Dental Divide: US Goes for White, UK Prefers Character

British celebs often mocked for polishing, straightening teeth across the pond
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2008 9:38 AM CDT
"It's like the biggest difference between the Brits and the Americans, they are obsessed with perfect teeth," British actor Ricky Gervais says.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The difference between British teeth and American teeth is in societal expectations, the BBC reports. “Americans have the idea uniformity is equivalent to looking good,” one UK expert says. “The British character is more free-spirited, more radical.” Brits like Ricky Gervais have resisted the lure of the super-white smile, and those who have fallen for it—hello, Simon Cowell—often are mocked at home.

But some procedures are gaining popularity across the pond. Braces, crowns, and whitening are more common, though “nice natural smiles—natural in color” are preferred, a professor says. Does that mean Gervais, whose real teeth recently were mistaken for funny-looking fakes, will be hitting the dentist's chair? “For comedians, it's good to look unique,” a cosmetic dentist says.