OK, it's been a ghastly year with worse likely to follow, but there have been rays of sunshine.
Here is 2016 trying to saddle up the Comeback Pony and ride it out of the barn and up the Comeback Trail:
Medical benefits of dental floss unproven
HOLMDEL, N.J. (AP) — It's one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities.
Except there's little proof that flossing works.
The federal government has recommended flossing since 1979, first in a surgeon general's report and later in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued every five years. The guidelines must be based on scientific evidence, under the law.
Last year, the Associated Press asked the departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for their evidence, and followed up with written requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
When the federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines this year, the flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.
The AP looked at the most rigorous research conducted over the past decade, focusing on 25 studies that generally compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of toothbrushes and floss. The findings? The evidence for flossing is "weak, very unreliable," of "very low" quality, and carries "a moderate to large potential for bias."
Oh, wow - if I could escape this year and quit flossing once or twice a month as I currently do, how great would that be?!?
FROM THE TIMES: Catherine Saint Louis unburies the lead:
Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need
For decades, the federal government — not to mention your local dentist — has insisted that daily flossing is necessary to prevent cavities and gums so diseased your teeth fall out.
Turns out, flossing may be overrated.