Having good oral health is no laughing matter. Good oral hygiene is essential for overall health, yet, many movie tropes and stereotypes have found it funny to poke fun at bad teeth! Of all the movie tropes and stereotypes about bad or unhealthy teeth, perhaps one of the most common is the belief that British people have bad teeth. Unfortunately, this is far from the case, as everyone in any part of the world has the potential to develop bad teeth due to unhealthy eating or other habits. America is no exception.
Unlike the United States, British standards of beauty don’t focus on perfect teeth that are straight and pearly-white. In fact, teeth can be perfectly healthy even if they are uneven, crowded, or even yellow. However, the United States and all of its American celebrities have been paraded on television and in films as having perfectly white smiles. In the UK, this is not the case, leading to the misconception that British people have bad teeth. You can see this in many Hollywood movies, such as the portrayal of Austin Powers.
Fortunately, new standards of beauty and acceptance of all body types are breaking down barriers. We are learning as a society that’s perfectly okay to have crowded or crooked smiles!
A recent article by the BBC actually showed that Americans struggle more with bad teeth than the British do, in some respects. For instance, children living in the UK have fewer amounts of cavities compared to American, French, and Spanish children!
In addition, Americans visit the dentist less often, indicating that perhaps they do not take oral health as seriously as the British do. An average of 4 out of 10 Americans visit their dentist every year, while 7 out of 10 British people visit their dentists.
Visiting the dentist is one of the best ways to ensure teeth do not get damaged further and can help prevent issues such as tooth decay and cavities from arising. It’s also no wonder that Americans struggle with tooth decay, with an average of 1 in 4 adults suffering from untreated cavities, according to the CDC.
There are many reasons for having unhealthy teeth. From not brushing properly, to having a dry mouth and not maintaining an oral hygiene routine, these can all lead to damaged teeth. However, the most common reason for tooth decay is cavities that arise from sugary drinks, starchy foods, and beverages. Does the United States have a problem with sugar? Absolutely! In fact, bakery products, some of the most sugary foods and starchy foods out there that can cause cavities, made up over 2% of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product. That’s over $300 billion per year!
Sadly, other causes of bad teeth can be the lack of having a dental provider to visit for check-ups. 54% of Americans that have insurance admit they are confused by medical bills, which can lead to being hesitant to visit a dentist.
Americans’ struggle with oral health doesn’t stop in the sweets aisle. In 2017, the national average opioid prescription rate in the U.S. was 58.7 for every 100 residents. While many studies are still in their infancy, some researchers link opioids and other prescription medications with bad oral health.
Although it might be fun to poke at British teeth and continue the stereotype, in the end, everyone can be affected by bad teeth, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. With the help of a dentist and some routine oral hygiene, anyone can have great-looking teeth, us British included!
For those who prefer a more traditional home-like experience when on vacation, a timeshare can make sense. If you’ve gotten many years of good use out of your timeshare and now want to get rid of it, a timeshare cancellation company like Timeshare Freedom Group or Lonestar transfer may be able to help.