A new study published by British Medical Journal on Thursday proves that the British teeth stereotype is false. Shockingly, the oral health of the English is sometimes even better than the one of the Americans.
The idea that British people have worse teeth than the perfect white teeth of the Americans goes a long way back. Researchers said that this misconception is almost 100 years old some toothpaste adds even promising American smiles. One of the most recent example proves that the Americans still have this stereotype is when one episode of The Simpsons cartoon made fun of British teeth.
The study was called “Austin Powers Bites Back”, referring to the famous series Austin Powers. In the series the lead actor is unlike all handsome spies usually portrayed in this movie genre. Austin Powers is a British, unattractive spy and he is known for his really bad teeth.
The study involved thousands of adults who were examined based on factors such as pain, smiling avoidance, difficulty to eat, impact of the smile on daily life education and income. The number of missing teeth was higher in America than in England. While the British average was 6,97 missing teeth the American average was 7,31.
The differences between the countries were really big when it came to dental health, the U.S. surpassing the U.K. This is mainly caused by the different health care funding, the British relying on the National Health Service and the Americans being covered by their dental insurance.
While the rich and middle people had good teeth, the poor ones had terrible oral health in America. In the U.K. though poor people’s hygiene was much better than of those over the Pond. While in England the health care is for public use, in America the health insurances predominate.
The authors of the study concluded that the oral health of the British people is not worse than that of the Americans. They also wanted to show that there are inequalities in the income and education and thus the money put aside for oral hygiene are not as much.
The news that British teeth stereotype is false was received really well by the British press, with titles like “Smile! American teeth worse than ours”.