From jokes to media depictions, the myth that Britons have worse teeth than Americans has been perpetuated for years. But the findings of the British Dental Association suggest that this is not the case. In fact, research has shown that British oral health is just as good, if not better, than in the United States. In the UK, citizens have access to dental care through the NHS.
This makes it much more affordable than in the US. However, only basic dentistry is covered and cosmetic dentistry comes at a high cost and must be paid out of pocket. Additionally, there are not as many dentists willing to perform cosmetic procedures. When it comes to missing teeth, Americans are more affected than Britons. This is largely due to differences in national funding.
According to researchers from Harvard University and University College London, the average number of missing teeth was higher in the US at 7.31 compared to 6.97 in the UK. The researchers also took into account factors such as pain, difficulty eating and not smiling, as well as education and income levels. They found that socioeconomic inequalities in dental health were significantly higher in the US compared to the UK. The main difference between British and American dental care is that while British dentistry is largely provided by the National Health Service, US citizens are more dependent on dental insurance coverage. Even though British teeth may not be worse than American pearly whites, English people who participated in the study still believed that their mouth condition had a greater impact on their daily lives. Overall, this means that more people in the UK have access to basic dental services at low cost, while most of the middle and upper classes have access to dental care in the US.