The popular belief that English people have terrible teeth compared to other nationalities is wrong, it turns out.
In a study comparing the oral health of English and American people, researchers found real no difference between the two.
In fact, in some ways English people have better teeth – Americans are more likely to have teeth missing, for example. That said, English people are more likely to have oral health problems that impact on daily life, such as difficulty eating and regular pain.
A greater level of oral health inequality was also identified in the US, with differences in household income playing a greater role in determining the quality of teeth. The results are published in the British Medical Journal.
This is the first time the evidence behind the theory that English people have bad teeth has ever been looked into, and it helps dispels a widespread myth.
"In conclusion we have shown that the oral health of Americans is not better than the English, and there are consistently wider educational and income related oral health inequalities in the US compared with England," the authors say in their paper.
The result is based on an analysis of nearly 40,000 adults aged 25 and over, split between the two countries. Data used came from the English Adult Dental Health Survey and the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.