Ricky Gervais learned recently what Americans expect of celeb smiles when a journalist complimented his willingness to wear unflattering false teeth for his role as a dentist in Ghost Town — though they were actually his natural teeth. While bad British teeth are a comedy cliché in the U.S., the Brits find our obsession with unnaturally straight and white teeth bizarre. "Americans have the idea uniformity is equivalent to looking good. The British character is more free-spirited, more radical," says Professor Liz Kay of the Peninsula Dental School in England. In the UK, celebrities who have had dental work done (like Simon Cowell and Kate Beckinsale) are often mocked. "Americans don't mind this unnaturally white look. It's a new phenomenon, like buying a Rolls Royce and telling the world. They are wearing a smile as a badge," adds Martin Fallowfield, a member of the British Dentist Association. [BBC]
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