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British may not have the world’s worst teeth, after all

If you’re British, it’s a joke you love to hate: Your countrymen (and women) have the world’s worst teeth, at least according to those obnoxious Americans. But now, a new study might let you have the last laugh. The New York Times reports that—by the measure of missing teeth—Americans actually outdo the Brits, with adults missing an average of 7.31 to 6.97 teeth. The study, published in yesterday’s issue of The BMJ, says the difference may very well stem from more Americans getting their wisdom teeth pulled. But the gap shifts as soon as money and education are involved. The paper also found that adults in the lowest socioeconomic brackets have better oral health in the United Kingdom, whereas those in the top brackets are better off in the United States.

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