This morning when I accessed MSN’s homepage to then navigate around the Internet as I do on a daily basis, I noticed this particular article scrolling by on their three frame story marquee. Now, by the sounds of the title, you may wonder why I am bothering to mention an article seeming to be about an American ‘problem’ on a blog about Brits.
The article is (mostly) about American dentistry, but it begins with a tale about the author’s childhood in England and their less-than-stellar dental care. Particularly in the north of Britain. As I have friends in the UK and have visited there, dental health is something I’ve actually been questioned about by people here. Notably my neighbour. Why she is curious about dental hygeine in another country is beyond me. I mean her teeth aren’t the greatest, most obviously tar stained by the cigarettes she chain smokes constantly.
Frankly, unless it’s something blatantly obvious – like the complete lack of teeth – or if I knew you had problems then suddenly you have a glistening white smile – it’s not something I take note of. As I type this, I’m trying to think of what I have noticed in the past. The friend I stayed with on my first visit to England had a pretty healthy smile. I think she might’ve chipped a front tooth at some point just prior to my visit, but that’s about all I can recall. I can’t really say one way or the other about the friend I stayed with on my second visit, but I think the second friend I met briefly might’ve had problems. Again, it’s not something that stands out to me. Maybe if they’d all been hot pink I’d remember.
It fascinates me what stands out for people about other countries. For my neighbour regarding England, it’s poor hygeine and bland food. Never mind that things have vastly improved from 10 or 20 years ago on either account. Once a stereotype is in your head it’s apparently difficult to get rid of…