There has been an age-old myth, stereotype perhaps, that the British have awful teeth. A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal has recently smashed that theory to bits; giving everyone in the UK a reason to smile.
In fact, the new study not only reveals that the British don’t have bad teeth, it also shows that in some instances, their dental health is actually better than their American friends. The study was called, “Austin Powers Bites Back”, and it may be an excellent way to honor the comedic character from the Austin Power movies, as while he wreaked of sexuality, he also suffered from terrible teeth.
According to CNN, the research teams from both the University of College London and Harvard University, the missing number of teeth in America was 7.31, a little higher than that of their UK counterparts, which was 6.97. Thousands of adults in both the U.S. and UK were reviewed by dental teams, who took factors like difficulty in eating, smile avoidance, and pain into consideration while conducting the study.
Researchers also noted income and education, trying to find a link in socioeconomic factors as they relate to oral health. As it seems, they were higher in the U.S than compared to the UK. The researchers noted the difference could relate to the funding of health care between the U.S. and UK; as British dentistry is significantly covered by the National Health Service, while Americans rely on dental insurance.
The authors concluded in the reports, that the dental health in the U.S. is not any better than that of the UK. In addition, they note wider, and more consistent education and income-related dental health inequalities between the United States and England.
The idea the British have worse teeth than those in the U.S. has been a long-running joke for approximately 100 years now. The research team even noted pop culture references about this within their study adding “The Simpsons” to the list, and pointing to an episode that made of fun of the “The Big Book of British Smiles.”