The Stereotype Is True – The British Have Bad Teeth

Even 17th Century Brits Had Better Teeth

Everybody forever has been making fun of the British for their teeth. Whether it is Mike Myers in the movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery or Mike Myers in the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, the British have copped an absolute gobful of guff about the state of their chompers.

Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London have really decided to lay the boot in by examining the skulls of 224 adults from the 17th century and comparing them to modern day heads. What they discovered was that there was less decay and less missing teeth back in ye olde England than there was in the present day.

The researchers put all of this lack of rot down to the fact that sugar was far too expensive for commoners to get their teeth into, so it ended up keeping them free of rot. If you’re worried about losing some teeth to a poor diet, maybe try living life as a 17th Century English commoner, sure they often only lived to the age of 40 but imagine how nice their teeth would have been.

Dentist and researcher Joseph Smith let the Sunday Times know that “Over the past 300 years sugar consumption in the UK has increased from 1.8kg to 23kg per person per year, with low-income groups consuming the most.” And while 23 kilos sure does sound like an awful lot of sugar it’s only the same weight as a particularly big kelpie. And eating a dog’s worth of sugar in a year doesn’t sound like all that much, does it?

Halloween has just been and gone and standing in a costume shop staring at a plastic set of comically awful “British teeth” might have seemed like an offensive gag at the expense of jolly old England a week ago but now that gag is backed up by facts. So next time you’re in that situation you’ll now be able to turn to the person with you perusing the “sexy space pirate” costumes and say “did you know that British teeth now are worse than they were in the 17th century?” and your friend will say “what?” and you’ll say “don’t worry about it.”