by C. Leslie Thomson
In recent months, the topical press has reported a number of ﬁndings by medical investigators relating to tooth health . . . or the lack of it. In particular there have been ‘shock’ accounts of the uselessness of the toothbrush and of the destructive effects of fruit acids upon tooth enamel. We may be hardly surprised that the journalists have the unfortunate knack of still further distorting the already biased conclusions of experimenters. We know quite well that, in today’s welter of too much information, it is the freakish event that catches the newsman’s eye and the sensational write-‐up that pleases his editor.
So, in these latest examples of popular medicine, balanced observation is totally lacking. When we follow up the arresting headline which proclaims that apples cause caries, we ﬁnd that the tests were carried out on subjects who were eating a couple of pounds or more per day. On reading fuller details of the toothbrushes that had no effect, it becomes obvious that the circumstances were so far from normal that no amount of oral hygiene could be expected to protect the teeth.