Saturday, 30 July 2011

09:28 – The big news this morning is that I’m almost certain not to bear a premature baby, and it’s all because I use Crest Pro Health mouthwash. Granted, the study was a small trial, but still the results are stunning. Among a group of expectant mothers with gum disease who swished their mouths twice a day with water, about 20% delivered prematurely. Among a similar group who swished their mouths twice a day with Crest Pro Health mouthwash, only about 5% delivered prematurely.

The article cautions that using mouthwash is not beneficial for pregnant women who have not been diagnosed with gum disease, at least in terms of reducing premature births, but that’s merely unsupported opinion in the absence of a trial. Using the mouthwash could of course benefit women with undiagnosed gum disease. For that matter, it seems likely but is not certain from this study that the benefit is from the effect of the mouthwash on gum disease, but other factors could be in play. Perhaps fetuses like the taste of the stuff and decide to stick around longer for their twice-daily hit. Or perhaps cetylpyridinium chloride is absorbed by the mother and reduces premature births. The most obvious explanation is usually correct, but many important scientific discoveries have been made by people who looked past the obvious.


Laundry this morning, and the number of old dish towels I have to wash has been declining. We keep a stack of about 50 of them in the hall bathroom, where Colin usually pees when he has an accident. Fortunately, the floor is ceramic tile, so I just sop it up with one of the old towels and then mop the floor with Lysol solution. The towel goes in a field-expedient diaper pail, a flip-top wastebasket that used to be in my lab. Until a few weeks ago, Colin sometimes went through the entire stack of towels in less than a week. Lately he’s down to a dozen or so a week. He usually pees outside now, except when he gets excited, notably when Barbara gets home from work. But he is getting house-trained, albeit gradually. Colin is about five and half months old now. When Malcolm was that age, he had at least as many accidents as Colin is having, so I’m not too concerned.