Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Big Book of British Smiles, 2nd Edition

A commenter downstairs wondered why we aren't doing "dentalblogging." This morning, the Guardian give me my excuse.
There is an episode of the Simpsons in which, in an effort to convince his young patients of the importance of dental care, Lisa's orthodontist heaves out a book entitled The Big Book of British Smiles. The punchline, of course, is that the British are famed for possessing teeth that are so gnarled and yellowed and gappy that they can frighten children across the world into obsessive dental hygiene. Our teeth have a reputation that has caused us to be the butt of many a joke in America and beyond; in Mexico, for example, bad teeth are known as "dientes ingles". And, for a while, we Brits were faintly proud of our unseemly smiles. Not for us the white picket fences of American mouths; ours were dry-stone walls: craggy, uneven, weathered.
But then something changed. Braces became a rite of passage for most children, we bought electric toothbrushes and whitening toothpastes, stealthily beginning the pursuit of the Hollywood smile. This week, conclusive evidence that cosmetic dentistry had moved beyond the realm of glamour models and soap stars came with the publication of photographs of the chancellor, Gordon Brown, showing his peggy, stained teeth to have been replaced by a perfect chorus-line of pearly whites. The fact that even the champion of prudence appears to have shelled out several thousand pounds to perfect his smile proves that great gnashers have finally arrived on these shores (though a Treasury spokesman yesterday would say only, "He looks after his teeth like anyone else. Any work he has had done over recent years has been for reasons of dental health and not image.") But how, precisely, did we get to this? When did Britain, of all places, start flashing its minty-fresh, brilliant white smile?

So I guess they'll have to come out with a 2nd Edition.


Blogger cornhuskerblogger said...

Lies. Nothing but more British lies. And i guess the red coats were only trying to help us steep our tea back in '76? CMON

5:34 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Take it up with the Guardian, man!

6:54 PM  

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