Bad news, America: English teeth are no worse than yours


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American teeth are no better than British teeth, according to a new study.

LONDON — Brits can travel the world over, but it seems there’s no escaping the stereotype that English people have bad teeth with Americans have long maintained that our fangs are much worse than their pearly whites.
The popular belief about the inferiority of English dental health dates back over a century, but a study published this week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) may have debunked that.
A research team based in the UK and United States assessed oral health measures and socioeconomic factors using data from the English Adult Dental Health Survey and the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey.

The results showed that the average number of missing teeth was significantly higher in the U.S. (7.31) than in England (6.97).
Analysts found strong evidence of significant socioeconomic inequalities in oral health in both countries, but these inequalities were consistently higher in the U.S. than in England.
The study cites the notable policy differences between the two countries as possible reasons for the increased levels of dental inequalities in the U.S. In the UK, dentistry is predominantly provided free by the NHS, but in the U.S. insurance coverage helps people afford dental care, which is otherwise quite expensive.
This is the first study to assess levels of oral health inequalities between the U.S. and UK, but other studies have investigated the ways in which socioeconomic factors affect oral health.
A 2013 study by the British Dental Association found that one in eight toddlers in England have tooth decay.
The survey, carried out by Public Health, England, was based on more than 53,000 clinical examinations found that deprived areas had the highest numbers affected by decay. The figures ranged from 21.2% of five-year-olds in the southeast to 34.8% in the north-west.
Across the water, a 2010 report by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research stated that there are "profound and consequential" disparities in the oral health of U.S. Citizens caused by socioeconomic status, gender, age and geographic location. Disparities were also found to be exacerbated by the lack of community programs such as fluoridated water supplies.
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Source: Mashable

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