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Sweet Teeth

September 11, 1986

Reading cookie entrepreneur Debbi Fields' statement (Times, Sept. 4), "You've got to have fun or else life is like one long dental appointment," was like a slap in the face first thing in the morning.

It is ironic that Fields' product tends to promote the very thing she urges everyone to avoid; having too much fun with her product could indeed lead one to a lifelong dental appointment.

Dentistry has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of professions. People like Fields love to get a laugh at the dentists' expense, and, I'll grant you, some of the jokes are funny. However, these kind of remarks, made in a public forum, do harm not only to dentists' feelings but also create fear-avoidance responses in many people who require dental care.

Dentists have made tremendous strides in improving the delivery of quality care and continue to have a prevention-oriented philosophy. Decay rates are down and the oral health of Americans continues to improve, thanks to routine dental visits. Statements like Fields' don't help to further the development of good health or good healthy attitudes.

I like chocolate chip cookies as much as the next guy, but I think it's an odd society that values the success of a chocolate chip cookie entrepreneur and laughs at those who try to deal with the possible negative results of that entrepreneur's success.

GARY B. PHILLIPS DDS

Long Beach

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