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…


2 thoughts on “Teeth

  1. After reading the article, I only have one thing to say. No matter where dentistry is practised, it is meant to be preventative….i.e. you go for REGULAR check ups and not just when you have TOOTHACHE. This way any potential problems are sorted. I might be around the same age as the author of the piece, and I know when I was young we had school dentists, as so many parents had the attitude that you only go when you have toothache, and the dentist pulls the offending tooth. Even my Dad was brought up only going when he had toothache, he had full dentures at age 38. However, my Mum, still has the large majority of her teeth, not even a part denture, (flapper in the article,) and she always made sure we all went regularly. My children all go regularly, but so many people see the dentist as a person to visit when in pain…this is from experience as I used to work in a dentist surgery. I don’t think this is any different in any country, the only difference beeing in the UK there are NHS dentists who make dentistry affordable. The only reason I don’t smile a lot in photos is I hate having my photo taken. My teeth aren’t pearly white, but to be honest..that would look really stupid with my sallow sking..pearly white teeth are usually badly matched dentures, as dentures should blend with the person’s skin colour. Whitening your teeth is also a myth..tooth whitening products normally just make the person’s gums redder…same result.

  2. Hiya … I think your friend needs to get out a bit more … lol .. the uk has no more dental problems than americans, in fact less problems than the americans… and bland food.. pah … our culture is so varied that there isn’t much chance of that…

    Perhaps she/he needs to do the same as you flower and looked and made up their own mind …

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