Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

British bad teeth myth debunked

By Dental Tribune International
December 17, 2015

LONDON, UK: It is commonly believed that Britons are among those with the worst teeth in the world. However, new research has now shown that oral health in the UK is comparable to, or even slightly better than, in the United States.

The study that was conducted by researchers from both sides of the pond found that compared to the British, Americans, and particularly women, have less of their own teeth left. Furthermore, in the UK, mainly elderly people are affected by edentulousness, but in the US, missing teeth were found to be more prevalent in middle age groups.

Although similar large social disparities in oral health were deemed to exist in both countries, people with a lower education and income generally tended to have better teeth in Britain.

The oral health status of the wealthy and educated, however, was much better in the United States, the researchers found.

“It is established that certain ethnic minorities have poorer oral health than the majority white population. Clearly, the ethnic composition in the US and England are different and this could explain our results,” they stated in the report.

For the study, which was published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, the researchers from universities in London, Boston and Bogotá, Colombia analysed and compared data from the British Adult Dental Health Survey 2009 and the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2005 to 2008.

It is the first study to have directly compared oral health data between the two countries.

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