The common misconception about Britons is that they have bad teeth. But is this true? Why do British people have worse teeth than Americans or individuals from other countries?
According to TV doctor Chris Van Tulleken, British people are careless about the condition of their teeth and have bad teeth. This argument has also been shown in other media, including the popular cartoon series “The Simpsons.” In one episode, the British were also ridiculed for poor dental hygiene. The main character in another film, “Austin Powers,” was shown to have bad teeth.
Why do the British have terrible teeth? Is this factual, or simply a myth? Could this British label be accurate?
Debunking the Myth on British Having Bad Teeth : British Teeth Vs American Teeth
The British have awful teeth: whether it’s a myth, a fact, or an insult, the message is clear. It appears frequently in films and jokes, and as such, it is something we must discuss.
Let’s go over the arguments for and against British people having poor teeth.
1. British Wearing Braces for Teeth
To begin, in the United Kingdom, juvenile braces are free if your teeth are judged worthy.
This would indicate that British teeth are better from a very young age. That is even without comparison. Given that, braces are more expensive in America than most people can afford. So they can’t have them, right? Correct. They aren’t. However, the myth lives on
2. Children Who Have a Missing or Weak Tooth
More children in the United States have a filling or dental decay than in England. According to an OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) research, 12 year-olds in America had on average 1.3 teeth missing or rotting, compared to 0.7 in England.
3. It’s Not Just the Children
Children can be rash. They attempt to avoid brushing their teeth on a regular basis. They aren’t a reliable statistic when it comes to determining if poor teeth are inherited by a race because they aren’t making decisions at that age. They’re young and yet highly influenced by their parents.
According to a Harvard research, American people miss 7.31 on average, compared to 6.97 in the United Kingdom.
4. American’s Beautiful Smile on Advertisements Vs British Teeth
The notion of British people having poor teeth dates back to the 1930s, when American cinema stars all had excellent teeth. They couldn’t have made a living if they didn’t have perfect grins. And British have no place to be on the ads and display their smile.
Dental practices and toothpaste firms, on the other hand, utilized the movie stars’ smiles as a marketing tool. A lot of wealthy Americans believed it.
So What’s The Truth About British Has Bad Teeth?
Americans and others all around the world have frequently made fun of a purported British trait: crooked, protruding, or discolored teeth. The notion of the British and their large or crooked teeth appears in a number of films, from Austin Powers to the more contemporary Universal Pictures film Minions, in which the queen and others are shown with buck teeth.
1. Orthodontics Throughout the Centuries – British Teeth Getting Fixed, Not a Thing in the 1700s
Dental hygiene was just not a concern during the Middle Ages and for several centuries afterwards. No one recognized the significance of oral health, and people were too preoccupied with surviving and making a livelihood to bother about cleaning and keeping their teeth.
Although there are a few accounts of the Romans and Greeks considering procedures for straightening teeth, true orthodontics did not take root until the 1700s. Even back then, in the United Kingdom and abroad, the notion of teeth straightening did not appeal to the majority of people.
2. An Emphasis on Hygiene Rather Than Beauty – British Teeth Improving Through the Years
Despite acquiring orthodontic technology, the British people did not prioritize the look of their teeth for decades. Instead of emphasizing brilliant, white, dazzling grins, the British concentrated on dental hygiene and small changes.
Back in the 1990s, the percentages of tooth decay and tooth replacement in the United Kingdom were substantially higher than in the United States. Today, those numbers have substantially improved, with the UK now outperforming the US in terms of dental health and hygiene.
3. The Smile Statistics
The figures show a considerable disparity between Americans and individuals in the United Kingdom. Barely about 14% of Americans have had their teeth whitened, and only 3% of British residents have had their teeth whitened.
According to one Manchester dentist, Lance Knight, his patients are not immune to the need for straight, white teeth. They do not, however, appear to have the same need for rows of dazzling white teeth that Americans have. Instead, they want a “natural look.” According to Knight, around 90% of his customers want “an enhanced grin,” with just about 10% aiming for a dazzling movie-star smile.
British Teeth or Not, What Are The Signs of Unhealthy Teeth
Everyone wants a healthy smile, but it’s not always simple to detect when your teeth are in trouble. Dental decay, gum disease, and cavities can make themselves known in a variety of unobtrusive ways.
Before we cast the finger at British people for having terrible teeth, let us examine ourselves to see whether we have any of the following indications of being unhealthy, which can contribute to bad teeth.
1. You constantly have foul breath.
Though occasional attacks of foul breath are natural, chronic bad breath may indicate that something is wrong with your mouth. Bad breath, often known as halitosis, can be a symptom of gum disease. Improper brushing and flossing can cause plaque and bacteria to build upon the teeth and gums, causing irritation and bleeding.
Bad breath can also be caused by sinus or gastrointestinal disorders, so it’s worth visiting the dentist if you discover your bad breath isn’t improving.
2. Your tongue appears to be white.
Your tongue might change color based on what you’ve previously eaten, but if your tongue is frequently white and coated, your mouth may not be as healthy as you believe.
Many individuals overlook the need of cleaning their tongues when brushing their teeth. Bacterial growth results in the formation of a white covering. This results in poor breath and a general state of dental health.
Brush your tongue with your toothbrush or the ribbed rear of your brush head to keep germs at bay. Keeping up with brushing and flossing is another effective approach to reduce the number of dangerous germs in your mouth.
3. When you brush or floss, your gums bleed.
If you’ve noticed a little blood in your toothbrush or saliva after brushing or flossing, it could be a sign that your gums are in trouble.
Gums that are inflamed bleed when touched lightly, even with a toothbrush. Healthy gums do not bleed when touched lightly. If you notice pink in the sink after brushing your teeth, your teeth may not be as healthy as you believe.
Gum disease or inflammation is also characterized by redness and swelling. If your gums are sore or you observe bleeding without an evident reason, see your dentist.
4. Food is always becoming lodged between your teeth.
If you find yourself constantly pulling food out of your mouth, this might be a sign of a developing cavity.
Despite flossing and brushing, you still feel like there’s food trapped between your teeth, this might be a symptom of a concealed cavity between teeth that you can’t see from the surface.
If you believe that food is getting caught on a concealed cavity, make an appointment with your dentist so that they may examine the space between your teeth. It’s also a good idea to floss on a regular basis to prevent minor cavities from becoming bigger.
5. Your teeth have white patches on them.
White spots on your teeth may be the first sign of an imminent cavity. White patches on teeth may suggest early tooth disease with porosity and enamel thinning.
Tooth decay usually comes unnoticed. At the back of teeth or between teeth, making it difficult to detect with the naked eye, can be its common locations. That is why it is critical to schedule frequent dental checkups.
6. You’ve observed that one of your teeth has become darker over time.
Rather than felt, dental issues can sometimes be obviously seen. When one tooth begins to seem darker than the surrounding teeth, this might be an indication of a nerve issue.
The nerve inside the tooth is unable to withstand the force. And that happens when a tooth is stuck. This tooth might become necrotic and darken with time in comparison to its neighbor.
This disease is most common in the front teeth. Even if one of your teeth isn’t hurting, you should see a dentist if you notice it darkening. Failure to do so may result in tooth loss.
7. You’re still feeling uneasy.
Brushing, flossing, and eating should not be painful if your teeth are healthy. When biting or chewing, the pain might signal a transient tooth injury or more permanent damage. A ‘bruised tooth’ might occur from time to time.
For example, if you accidentally bite into a rock in a salad, the tooth may become painful for a few days. This, like any other bruise on your body, will heal in time.
Any tooth pain that does not go away after a week, on the other hand, might be an indication of a more serious problem, such as a fractured tooth, which may necessitate restorative dentistry.
8. Your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold beverages.
Sensitivity to hot or cold meals and beverages might indicate the presence of a cavity in your teeth. Healthy teeth are typically not sensitive to high temperatures, but ill teeth may pain or ache after drinking hot tea or eating ice cream.
The length of time the teeth hurt is often an indication of how serious the condition is. Do not be worried if it aches for a split second because cold liquids can occasionally induce sensitivity for a split second. If your sensitivity to cold or heat lasts longer and longer, you may have a problem.
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may also suggest an uneven bite, which causes some teeth to wear down quicker than others. Discuss any sensitivity you are feeling with your dentist.
9. You notice you have a tense jaw when you wake up
When you wake up, you find you have a tight jaw. Jaw clenching or teeth grinding may be to blame if you regularly wake up with a sore jaw or a mild headache. Many people grind their teeth at night or clench their jaw when they are stressed.
Tooth grinding or clenching can make teeth sensitive to heat, cold, or even merely pressure. Patients are often acutely aware that they have this condition because they notice themselves clenching or grinding during stressful situations.
Grinding or clenching can sometimes lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ. This disease might have long-term effects on your jaw.
Teeth grinding can have a detrimental influence on the jaw joint, which is analogous to the elbow or knee joint. If it becomes ill, it may click or pop out of the socket. A night guard created by a dentist can significantly reduce the damage caused by nocturnal grinding to the teeth and jaw.
10. Your teeth appear to be becoming longer or larger.
Teeth that appear to be growing longer or wider teeth that appear to be growing longer or wider are typically a symptom of gum disease or injury.
Gum disease may cause slow receding gums, but because this is a degenerative illness, you may not notice at first. As your dental roots grow increasingly exposed, you will notice not just a ‘long in the tooth’ appearance, but also sensitivity and pain.
Another source of abrasion is toothbrush abrasion. Excessive usage of a harsh toothbrush might cause gum recession over time.
With rapid change in oral health trends, reliable comparisons between nations are difficult to conclude. It is great to know that people now, regardless of nationality, have a choice to improve their smile. Who wouldn’t want a healthy smile? Everyone desires a healthy smile, but no one grin is superior to another. What matters is that your grin is genuine. An added advantage to is people being educated on appropriate oral hygiene or having access to superior dental healthcare. Hopefully, the common misconception about British teeth was clarified.