"The Simpsons' Trivia

"Lisa, so you won't be scared, I'll show you some of the tools I'll be using. This is the scraper, this is the poker, and this happy little fellow is called the gouger. Now the first thing I'll be doing is chiseling some teeth out of your jawbone. Hold still while I gas you." -- A Dentist

This is the legendary book shown to Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson to encourage them to look after their teeth. The book is full of scary images of people with horribly crooked and decaying teeth, (one of whom looks remarkably like a certain member of the British Royal Family).

The book is a reference to the supposed lack of dental care in the UK. Many Americans find it odd that Britain as a nation seems not to worry about the cosmetic condition of their teeth. This situation is fast changing - there are more orthodontists than ever practicing in Britain. Many more people of all ages are having braces fitted, and there is a generation of British kids for whom their first kiss is likely to involve a tentative clashing of metal.

The apparent standard for teeth in America is that they be unnaturally white, too, as well as straight. To this end there are a thousand products and treatments available, and given the choice between those and the natural colour of my smile, I'll take the easy way, and the cheap. Then, I have the advantage of being sufficiently exotic, what with my English accent and my Utilikilt, that I doubt anyone notices that it's a little crooked.

A smiling contribution by a Britnoder