How To Have a Million Dollar Smile in The UK

Image from pixabay.com

Every country, every region, and every type of person has stereotypes. We all know that, and most of us try to ignore the stereotypes we hear, and just view people for who they are. That being said, I have heard several stereotypes about Americans and Brits. The most common one in the USA is, that all British people have terrible teeth.

Now, I don’t know how this stereotype got started. Maybe it was just a jealous American thing viewing Britain as this well-to-do monarchy. Maybe it started because some rude American’s happened to meet several Brits who happened to all have bad teeth. I don’t know how it started, and it we probably never will know. But, nonetheless, it exists. All of my English friends were shocked when I told them that this, their bad teeth, was the most prevalent stereotype of the UK that we have in America.
My teeth aren’t perfect but I still smile

 

It isn’t true. British people don’t universally all have bad teeth. There is are many differences between British and American dentistry however. For example, the NHS (National Health Service) subsidises dentistry so it is very affordable for citizens to have their teeth regularly checked, and any procedures done. But, there is actually a very large private sector of dentists (this is the biggest sector of private medicine that I have seen in the UK).
Overall, NHS and private dentists in the UK don’t suggest dental treatments unless they are absolutely necessary. So, less teenagers get braces than in the US. That might be one cause of the stereotype, there are more British with slightly crooked teeth. I don’t view that as a bad thing, I think in the US dentists are far to willing to subject people to braces who don’t absolutely need them (because it makes them a ton of money). Furthermore, I think American’s might be slightly more vain about their smiles, so they are more willing to have work done. Where as in the UK, people accept that teeth are teeth, and they don’t have to be flawless to make you a worthwhile person.
Image from pixabay.com

Another difference is that in the UK, they don’t remove wisdom teeth. I was very shocked by this because I deliberately had my wisdom teeth removed before I came to England, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of them while abroad. I also had them taken out because my jaw had no space for more teeth. But, among my acquaintances, I am the only one who had them removed. Most dentists in the UK view it as an unnecessary removal, because they don’t really cause any damage or pain. My partner still has his because he had several teeth taken out as a child, so his jaw has room for them to grow in.

Teeth don’t matter as long as you smile

Stereotype: In the UK all people have bad, ugly teeth.

Result: False. The UK does treat dentistry differently than in America, but that doesn’t result in an abnormal amount of unfortunate mouth situations.

 

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