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Ann Cannon: First the sun and whole milk, now my dental floss?

First Published      Last Updated Aug 09 2016 07:57 pm

Today I want to discuss things that used to be good/bad for us that are now bad/good for us. Does that make sense?

The first thing is the sun. Back when I was growing up, the sun was a good thing because the sun made you tan and tan = junior high school popularity. Score! This is why the girls my age basted ourselves with baby oil and then went to the swimming pool to "lay out" and broil. Also, the sun gave you sexy-time blond highlights, especially if you sprayed your wet hair with Sun-In. So, see? The sun was a good thing.

But then party-pooper experts started saying that the sun gave you cancer and that everybody should use sunscreen and hazmat suits whenever they went outside. The sun had become Public Enemy No. 1, just sitting up there in the sky waiting to hurl thunderbolts of cancer at people. I know this from personal experience, actually, because we've had the skin cancer thing in my own family.

But now? The sun is still a bad guy. Just not as bad. In fact, the sun is more like an antihero — a badass with a few redeeming qualities such as being an excellent source of Vitamin D. So now experts are saying you should still wear sunscreen but leave the hazmat suit at home.

Whole milk is another thing that used to be good for people before it was bad for people before it was good for people again. Or at least this is what my husband's running partner, Paul, recently said. It used to be everyone drank whole milk because whole milk came from cows and cows are our friends. Of course our friends the cows wouldn't want to hurt us or clog our arteries or make our hearts explode.

But then party-pooper experts started saying whole milk bumped up your level of cholesterol, which is why skim milk and 2-percent were invented, which don't taste as good but have the distinct advantage of not killing you.

Except now, according to my husband's running partner, Paul, people are saying whole milk actually lowers your cholesterol. I don't know how Paul knows this, but when it comes to issues involving milk, I trust him implicitly.

Which brings me to flossing. Did you see where the government is now saying there's no correlation between flossing and preventing tooth decay? OK. This just seems completely counterintuitive. How is it possible that those poppy seeds stuck in your teeth ever since you ate that wedding cake last weekend can be a good thing? Can anybody really promise me that those poppy seeds have my teeth's best interest at heart?

Here's the deal. I came late to the flossing party, and I am reluctant to give up a hygiene habit that was hard for me to form. Why was it so hard for me to form? Because I'm lazy. How lazy am I? Some days it's just too much effort to push the power button on my TV's remote control. Some days it's just too much effort to lift a doughnut to my mouth. Even a doughnut from Fresh Donuts and Deli on State Street. Some days it's just too hard to open a can of Dr Pepper. Some days it's just too much effort to breathe.

The sloth is my spirit animal, yo.

But when I finally climbed aboard the Flossing Express, I became a believer. My gums tingled with happiness, as well as hope in a future not involving tooth decay. And now the government wants to take my floss away from me? I don't think so.

Hey! Hands off my dental floss, Government!

Go pick on someone else.

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com or facebook.com/anncannontrib.