The spin masters of New York's Madison Avenue have worked to influence consumer behavior for over 100 years. The industry has been spoofed by Mad Magazine and the television show Mad Men depicts the inner workings of the business in the 1960s. Those fictitous accounts are nothing in comparison to real ads published throughout time as several of the products promoted in the past have been proven to be dental health killers and potentially harmful to well-being as a whole.
Advertising is one-stream flow of communication that distributes paid messages with the goal of audience pursation. The marketing strategy has been used to sell everything including soda, food, dental care products and the services provided by individual dental clinics. Presently there are levels of protection in place to protect consumers and prevent false claims from being made. However that was not always a case and prior to the laws, some vintage ads may have lead consumers down the path too tooth loss, dental problems and obesity.
The 1970's were a tumultuous time as the decade kicked off with war in Vietnam, violence in the Middle East and American women fighting for equal rights. As women became more vocal in regards to rights to work, equal pay and freedom of choice, they spent less time cooking foods and started to rely heavily on processed foods. The media messages of the time guided them on their way and could have caused an unintentional rise in cavities, tooth decay and gum disease as a result.
One such message came from sugar manufactures that suggested, "Sugar can be the willpower you need to undereat," because it would deliver sheer energy in the form of 18 calories a teaspoon. As a result, consumers were lead to believe that sugar was a health food and potentially liberally shared the item with a family. Anyone (women or men) who believed the ads actually upped their chances of developing health issues such as obesity, diabetes and dental problems.
Sugar is a sweet, edible carbohydrate and when consumed in moderation can be part of a nutritious diet. The treat is not only a favorite of humans but also of oral bacteria. When trace elements of the sweet stuff are deposited on teeth, microscopic critters go feast on the food and can band together and form dental plaque. Tooth eroding acid will be produced as a result of this activity, so anyone who followed the weight loss advice from this ad, could have ended up with tooth decay.
Thanks to scientific evidence, we now know that smoking cigarettes is not glamorous and can contribute to slews of dental problems including oral cancer, bad breath, gum disease and tooth loss. However, in the 1920s, tobacco use was common, chic and promoted as a weight loss tool for women.
American cigarette manufacturer Lucky Strikes was only one such company that tried to promote the health benefits of smoking. In the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s many of their ads focused on the message that encouraged dieters to "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet." The campaign helped make that cigarette the most popular brand in the country and unknowingly contributed to countless dental problems and health issues.
Sadly, as American civilization advanced, humans started to turn their back on the natural foods including whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. As a result, processed food consumption went up and medical indicators of proper nutrition went way down. As a result, diet supplements became more popular than whole foods and dental health went down the tube.
One such product that helped pave the road to damnation was Ayds, a candy-flavored appetite-suppressant. Not only did their ad campaigns actually encourage individuals to skip whole foods necessary for dental health, the name proved to be an unfortunate choice when a disease called AIDS stole headlines in the 1980s.
The fact is there is a direct correlation between dental health and obesity and shedding some extra weight can do a body good. Despite the marketing messages of the past, the best way to do the deed is to eat a diet resembling the government's recommended nutrition Plate, exercising and drinking water instead of sugar or chemical laden soft drinks. Individuals still think the ads of the past were right on should call 1-800-Dentist now to schedule a dental appointment as the advise of a dentist will reveal the truth.