Friday, August 14, 2009

The teeth of the matter

The scare stories about the NHS being paraded in the US as arguments to avoid state subsidy of the health sector are quite funny. I heard one American saying that he thought the worrying thing about the Obama plan was that American teeth would deteriorate to the condition of British teeth. I am not an expert on dentistry but I am told that Americans spend three times as much on it as Brits and consider brilliant white, perfect teeth to be a basic right. My source also claims that Americans have far fewer false teeth than Brits and says this is due to the fact that they didn't have to suffer rations in the War. I find this hard to believe as I thought Americans consumed far more sugar than Brits. What is your view?


Blogger Mopsa said...

Presumably it's less about views and more about statistics. But without a doubt the US health system is a disgrace; unbelievable that such a wealthy country sees providing health care for all as an outrageous diminution of their human rights. And interesting that the cosmetic nature of teeth is of such primary importance.

10:32 am  
Blogger Angus said...

My former American colleagues at a large 'bulge bracket' used to uniformly sport preternaturally white teeth. When suggesting to my somewhat patrician dentist in Cavendish Square that he bring a Los Angelean sparkle to my own molars he was disdainful. He claims that American dentistry is fine if your career takes you onto the stage but is otherwise intrusive,almost entirely cosmetic in nature,extremely costly and requires crown work under sedation every year to keep the investment in tip top form. Thus far my teeth, although sound, remain unbleached and reassuringly natural. I've noticed that here in Italy cosmetic dentistry is catching on. Mr.Berlusconi is a living example of what tooth work can do for a career.

1:27 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

My parents, who had American soldiers billeted in their house during WW2, used to say that the GIs did all have brilliant white teeth and put it down to the chewing gum! I like the comment about American teeth ending up like British teeth!

6:00 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

It is strange to our way of thinking, Mopsa, but in tune with the American work ethic: you're guaranteed health insurance if you have a job.

Hi Angus - it would be interesting to know the number of people per dentist in the US versus the UK. It could be a virtuous cycle: dentists are well paid by insurance schemes so buy more goods and pay more taxes. Better teeth may also encourage more marriages/more procreation.

Hi WL - is there any evidence about gum being good or bad for teeth?

8:00 am  
Blogger Phidelm said...

You leave my pal Noel alone - fine set of Mancunian fangs there!

7:08 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

LOL Phidelm!

7:46 am  
Blogger Tattler said...

Brits have crapper teeth, probably because they are poorly educated, and very lazy...

5:17 pm  

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