Brits are Smiling on this Busted Dental Myth

TeethThe Brits has always been the target of teeth jokes. With TV and movie characters sporting terrible teeth and crooked smile, there is an ongoing stereotype against the British and their seemingly bad teeth.

Recently, a study was published delving into — and disproving — this myth.

The researchers from University College of London, the National University of Colombia and the Harvard School of Public Health explain that the misleading view dates back at least a century ago, as toothpaste adverts extol American smiles.

But, as it turns out, the British have better dental conditions compared to Americans, according to the study.

The 100-year-old stereotype that the British have terrible teeth has been disproved in a new study titled ‘Austin Powers Bites Back’. The research says that the British smile is actually better than their US counterparts, as published in the British Medical Journal, because Brits prioritise their oral health. Dental clinics like also agree that oral health is a priority for these people.

In the study, national survey representatives examined American and British participants aged 25 years and older. Researches took education and income into account to measure socioeconomic factors, while the social impact of oral health to the daily lives of the respondents was measured through identical surveys.

Information about the oral health and socioeconomic position of the two groups was then analysed and compared.

In the UK, dental care is largely provided through the National Health Service. This is why here, adults in the lowest socioeconomic position tend to have better oral health.

The comparison shows that in the US where dental insurance is largely available, people have more missing teeth. According to the analysis, American adults are missing 7.31 teeth; British adults, on the other hand, are missing an average of 6.97 of teeth.

The study also suggests that socioeconomic inequalities are higher in the United States, and only those at the top of income levels have better oral health.

With the study disproving the longstanding oral health myth, giving the British dental bragging rights, they now have more reasons to smile.