Send your letters to the Editor, British Dental Journal, 64 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8YS. firstname.lastname@example.org. Priority will be given to letters less than 500 words long. Authors must sign the letter, which may be edited for reasons of space.
Sir, I am writing to you to express my grave concern regarding a recent entry for Zollipops in the British Dental Journal1 under the 'Dental products and services' section.
Whilst I fully appreciate that the BDJ has a disclaimer at the top of the page indicating that the service does not imply endorsement by the BDJ, many dentists do not read this and would assume that because this has been published in a professional journal this product has some value.
The advert is basically for a sugar free lollipop – my concerns relate particularly to the logos being used to promote the product ie 'The clean teeth pops' and 'The after you eat treat for a healthy smile'.
Implying that eating a lollipop, regardless of when you eat it can somehow 'clean' your teeth is a very misleading message for the general public.
As health professionals it is imperative that we all give consistent, evidence-based messages to the general public. The statement that 'Stein Foods ... wants dentists to stand behind and promote the brand as a healthy and good way for parents to look after their children's teeth' really concerned me. Although sugar-free sweets may not directly damage teeth (some brands however can be acidic and could potentially be implicated in tooth erosion) regular consumption could help encourage a 'sweet tooth' which could certainly have implications for general health.
I do feel that the British Dental Journal is better than this and should be more proactive in filtering out unsuitable adverts before publication.