Not another article about bad British teeth.
Although, full disclosure, we did intend for this particular blog to be a satire about how and why British people have “bad teeth.” However, in doing our research, we came across some startling statistics that took this blog in a much more serious tone.
- The average American loses 7.31 teeth over their lifetime. Meanwhile, Brits only lose 6.93. It might seem small, but it’s a lot when we’re talking about something as small as teeth.
- The average 12-year-old in America has 1.3 missing or filled teeth, while that number is reduced to 0.7 for the average 12-year-old from Britain.
- 53 percent of British people avoid sugar while only 40 percent of the American population does the same.
- 64 percent of British people brush for two minutes, twice a day compared to the 51 percent of Americans that claim the same.
- 66 percent of Brits see the dentist every year but that percentage of Americans who also visit the dentist every year is less than half, 49 percent.
Interestingly enough, as we’ve learned in recent years that Britishers actually have better dental health than Americans! It appears that it might be time for the citizens of the United States of Unrealistic Expectations need to learn that bright, white, perfectly straight teeth aren’t indicative of dental health.
Nothing Natural About White
It’s all there in the header: there’s nothing natural about having perfectly white teeth! At their most natural form, teeth are often a soft cream color due to the dentin underneath the enamel. Additionally, the whitest of your teeth is highly dependent on your skin coloring. Those with darker skin have teeth that appear to be whiter. People with yellow undertones have seemingly yellower teeth, just like people with rosier skin have teeth with more of an off-white/grey color. Basically, what we’re saying is that the only way to have truly white teeth is to have it professionally done.
We stress the word “professional” because — believe it or not — it’s a genuine problem, on the rise around the world. People are so intent on getting pearly white teeth that certain “entrepreneurs” have started illegally whitening teeth to capitalize on the cosmetic desire. If you do intend to get your teeth whitened please be sure it is through a licensed dentist or dental hygienist. Otherwise you risk serious consequences like chemical burns or even poison from swallowing bleach.
Shouldn’t Be Straight
Like with the coloring, having crooked teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that your teeth are unhealthy. Sure, you don’t have a Julia Roberts’ smile with crooked teeth and they may be slightly harder to clean, but unless otherwise specified by a dental professional, crooked teeth are perfectly healthy. Unless your dentist expresses concern, having railroad straight teeth really only serve to improve your self esteem.
How did this whole “the Brits have bad teeth” thing start anyways? The answer is simple: Hollywood. It is speculated that in the 1920s, when “moving pictures” were gaining popularity and young starlets began to emerge, American actors were looking to set themselves apart from British ones. At this point most of the actors that people were familiar with were missing teeth or had crooked smiles. As Hollywood rose to fame, the American stars used their now vast fortune to have their teeth cosmetically corrected — making them “more beautiful” and giving their appearance a never-before-seen distinction.
In fact, we may be lucky that British people keep their mouths as is for long. As of 2018, the University of York believes that dental calculus or tartar (the brown plaque buildup hardened against someone’s teeth) may hold information to ancient diets. Much like the plot of Jurassic Park with the DNA of a dinosaur preserved by a mosquito that had been hardened in amber, scientists and dentists are teaming up to analyze the protein strands found in British dental tartar.
Turns out the stereotype surrounding British people’s bad teeth is not only false, but their teeth are actually furthering science and clarifying history at the same time. If reading this blog made you aware of how fuzzy your teeth currently feel, call today to schedule a cleaning before scientists are trying to study your tartar in 50 years!