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May 1, 1943

An Evaluation of Dental Health Literature

JAMA. 1943;122(1):67. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840180069031

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This is an exceptionally valuable contribution to the literature of health education. It makes a dual contribution. First it gives a much needed evaluation of dental health literature and clarifies many inaccuracies. Second, it furnishes a pattern for similar evaluation of health education literature in other fields which might well be undertaken by persons as well qualified, for example, in nutrition, communicable disease control and personal hygiene as are the authors of this evaluation in dentistry.

Without going into detail as to the numerous fallacies, controversial statements, half truths and downright errors occurring in dental literature issued not by advertisers, quacks or promoters but by reputable health education groups, it is sufficient to point out here that the authors based their survey on a large number of sources, of which they list seventy-six state health department bulletins, twenty-four publications of the American Dental Association and five miscellaneous publications, including one

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