British teeth study says Brits Teeth No Worse Than Americans
Americans are always lording it over the Brits — bigger cars, wider roads, flashier athletes.
A team of researchers has finally put to rest the myth that Brits have bad teeth.
“There is a longstanding belief in the United States that the British have terrible teeth, much worse than U.S. citizens. This view dates back at least 100 years, with toothpaste adverts extolling the virtues of American smiles,” Richard Watt, a dentistry professor at University College London, and colleagues wrote in the special tongue-in-cheek holiday issue of the British Medical Journal.
“Contemporary examples of this belief in popular U.S. culture range from The Simpsons to the Hollywood character Austin Powers and his repugnant smile.”
Researchers came up with a simple comparison: counting teeth. They used two large surveys covering 8,719 Britons and 9,786 Americans.
“The mean number of missing teeth was significantly higher in the US (7.31) than in England (6.97),” they wrote triumphantly.
According to the study, the average Brit has one-third of a tooth more than the average American.
The British did, however, complain more about toothaches and other discomforts.
That didn’t put off Watt. “Contrary to popular belief, our study showed that the oral health of US citizens is not better than the English,” his team declared.
The British teeth study was published in the British Medical Journal.