The maxim that dentistry defines class is a sharp one and may cut some with its incisive nature. The truth, however, straightens like braces any wonky thinking on this point. Dentists in Australia and elsewhere around the world are not cheap. Capitalism drives poor diet choices through the promotion of fast food and other unhealthy orally ingested substances. Poor oral hygiene and snaggly teeth are generally the result of neglect and relative poverty. Straight teeth define middle and upper classes compared to working classes in this island nation and globally.
Dentistry Designed Smiles on Australian Property Owners
Of course, things are slowly changing with the demise of a truly working class in Australia. Our, so called, working classes, if we include tradies in this description, can buy and sell property and drive expensive utes and pick up trucks. Therefore, regular trips to the dentist to straighten their bite is par for the course in 2020. These folks have been able to afford orthodontics, braces or even Invisalign for a decade or two. Ever since former PM John Howard turned Australian homeowners into wealthy property magnates, back in the 1990s, tradies have been sitting pretty on their property portfolios in this country.
Transforming Losers into Lotharios
Straight teeth define middle and upper classes compared to working classes is, then, an outdated maxim in 21C Australia. Actually, the marketing of dentists as mini-deities via their abilities to transform losers into Lotharios and dogs into Dianas continues apace. Like doctors, these white coat wearing wonder workers have been straightening and whitening the teeth of westies for decades. In the suburbs and back blocks of Oz young Aussies have been smiling wider than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They might not have much upstairs in terms of thoughts and conversation but their chompers sparkle like polished pearls.
The inequality of wealth in modern Australia continues but signs itself in different ways in 2020. Years of fluoride and free dental care for kids in many states have brightened the smiles of the working classes but left them bereft in other areas. Opportunities, as the population of Australia has grown, have shrunk down into protected zones for the private school elites and their progeny. This is why more than a million Australians have chosen to live and work overseas. These expats have recently been forced home by the coronavirus pandemic, as economies shrivel, and they face unfriendly healthcare systems in places like the United States.