Media Coverage

Slate: Fourteen Oddball Reasons You’re Not Dead Yet

Lifespan has doubled in the United States in the past 150 years. This ridiculously wonderful change in the nature of life and death is something we tend to take for granted. When we do think about why we’re still alive, some of the big, fairly obvious reasons that come to mind are vaccines, antibiotics, clean water, or drugs for heart disease and cancer. But the world is full of underappreciated people, innovations, and ideas that also save lives. A round of applause, please, for some of the oddball reasons, in no particular order, why people are living longer and healthier lives than ever before.

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Fluoride. There were plenty of miserable ways to die before the mid-20th century, but dying of a tooth abscess had to be among the worst—a slow, painful infection that limits your ability to eat, causes your head to throb endlessly, and eventually colonizes the body and kills you of sepsis. Now it’s a rare way to go, thanks to modern dental care, toothbrushes, and (unless you’re in Portland) fluoridated water.

Read the full article at slate.com.

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