The stereotype of yellow, slimy, crooked British smiles may not have teeth any more.
In a study comparing American and English dental health surveys, researchers found that American grins tended to have slightly fewer teeth, and those in lower socioeconomic positions had significantly worse oral health than their British counterparts. And researchers found no differences in participants' perceptions of overall oral health between the two nations. The data, published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ—an annual, light-hearted edition of the British medical journal—suggests that the English may have something to smile about as they sip their teeth-staining tea.
But, there are some cavities in the study. When asked about dental pain, function, and whether their teeth were embarrassing, the English self-reported more problems. The study also lacked data on aesthetics and comparisons of wisdom teeth extraction practices, which may skew the counts of missing teeth.