Are Americans' Teeth Better Than The British's?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 18, 2015 3:37 AM GMT
    NYT: Americans apparently have more missing teeth, but the British Medical Journal study has some significant limitations.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/world/europe/british-teeth-arent-so-bad-scientific-study-says.html?ref=health

  • Dec 18, 2015 4:21 PM GMT
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  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Dec 18, 2015 9:18 PM GMT
    That's a somewhat meaningless study.

    I never had wisdom teeth to begin with. Also, I was missing the same three teeth that my mother was missing; apparently there is something to genetics. The orthodontist had a tooth extracted so that I'd have the same number of teeth on each jaw, then he moved the teeth so that there would be no gaps. The results look perfectly natural, but any dentist can see that I have fewer teeth than usual. So where would I fit on the missing teeth scale? I doubt that any dentist or orthodontist in the UK could have done better.
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    Dec 19, 2015 1:23 PM GMT
    Britain’s teeth aren’t that bad - but what do you know of their rotten history?
    Our dentistry has long been a target for American wits. But at least we never had a leader with only one of his own teeth left

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/18/britains-teeth-dentistry-american-wits
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    Dec 19, 2015 1:48 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 saidBritain’s teeth aren’t that bad - but what do you know of their rotten history?
    Our dentistry has long been a target for American wits. But at least we never had a leader with only one of his own teeth left

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/18/britains-teeth-dentistry-american-wits

    On a related topic, I've been struck by the changes in US dental health in my lifetime. It was once quite common, almost a given, for middle-aged people to have dentures of some sort. My grandmothers did, my mother and father did, and all by their 50s. Some of the biggest TV advertisers in the 1950s were makers of products to clean dentures, and adhesives to hold them in place (Polident and Poligrip, for example).

    Nowadays you see very few of these ads. It's because the demand for them has greatly declined - fewer people are wearing dentures. I myself still have all my teeth at 66, despite my family history. And I know very few people my age who have dentures, and most of those due to injury, not decay.

    I attribute this to better dental cleaning products, fluoridated water, improvements in dentistry, and general overall better health. I probably should have lost a few molars, due to decay, but they were capped, not pulled, using techniques that weren't common 50 or 60 years ago.

    As for the Brits, yes, bad dental hygiene is a popular image. Watch an "Austin Powers" movie comedy by Canadian Mike Myers. Whether that's exaggerated or not I can't determine. But maybe that image comes from the same earlier generations when my own US family members all lost teeth and wore dentures, and for the same reasons.