Americans Have More Missing Teeth Than the British
We may have to re-think that stereotype about the British having bad teeth. So says a new study published in BMJ (British Medical Journal).
That popular belief held largely by Americans dates back more than a century and may have its roots in toothpaste ads praising the “American smile.”
But now researchers from both the U.K. and the U.S. have used data from the English Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS) and the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to compare oral health and assess educational levels and income-related oral health inequalities.
Study participants included adults 25 years and older. The analysis showed that the average number of missing teeth was higher in the U.S. than in England, at 7.31 vs. 6.97, respectively.
The researchers also looked at the effect of a person's socioeconomic position. Adults in the lowest socioeconomic position had better oral health in England than in the U.S. But those at the top educational or income levels had better oral health in the US.
The study authors note that their analysis was limited to just one measure of oral health status -- number of missing teeth -- and did not include any aesthetic or orthodontic outcomes.
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