Toronto, Canada, January 13, 2016 – Princeview Dental (www.PrinceviewDental.com), a fixture of The Kingsway area in Etobicoke for over 20 years, is weighing on a new study that found that Americans actually have worse teeth than British people.
It has been a long-held stereotype that British people have the worst teeth, with popular caricatures like Austin Powers lampooning Britons as having yellow teeth or gaps in their smile. However, a new study has found that this is not only untrue, but that Americans actually have worse teeth than Britons in certain measures. (Source: Cha, A.E., “Joke’s on us. American teeth are as bad as British teeth, study says,” The Washington Post web site, December 16, 2015; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/12/16/jokes-on-us-american-teeth-are-as-bad-as-british-teeth-study-says/,)
“While a lot of North Americans might like to joke about British people’s teeth, the truth is that there are some big issues with oral hygiene over here,” says Dr. Janice Mummery, founder of Princeview Dental. “This study really confirms that more work needs to be done on improving oral health on this side of the Atlantic. People have the misguided belief that our dental hygiene is a lot better here than in other places, but that’s not always true.”
While the study found that Britons are more anxious about their teeth than Americans are, it is the Americans who have more missing teeth on average. Missing teeth can be a result of gum disease, infections, poor oral hygiene, or physical trauma.
“Missing teeth are a fairly significant dental issue,” notes Mummery. “Cavities are more common, but for a tooth to be removed, that’s usually an indication that either long-term neglect has occurred or that a tooth wasn’t treated until it was too late. It’s really important to not just have regular check-ups, but to also go to an emergency clinic when necessary.”
The study also found that there is a wide disparity in the condition of teeth between the wealthier and poorer sections of society. This difference is greater in the U.S., where the poor are far more likely to have missing teeth and oral problems.
“For a lot of low-income individuals, accessing dental care is a significant problem,” says Mummery. “It’s also true that many people don’t realize the importance of dental care and may decide to put it off to save money. This can end up having a really bad effect on our teeth in the long term.”
While the researchers found the results surprising, this latest study isn’t the first to find that stereotypes about the teeth of Britons are unfounded. Previous studies have found that American children have double the rate of decaying teeth, and that Britons are almost twice as likely as Americans to visit the dentist.
“Visiting your dentist regularly and practicing standard oral hygiene is really what this comes down to,” says Mummery. “If you’re brushing and flossing your teeth every day and seeing your dentist every six months, you have a much lower chance of developing these serious problems. This study should be a wake-up call for anyone who’s been neglecting their teeth.”
Princeview Dental provides services for patients who are suffering from dental emergencies in Toronto, as well as regular oral care. More information can be found at www.PrinceviewDental.com.