few drops of clove or mint oil. Clean gums with an oral irrigator. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Absent from the list: daily flossing.
“Pale Girl Speaks: A Year Uncovered” follows the life of Hillary Fogelson, a 20-something blogger and a fair-skinned sun worshiper in Los Angeles who gets skin cancer. The book is Hillary Fogelson’s memoir of a year of battling malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of cancer in women ages 25 to 30. It’s a terrifying battle, but Fogelson has a witty voice, and the memoir has a darkly hilarious quality as she leads readers through her diagnosis and surgery, her anxiety and neuroses, her increasing reliance on alcohol and her desire to be a proactive cancer patient. It is only when her father discovers that he also has melanoma that Fogelson confronts her own fears. Fogelson, whose cancer was first diagnosed when she was 25, has had three melanomas and is now an activist on the topic of sun protection. Through her Web site, PaleGirlSpeaks.com, and Twitter account, she shares resources, advice and testimonials from other survivors.