Date: 1927
Brand: Pepsodent
Manufacturer: The Pepsodent Company
Campaign: Dentist Recommends
Theme: Doctors Smoking
Keywords: Male, Dentist, Tooth Paste
Quote: Smokers' teeth discolor more than others, usually. But the stains lie in a film and removing that film removes them.

Comment: Clearly, there was widespread knowledge of the negative effects of smoking on breath and teeth. Many cigarette brands attempted to ease public concern over these side effects, while, as in the case of this advertisement, some non-tobacco products reassured smokers that they could still smoke any brand they wished and maintain a healthy, attractive mouth. This toothpaste ad claims that dental science has evolved in to a new dental era and can now combat tobacco teeth.

Dentist Recommends

Along with doctors and nurses, dentists presented yet another health professional that had the potential to reassure consumers worried about the ill health effects of smoking. Whereas otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors) could assure mildness for throats, the recommendation from a dentist might indicate fewer cosmetic mouth side effects for the advertised brands. The none-too-subtle message was that if the dentist, with all of his expertise in oral care, chose to smoke a particular brand or recommended a particular brand, then it must be safe. Dentists were seen as experts not only in suffering throats, but also in such side effects as yellowed teeth, bad breath, and oral cancer. Well-known early victims of oral cancer include Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), who developed cancer of the palate after years of smoking 20 cigars a day; U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), who passed away from tongue cancer; and U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), who suffered from cancer of the palate in 1893. Though President Cleveland successfully had the cancer surgically removed, he ultimately died of a heart attack 15 years later.

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