At this time of year, many of us go out of our way to try to help those who are less fortunate. It’s in the spirit of the season to give and help those who face significant challenges in virtually every area of life, including their teeth.

A recently released British study shows that by age 70,  rich people have 8 more teeth than poor. The study reminds us that social class is just as important as many other aspects of a person’s life in determining their oral health.

A Collaborative Study

The Journal of Dental Research published the study, which was produced by a number of organizations working together, including charity groups, government agencies, and universities.

The study analyzed dental records from more than 6000 people over the age of 21. The sample was collected to reflect a broad spectrum of society in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In analyzing the sample, researchers looked not just at income, but a broad selection of factors reflecting class, including occupational class, educational attainment, and more aspects of class. They also found that the oral health disparity was reflected in many different measures, including tooth decay, gum disease, and even cosmetic dentistry issues like tooth gaps.

From a positive standpoint, the study also showed that overall the oral health of Britons is improving, with people of all ages showing significantly better oral health than people of their age group just a few years before.

Giving Healthy Teeth

Recognizing the problems many people experience in trying to get dental care as poorer adults, many dentists volunteer at free dental clinics. This happens throughout the country, and it happens, like the dental need it strives to address, all year round.

This is also a good reminder that you shouldn’t assume a person with poor teeth is suffering because they just don’t take care of their teeth. There are many factors that contribute to poor oral health, including congentical factors and access to dental care. Your treatment of others should be based on your own goodwill, not on factors like the appearance of their teeth.

Wishing you and yours a happy holidays, and healthy teeth, wherever you may be and whatever your circumstances.