Carries-free Kids

As a kid I remember getting many fillings. Also remember distinct visits to the dentist where my brother screamed. It seemed cavities were a part of life.

When I was in the 5th grade I lived on a dairy farm. More importantly our back yard was a courtyard which was a covered liquid drain pool for faeces and urine. We had five kids in the family at that time but our rate of acquiring ear infections, streptococcus, bronchitis, and sinus infections was, as I recall, high. It might have been the environment, but it was also true that we passed the illnesses from child to child.

One day that same brother who screamed years earlier at the dentist, piped up and said: we keep getting sick because we share toothpaste. Even if we have separate toothbrushes, sharing toothpaste is a common point of contact. After that our parents bought us each our own toothpaste and we did see some lower rates of illness.

Separate toothpaste sources is more than a flavor choice in my family. We don’t drink after each other and we do try not to use the same toothpaste source to reduce the number of vectors available for spreading illnesses across our family.

When in was in Highschool one of my classmates’s dad was a pediatric dentist. He told me that one way to think about carries was as a communicable disease. Since it was caused by a bacteria, it could spread. This has also helped the thinking in our house.

This year we are celebrating 10 child-years with no dental carries! We have a 7 year old and a 3 year old. I brush their teeth 3-4 times a week, with other supplemental brushing on their own. I use the oral-b brush in the photo because it has reduced my gum inflammation due to over brushing with manual brushes.

The dental hygiene collection.

These factors, along with a high yogurt, no-high fructose corn syrup, no-candy, no-soda diet has so-far pushed us into a more healthy oral hygiene situation for my kids than for me when I was a kid.

Oregon state Supreme Court

This morning the Oregon state Supreme Court battled oral arguments in Eugene, at the UO law school. I was invited to attend by a friend. So I took up the opportunity. Some quite interesting cases. Two cases actually. One pressing the idea of the legitimacy of a warrant regarding some future activity, the other Regarding the culpability and ensuing damages of a doctor accused of negligence in a situation where the patient was misdiagnosed and died.

My court art

Facts and circumstances determine all cases. However the case where the personal representative of the deceased was arguing essentially for malpractice, was interesting.

The basis of the case was common law. Several cases were referred to as president. Oregon State Supreme Court acknowledged something called a “loss of chance” a number of years ago. In the closing arguments, several implications came to mind. The first being that there seems to be an assumption among the lawyers that the opposite of death is life. This doesn’t seem to always be true. While both conditions are mutually exclusive. Life is related to vibrance and how well one lives is certainly on a gradient scale. So is the opposite of death life? There seem to be quite a bit of concern around this in the oral arguments.

Another question is the duty of care, in an abortion situation, to whom is the duty of care? Is it to the mother, the baby, or the father? Who has the right to be the deceased’s PR? One of the critical arguments in the case was the assumption that the duty of care assumes life. Certainly this is not always true? But is it relevant? A service result ends in death in an abortion. It also ends in death with doctor assisted suicide, which is legal in Oregon.